The post about last week’s rankings reminded me again that people are reading, for which I thank you.
The reason I was reminded is that the post got some heavy reaction, maybe the most I have ever received.
Some of the response was about Windsor and the comment about the lack of respect.   The comments went right to the Windsor schedule.   After what happened on Friday, this may seem like weird timing for this, but these thoughts were started before that game.   The information still applies.  The Friday results add fuel to that fire for pointing to the Windsor schedule, which even though I understand, I’m not sure it is fair.
One reason is that was a pretty good football game between two of the best teams in the area.
The Windsor schedule will be an issue come NCS time.   The power rankings suggest that Windsor, and this is through Friday’s game, has had the second easiest schedule of the top ten teams in Division 2 and the NBL (Casa Grande has had the hardest).
I won’t bore you with all the numbers, but the opponents on the Windsor schedule is a combined 20-44.  Casa Grande’s opponents, who rank as the toughest in Division 2, have a combined record of 40-24.   Record isn’t what makes Casa Grande’s schedule the toughest, I am going by power rankings, but don’t want to get to complicated.
By the way, Clayton Valley and Concord are No. 1 and no. 2 in the Division 2 power rankings and are in the same league and met Friday Night with Clayton Valley taking a wild 48-40 win
As for the Windsor schedule a couple of points.  After the loss to Rancho Cotate, they are 7-1 and have won most games pretty handily.    The biggest test was a 10-7 win over Montgomery, who before the game with Rancho Cotate, at least according to the power rankings, is the toughest team they have faced.  As for the rest of the schedule, they have won every game by at least two touchdowns.
The other point about the so call weak schedule isn’t Windsor’s fault.   You can’t do much about your league, although the NBL usually holds its own when compared to the rest of the section.   For example, in the power rankings the league places No. 5 out of 17.   Even that doesn’t help as much as it did last season.  Five of the eight teams have a worse power ranking than they did last season.  Windsor is one of the three that is better with Cardinal Newman and Rancho Cotate being the other two.
What makes or breaks most team’s strength of schedule is the non-league portion of it.
On that front, Windsor didn’t get very much luck on that either.  All teams that Windsor met in the pre-season have a worse power ranking this year than they did last season.   In fact they are a lot worse.
In 2013, the three team had a record of 26-11 and an average power ranking of 29.  This year they are 7-17, with a power ranking of 2.
The biggest hit in the power rankings is Miramonte, who Windsor defeated 49-27 for its third win of the season.   Last year Miramonte went 12-2, defeating undefeated Casa Grande in the NCS Division 2 championship game, and had a power ranking of 27.5, which is higher than any team in our area.  This year they are 2-6 and have a power ranking of 3.
You never know what the results would have been if the teams were as strong as last season.
That was the other part of the post that got some reaction.
Some of the reaction I got from fans is over my head.
There was another mention about school size, which doesn’t always apply.
My idea would be to have a committee meet every two or three years and look at the situation.  The committee shouldn’t be coaches or athletic directors, because they are personally involved.  Instead, ex-coaches or maybe press members could take part.  A Cal Hi Sports member would seem to be a good choice although they seem to be wrapped up in “the big picture” which is the state playoffs.
This could happen in any sport, but my concern is football mainly because of how dangerous it can be.   If we are going to put the kids at risk, let’s let them have something to play for.   There have been some groups who think High School Football should go away.  I am not for that, but those groups get some footing when a team has blowout after blowout, especially if they are on the wrong end of one.
The committee would check out teams on both ends, whether they are too good for a league, or don’t compete.
Just because you are in one league in one sport, doesn’t mean you have to be in it in another.
These are some of the thoughts that I would be looking at.
The first move would be Analy to the North Bay League.   That seems obvious.
Although this isn’t a requirement, I would have to try to keep each league with even numbers so there are no byes.   So if Analy would be going into the NBL, somebody would have to move out.  That would be a choice between Santa Rosa and Ukiah, maybe both.   They would fit nicely into Sonoma County League.
Then there is the question about what to do with Elsie Allen.   They need to be moved.  Last week in a letter to the PD it was suggested that they end up in an eight man football league.   I have never been to an eight man football league game, but I wouldn’t be against that.   My thought would be to put them in the NCL II and see how that works out.   They would replace Upper Lake, who could be placed in an eight man league.
There are other leagues in the NCS that we don’t cover here and some teams in those leagues would be eligible for movement.    I didn’t look at all of the leagues, but did check out the Marin County Athletic League.  San Rafael went 10-2 overall and 5-1 in league in 2010.  They haven’t won a league game since losing 26 straight.  Outside this year’s 27-20 loss to Terra Linda, the closest game that have been involved in was a 21-2 loss to Drake in 2011.  In the last three seasons they have been outscored on the average of close to 45-6.
Another thing I would have is a rule change.   If you need a running clock in the fourth quarter because the game is out of hand, don’t play the fourth quarter.
This doesn’t seem like that hard of a fix.  It just takes some work. There are just too many games that shouldn’t be played.
By the way this week on the schedule:
Elsie Allen at Analy
The Rancho Cotate-Windsor game was one of the big games of the season.   As big as it was, Rancho Cotate was the guest for one of the biggest, if not the biggest, night in Windsor Football history.
The date was November 19th, 2005.  It was the first home NCS playoff game in Windsor football history.   Windsor had come along way to get a home playoff game.   Just two years earlier they snapped a 22 game losing streak.  Under Head Coach Jason Fayter, they made a moderate and steady improvement.   After back to back 4-6 seasons, they went 7-3 in 2005 and earned a No. 4 seed in the NCS Division2 playoffs.  Back then there was only an eight team bracket and the North and East Bay didn’t compete against each other.    So the first round games were No. 4 vs. No. 5 and Rancho Cotate, who went 6-4 was the No. 5.  The game was on KSRO and played before a huge crowd.
The game was a thriller, well the whole game wasn’t.    The thriller part was the ending.
After three quarters it was a disappointing night for the Windsor faithful and didn’t look like it would leave much of a memory. Rancho Cotate went into the fourth quarter with a 21-0 lead and it looked like a game that would be forgettable.
That all changed in the fourth quarter when Windsor almost came all the way back. They cut the lead to 21-14 with three minutes left.  Next came one of the strangest first downs that I have ever seen.  Rancho Cotate had the ball around midfield and was trying to run out the clock and went for a fourth and short.   It was close enough to measure and as the chains were stretched out both teams jumped around as if it was their ball.    It took at least thirty seconds for the official, who got down on his knees, to decide that Rancho Cotate had gotten the first down.
Still Rancho Cotate couldn’t run out the clock and after a punt, Windsor got the ball back and had about thirty seconds to go seventy yards.  They got sixty nine of them.
On the next to last play of the game, Quarterback Kevin Cramer hit Brandyn Reed on a play that was like an alley-oop play.   Reed was a center on the basketball team and he was good for the end of the play.  Windsor had won a game at Analy earlier in the season the same way on the last play of the game.    On this play, he was stopped at the one yard line with :10 left, although there were rumors that tape of the game showed he was in.
The clock stopped to move the chains and Windsor, who was out of time outs, lined up for what looked like a spike of the ball to stop the clock.   Instead Windsor tried a quarterback sneak, Rancho Cotate stopped it and the clock ran out.
Final Score:  Rancho Cotate 21 Windsor 14
That probably had a little more of a sting to the Windsor faithful than Friday did.
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