Joe Davidson

The Bee’s final regular-season football rankings - and what to look for in the playoffs

Del Oro Johnny Guzman (6) breaks up a pass intended for Folsom Bulldogs Daniyel Ngata (4) in the third quarter of Friday night prep football game between the Del Oro Golden Eagles and Folsom Bulldogs at Del Oro in Loomis. October 26 2018
Del Oro Johnny Guzman (6) breaks up a pass intended for Folsom Bulldogs Daniyel Ngata (4) in the third quarter of Friday night prep football game between the Del Oro Golden Eagles and Folsom Bulldogs at Del Oro in Loomis. October 26 2018

The playoffs are here as we finally hit November.

The Sac-Joaquin Section football brackets for Divisions I-VII include several teams in these rankings. For the first time since the playoffs started in this section in 1971, there will be first-round byes for the top four seeds, which is good for several reasons.

A good many openers over the years included brutal blowouts. A first-round bye avoids that, allows teams that have earned it another week to rest and recover, and opening byes are what other sections in the state do.

Last season, for example, De La Salle of Concord played in a state championship and played 13 games. Same with Folsom, which played 16 games.

These are The Bee’s final regular-season rankings. They are not win-loss standings. They are rankings based on success and strength of schedule.

1. Folsom (1) 9-1

The Bulldogs have been a different animal since falling 14-0 at De La Salle in an opener, and now they seek their seventh Division I section title this decade.

2. Monterey Trail (3) 10-0
This could be the best team in Mustangs history. Seeded second in D-I, the target is the final and a shot at Folsom.

3. Del Oro (2) 9-1
The Golden Eagles are the No. 1 seed in D-II, seeking their 19th finals appearance since 1989.

4. Placer (4) 10-0
The Hillmen are the No. 2 seed in D-III, opposite Capital Christian. Close game against Lincoln was needed.

5. Inderkum (5) 10-0
The Tigers are irked at a 3 seed in D-II, but wins will solve all. Could be a whopper second-round game against Grant.

6. Capital Christian (6) 10-0
The Cougars are the top seed in D-III and barrel ahead with a beast of a back in D’Marcus Ross and his terrific line.

7. Sheldon (7) 9-1
The Huskies have won nine in a row and are the 5 seed in D-I, facing Modesto in an opener with St. Mary’s of Stockton looming.

8. Granite Bay (8) 5-5
The Grizzlies are the No. 4 seed in D-II and stand as defending champions. A rematch with Jesuit could happen in the second round.

9. Oak Ridge (10) 7-3
The Trojans earned the No. 3 seed in D-I, and wouldn’t a showdown against Monterey Trail not be a hoot?

10. Jesuit (9) 7-3
The Marauders wanted a top four seed, but an early loss to Granite Bay dropped them to the 5 seed, a spot lower than GB.

11. Grant (11) 5-5
The Pacers are the No. 6 seed in D-II, but the team may be thinned considerably if players must sit after fallout from brawl against Whitney.

12. Elk Grove (12) 5-5
The Thundering Herd are the 10 seed in D-II and open at Vacaville. These programs have had epic playoff showdowns before.

13. Antelope (13) 6-4
The Titans are the No. 4 seed in D-III and brace for the Burbank-Manteca winner and reside on same side of the bracket as Capital Christian.

14. Colfax (13) 10-0
The Falcons are the top seed in D-V, having lost to Bear River in the final a year ago. We hear a rematch?

15. Bear River (15) 9-1
The Bruins are the No. 3 seed in D-V, having lost only to Colfax. A rematch could be brewing.

16. Center (16) 7-3
The Cougars are the No. 6 seed in D-V and open against Dixon, a tall order, and could get a rematch with Bear River.

17. Rio Linda (17) 8-2
The Knights are the top seed in D-IV, led by a charger of a back in Cameron Skattebo.

18. Ponderosa (18) 7-3
The Bruins are the No. 9 seed in D-III and open at Buhach Colony with top seed Capital Christian looming.

19. Casa Roble (19) 9-1
The Rams are the 3 seed in D-IV, a loss to Ponderosa still serving as a motivator.

20. Sacramento (-) 5-5
The Dragons started slow and have caught fire, earning a 6 seed in D-III and an opener against River Valley.

Dropped out — Woodcreek
Bubble teams (in alphabetical order) — Bradshaw Christian (6-4), Burbank (6-4), Cosumnes Oaks (4-6), Christian Brothers (5-5), Cordova (5-5), Davis (6-4), Del Campo (4-6), Dixon (6-4), East Nicolaus (9-0), Foothill (7-3), Highlands (7-3), Lincoln (5-5), Rio Vista (9-1), River Valley (5-5), Sacramento (5-5), Union Mine (4-4), Vista del Lago (4-6), Winters (8-1), Woodcreek (7-3), Yuba City (6-4).

Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs

Openers Friday at 7 p.m., unless noted.

Division I

No. 9 Gregori at No. 8 Edison

No. 12 Modesto at No. 5 Sheldon

No. 11 Cosumnes Oaks at No. 6 Turlock

No. 10 Davis at No. 7 Pitman (Thursday)

Byes: No. 1 Folsom, No. 2 Monterey Trail, No. 3 Oak Ridge, No. 4 St. Mary’s

Division II

No. 9 Lincoln at No. 8 Tracy

No. 12 Woodcreek at No. 5 Jesuit (1 p.m. Saturday)

No. 11 Downey at No. 6 Grant

No. 10 Elk Grove at No. 7 Vacaville

Byes: No. 1 Del Oro, No. 2 Central Catholic, No. 3 Inderkum, No. 4 Granite Bay

Division III

No. 9 Ponderosa at No. 8 Buhach Colony

No. 12 Burbank at No. 5 Manteca

No. 11 River Valley vs. No. 6 Sacramento at Hughes Stadium

No. 10 Christian Brothers at No. 7 Yuba City

Byes: No. 1 Capital Christian, No. 2 Placer, No. 3 Merced, No. 4 Antelope

Division IV

No. 9 Sierra at No. 8 Pacheco

No. 12 Valley at No. 5 Oakdale

No. 11 Rosemont at No. 6 Patterson

No. 10 Cordova at No. 7 Golden Valley

Byes: No. 1 Rio Linda, No. 2 Vanden, No. 3 Casa Roble, No. 4 Wood

Division V

No. 9 Orestimba at No. 8 Los Banos

No. 12 Pioneer at No. 5 Foothill

No. 11 Dixon at No. 6 Center

No. 10 Union Mine at No. 7 Mountain House

Byes: No. 1 Colfax, No. 2 Ripon, No. 3 Bear River, No. 4 Sonora

Division VI

No. 9 Bradshaw Christian at No. 8 Argonaut

No. 12 Waterford at No. 5 Rio Vista

No. 11 Highlands at No. 6 Calaveras

No. 10 Amador at No. 7 Hughson

Byes: No. 1 Modesto Christian, No. 2 Hilmar, No. 3 Escalon, No. 4 Ripon Christian

Division VII

No. 5 Millennium at No. 4 Gustine

No. 6 Woodland Christian at No. 3 Golden Sierra

Byes: No. 1 Denair, No. 2 Big Valley Christian

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