Picking the teams to compete in the first Northern California Regional football championships wasn't difficult, with selection based on merit.
Picking places to play those games was a different story.
Sacramento State was viewed as having the best bid in meeting the CIF's criteria, such as capacity, location and cost.
Hornet Stadium will host the NorCal Division I game between Granite Bay and St. Ignatius of San Francisco on Friday night and the Open game between Folsom and De La Salle, both unbeaten, on Saturday night.
All five NorCal winners advance to the CIF State Bowl games the following weekend in Carson.
Those games soon could be played at Sac State, too. Sac State athletic director Terry Wanless said over the weekend that his school has put in "a great bid to be a part of this."
High school playoff games have become a fixture at Hornet Stadium. The Sac-Joaquin Section Division I and Division II (and sometimes Division III) championship games have been played at Sac State since 2010 and will be for at least the next three years. Commissioner Pete Saco said the section has been "thrilled" with Sac State.
For the inaugural NorCal games, the CIF asked eligible schools to submit bids for games at high schools or college sites, and no venues west of Sacramento or Stockton were selected. The Division II (Oakdale-Clayton Valley) and Division IV (McClymonds-Central Catholic) games will be at Lincoln High in Stockton. The Division III game between Marin Catholic of Kentfield and Sutter will be at Harrison Stadium in Oroville.
Ron Nocetti, the CIF associate executive director, expected some Bay Area disappointment, but he called the selections fair. He said the CIF extended the bid submission deadlines more than once, but some schools didn't apply.
"I'm not going to sell out those schools or fault them," Nocetti said. "But with it being a new process, we'll look at it and see what works and what didn't in the future."
De La Salle submitted bids for Diablo Valley College and Dublin High School, but those venues hold less than half of Sac State's capacity (21,195).
De La Salle defensive coordinator Terry Eidson said his program isn't concerned about traveling.
"We've been all over the country, so a bus ride up to Sacramento is no problem at all," Eidson said. We're looking forward to it."
In tune De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur is known to be so focused on his team that he doesn't look ahead.
When asked by Comcast Sports reporter Dan Dibley about taking on Folsom in the Open game after De La Salle beat Logan of Union City 52-7 in the North Coast Section D-I finals Saturday, Ladouceur said, "Frankly, I don't know who is even playing in any of the games up there."
Breakthrough To reach the Division I NorCal game, St. Ignatius won the prestigious Central Coast Section Open title for the first time with a 13-10 win over Bellarmine of San Jose, which sought its fourth title in five seasons. St. Ignatius is the first San Francisco team to play beyond a section final. The CIF Bowl games have been played since 2006.
Power showcase Wonder what it would be like to watch Folsom and Granite Bay play each other? It'll happen in Week 1 next season in a nonleague game. In their last meeting, Folsom beat Granite Bay 42-28 in a 2009 Division II section playoff game.