Here are the top 10 rankings for this division by Cal-Hi Sports after all section championships are complete (previous ranking in parentheses; teams with asterisk are ineligible for bowl game):
1. (1) Del Oro (Loomis) 13-1
2. (2) Vacaville 13-1
3. (3) St. Mary's (Stockton) 9-3*
4. (4) Folsom 11-3*
5. (5) Elk Grove 12-1*
6. (6) Buhach Colony (Atwater) 12-1*
7. (7) Oakdale 13-1*
8. (8) Windsor 14-0
9. (9) Los Gatos 11-1-1
10. (10) Paradise 11-1
Other section champ also eligible: Mission (San Francisco) 9-3.
Case for Del Oro:
1. As in many of these divisions, early games are extremely important. For the Golden Eagles, their 30-27 loss in overtime to Westlake of Westlake Village on Labor Day weekend kept getting more and more significant as Westlake climbed the charts in Southern California, eventually going to 14-0 with its win Friday against Oaks Christian. The game against Del Oro is still the closest Westlake has had this season.
2. Del Oro did not lose since that night, either. Coach Casey Taylor’s team topped previously undefeated Oakdale 21-7 to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III crown and also won the title in the very strong Sierra Foothill League over Granite Bay, which ended up winning the Sac-Joaquin Div. I title.
*Vacaville beat defending CIF Div. II state champ Folsom in the Sac-Joaquin D2 final, but has a loss to Granite Bay (which Del Oro beat).
*Windsor finished out a 14-0 season by topping Concord 28-20 in the North Coast Section championship on Friday night. Despite being the only team that will be on the board at 14-0 on Sunday, the Jaguars fall short of the Sac-Joaquin teams based on strength of schedule. We have moved them in front of Oakdale in our rankings, and perhaps Buhach Colony for the final rankings, but not into the top five.