Official Calif. Bowl / Playoff Selection Guide

The Commission on Athletics and California Community College Football Coaches Association (CCCFCA) worked in cooperation to devise a new set of rules and guidelines governing bowls and playoffs. Following a vote of each organization's executive boards, the rules were passed and put into effect for 2003. Here are the details:

1. ORGANIZATION OF FOOTBALL PLAYOFF/BOWL GAMES

Post-conference competition (PC) for football shall be in the form of sponsored bowl games and/or a playoff/bowl structure and a state championship bowl game. Should any region elect to use a playoff system to determine a regional champion, the first round of the playoff system will be incorporated into the bowl game system. There will be seven (7) bowl games in each region (40% post-conference competition cap). The playoff bowls, if used, must include the conference/division champions and, when necessary, include at-large teams to fill out round one. Playoff brackets will be seeded according to a procedure to be determined by each region. Bowl games in each region that are not part of a playoff system will follow the established selection procedure using the final CCCFCA/COA poll. The playoff/bowl games shall be designed to allow elite teams to compete with as little cost as possible to the participant. The ability of a playoff/bowl game to provide financial gain to the statewide community college athletic program is an underlying principle. The state championship bowl game shall be one (1) game between the number one (1) team from the north and the number one (1) team from the south.

If any football bowl game or playoff game is postponed or cancelled, it may be rescheduled to a date and/or time which does not conflict with the state championship.

1.1. Bowl Game Site

A series of playoff/bowl game sites shall be identified each year. Sites shall be selected to provide the best possible game according to the following criteria:

No change.

No change.

No change.

No change.

No change.

No change

Sponsors shall be required to present a $10,000 bond. This bond shall only be used if a sponsor is unable to meet its contractual obligations.

.G. No change.

1.2. Playoff/Bowl Game Participation Selection

After the completion of conference contests in the third weekend of November, the State Commissioner's office shall publish and utilize the official COA/CCCFCA regional coaches poll as the official prospect pool for selection of playoff/bowl game participants by the bowl game committee. The regional polls (published each week between September 15 and November 21 by the COA) feature 13  14 voting members in each region who shall rank the top 20 teams in each region. The poll utilizes an excel software program to tally votes and awards a weighted system of points based on balloting each week by polling members. Each regional polling member ranks its region (e.g., south representatives vote for top 20 southern teams only, north votes for top 20 northern teams only). Each regional poll includes ten coaches, one sports information director, one media representative, and two at-large. At-large designates may be a media representative, CCCFCA director or former coach for an equal total of 13 14 members in each region. The COA/CCCFCA poll is the official poll for California community college football and is the only regional poll which features a mix of regional voting panelists (coaches, media, sports information, etc.). The bowl game selection committee will be provided an updated regional poll for its use during the playoff/bowl game selection meeting by the COA. The updated polls will include results of the final conference contest played just prior to the playoff/bowl game selection committee meeting.

B. Teams are to be ranked 1 through 20 in both the North and South polls. Actual playoff/bowl pool to consist of teams ranked according to the number of bowls available. (Example: if there are seven (7) bowl games, teams ranked 1 through 14 are in the pool).

Ranking to be based upon final regular season COA/CCCFCA Coaches poll.

In case of a tie for 1st or 2nd place in the COA/CCCFCA Coaches' poll after the last game of the season, the following tie-breaking criteria will be used, if needed:

1. The winner of head-to-head competition advances to the regional championship game.

2. A comparison of the teams that are tied with the wins over ranked teams in the COA/CCCFCA Coaches' poll. The ranking used will be the teams places in the standings after the last official regular season games poll. Points will be awarded for wins over ranked teams in inverse (opposite) order as follows:

RANK POINTS RANK POINTS
1st 20 11th 10
2nd 19 12th 9
3rd 18 13th 8
4th 17 14th 7
5th 16 15th 6
6th 15 16th 5
7th 14 17th 4
8th 13 18th 3
9th 12 19th 2
10th 11 20th 1

Hypothetical example: The Tigers and Lions are tied for 2nd place in the poll. The Tigers defeated ranked teams in the poll:

TEAM POLL RANKING INVERSE POINTS
Giants 10th 11 points
Eagles 13th 8 points
Bears 11th 10 points
Vikings 7th 14 points

TOTAL: 43 POINTS

The Lions defeated ranked teams in the poll:

TEAM POLL RANKING INVERSE POINTS
Cowboys 14th 7 points  
Chargers 12th 9 points
Giants 10th 11 points

TOTAL: 27 POINTS

THE TIGERS WOULD ADVANCE TO THE REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. WIN THE TIE-BREAKER.

3. If the two (2) teams are still tied the next criteria will be lowest points allowed vs. all common opponents. In other words in the example above, if both teams had been tied after that process, and if the Lions allowed the Giants ten (10) points and the Tigers allowed the Giants three (3) points, then the Tigers would go to the regional championship game win the tie-breaker, because they allowed the fewest points to a ranked common opponent.

4. If the teams are still tied then a coin flip will decide who advances to the regional championship game. The procedure to decide which coach will have the choice on the flip of the coin to advance, will be as follows:  The Commissioner of Athletics will select a number between one (1) and ten (10). The two (2) coaches will then select a number between one (1) and ten (10) and the person that is closest to the number selected by the Commissioner will have the choice on the coin toss.

C. On the Sunday following the last football game, the football bowl committee will meet. The committee will be composed of the President, the Executive Director, and the First Vice President of the Football Coaches Association (to provide for regional representation), and the COA Football Representative. The Commissioner and /or designee will be members in an advisory capacity and will only vote in case of a tie.

D. Selection of Bowl Teams

1. The COA football poll will designate the number 1 and number 2 teams in both the North and South. These four teams shall be the first to be placed in a bowl game in their respective regions.

Colleges will be selected to participate in bowl or playoff bowl games following the selection criteria developed by each region. Each region will develop a process by which a regional champion will be determined to move forward to the state championship game.

a. All teams who are host teams would play in the bowl game they are hosting except for the number 1 or 2 ranked teams. If the number 1 and 2 teams both have bowl games, then the number 2 team would have to leave their (bowl) game.

b. If the number 2 ranked team  is a host team and has to leave their bowl in order to play number 1 for the championship, then number two's bowl can select its host team from any of the remaining bowl eligible teams not hosting a bowl game. It's place in the selection process will depend upon the ranking of the team it selected.

c. If number 1 does not host a bowl and the number 2 does, then number 1 would  travel to number 2. If the number 1 ranked team refuses to play at number 2, then the number 1 team loses the opportunity to play for the championship. If this was to occur then number 2 would play number 3 for the championship and number 1 would replace number 3 in the selection process.

d. If number 2 opts not to play number 1 then number 1 would play number 3.

e. If number 3 chooses not to play, then number 4 would be invited and so on. The winner of this game will advance to the state championship game.

f. After number 1 and 2 teams have been selected, the order of bowl selection will continue using the normal process and criteria, i.e., 3 vs. 4 and 5 vs. 6 etc.

However, in order to reduce expenses of transportation, lodging, and meals, and to enhance competition; the bowl committee can adjust pairings by adjusting rankings by no more than two (2) positions up or down. The number 3 ranked team will select the next highest ranked team who is not hosting a bowl. If number 3 is not hosting a bowl, they would go to the bowl game hosted by the highest ranked team available. After number 3 has been placed the same procedure will be used to place all remaining ranked teams.

g.a. Conference champions to be guaranteed a bowl game. If a conference champion is not in the bowl pool they will replace the lowest ranked team in the bowl pool who is not hosting a bowl game. The team that is replaced will have the opportunity to create a bowl game, their opponent to be the next highest ranked team among those teams who are ranked, but were not in the original bowl pool.

h.b. If a bowl game's host team is not bowl eligible or they are placed in the playoff bowl bracket that does not allow them to host, then the highest ranked available team, not hosting a game, becomes that bowl's "Home" team. This determination is to take place during the selection process. (Example: Assuming the number 1 and 2 teams have been placed, if number 3 and 4 are host teams and number 5, 6, 7, & 8 are not host teams, number 3 would play 5 and number 4 would play 6 and number 7 would play 8 in the bowl without a host team. If more than one bowl game does not have a host team, the bowl selection committee will determine which match-ups will play in those games, but will do so within the selection process. The intent being to give these games the best chance for success within the confines of the selection process.

c. Each region may develop a "floating bowl" concept, which allows for bowl games to move from one site to another to best accommodate a matchup for a bowl game or playoff game.

d. If teams are matched in a bowl game or a playoff game and neither "hosts" a bowl, they may play in an "empty bowl" (no host team) or may create a bowl. The highest seeded team in a playoff structure, or the highest ranked team in a bowl game situation, will be designated as the "home" team.

i.e. Each conference/division must determine a champion using a tie breaking procedure.

j.f. Northern teams shall play in the north and southern teams shall play in the south, unless unusual or extenuating circumstances exist.

k.g. Additional recommendations

1) No change.

2) The number of bowl games should be limited to 25% of the total number of football playing colleges in the North and South. (Example: If there are 36 community colleges playing football in Southern California, the maximum number of bowls allowed in the South would be 9).

3) If bowl placement procedure results in a rematch between two colleges, that rematch stands.

4) If neither of the top two ranked teams were hosting a bowl game, then a Northern or Southern California championship bowl game would be created and would be hosted by the number one ranked team.

2.  The state championship game will be held the second weekend in December (see COA Bylaw 3.11). The teams from the South and North, that win the top ranked bowl game, will advance to the state championship.

B. 3) A team can only go to one bowl game.

C. 4) There is a potential to add a bowl game if there are qualified teams which have no place to compete. This option will be determined by the COA Representative and the State Commissioner in consultation with the selected members of the respective region.

1.a) Additional bowl games must be at the sponsor's site.

2.b) Added bowl games, as all others, must be completely funded by the sponsor.

DE. Selection of Playoff/Bowl Teams

Should any region elect to use a playoff system to determine a regional champion the first round of the playoff system will be incorporated into the bowl game system. There will be seven (7) bowl games in each region (40% postconference competition cap). The playoff bowls, if used, must include the conference/division champions and, when necessary, at-large teams selected to fill out round one. Playoff brackets will be seeded according to a procedure to be determined by each region. Additional bowl games in each region that are not part of a playoff system will follow the established selection procedure using the final CCCFCA/COA poll.

1. Northern California Playoff/Bowl Structure

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

a. The champions of the Northern Division Conferences, the Nor-Cal and Valley will compete in a playoff game to determine the Northern California Champion to advance to the state championship game versus the Southern California Champion.

b. The champions of the Central Divison Conferences; the Golden Gate and Mid-Empire would compete in a bowl game for the Central Division Championship.

c. The champions of the South Division Conference: the Bay-Valley and Coast would compete in a bowl game for the South Division Championship.

d. The CCCFCA/COA poll rankings will be used to select four (4) additional bowl games, with the "common sense" clause utilized.

e. For purposes of determining conference championships the following tie-breaking procedure will be utilized:

1) Head to Head competition or, if three (3)-way tie:

1) Head to head competition

2) Comparisons of records versus top ranked teams in descending order; i.e. record versus the final COA poll team ranked #1, versus #2, ranked team, #3 ranked team, etc. until tie is broken.

3) Coin Toss

2. Southern California Playoff/Bowl Structure

a. There will be seven (7) bowl games in the South (40% PC cap).

b. Four (4) of the bowl games will be designated as Playoff/Bowl games and be the first round of an eight (8)-team playoff structure to determine the Southern California Champion to advance to the State Championship game. Three additional bowl games will be played and teams will be selected from the COA bowl pool.

c. Playoff/Bowl game participants will be selected and seeded using the following process:

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

1. All conference/division champions will be designated as participants in the playoffs.

2. Three additional at-large teams will be chosen to fill out the 1st round bracket using the final CCCFCA/COA poll.

CRITERIA FOR SEEDING

1. An eight (8)-team playoff structure will be seeded using the five (5) conference/divisional champions and three (3) at-large teams.

2. A power criteria will be used, based on accumulative winning percentage of each Southern California conference's crossover games for the current season.

3. Where conferences are divided into two (2) divisions, each conference must determine its champion (or #1 team) for seeding purposes. The division champion from each conference that is not designated as a conference's #1 team is automatically the #2 team from that conference.

4. The #1 team from the conference with the best winning percentage in crossover games for that current season will be designated the #1 seed in the playoff structure. The #1 team from the conference that had the second best winning percentage will be designated the #2 seed. The #1 team from the conference that had the third best winning percentage will be designated the #3 seed. #4 seed will be the #2 team from the first conference, the #5 seed will be the #2 team from the second conference, as so on. Once all conference/divisional champions are seeded then three (3) at-large teams will be seeded.

5. At-large teams will be seeded using the final CCCFCA/COA poll. The highest ranked team on the final poll that is not a conference/division champion will be seeded next, followed by the next highest ranked team and so on until all brackets are filled out.

1.3 PLAYOFF/BOWL FORMAT AND TEAM PLACEMENT

An eight (8) team playoff tournament will be employed to select a regional champion to move on to the state championship game.

A. Once teams are seeded one (1) through eight (8) and teams are placed into the brackets below, the bowl game committee will place the teams into first round bowl sites.

First round:

#1  vs  #8

#4  vs  # 5

#3  vs  #6

#2  vs  #7

B. Highest seeded teams that host a bowl game will be designated as the "host" team. If two (2) teams who host bowl games are matched against one another, the lowest seeded team must give up its bowl or not be part of the playoffs. If it chooses not to be part of the playoff system then it will host the next highest ranked team not participating in the playoff system, using the "common sense" clause. If the highest seeded team does not host a bowl game and the lower seeded does, then the game will be played at the lower seeded's site.

C. If neither matched up team hosts a bowl, the "floating bowl" concept may be used. The teams may be placed in an "empty bowl" or a bowl game may be created to accommodate the matchup. The highest seeded team will be designated as the "home" team.

D. The bowl committee may use the "common sense" clause in placing teams at the best game site for both playoff bowls and for non-playoff bowls. Every consideration should be given to helping insure the best matchups that will generate the largest gate income.

E. After the first round of playoff/bowl games, the highest seeded team will host all other rounds leading to the regional championship game and be responsible for game administration.

F. All administration guidelines (section 2 of the Football Sport Guide) will apply to playoff games.


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