Bullard High is 6-1, has scored more than 50 points five times, throttled a ranked team by 43 Friday night and, honestly, I'm not sure how good they are.
The Knights did what they dearly like to do — punishing County/Metro Athletic Conference rival Memorial — in a 56-13 showcase at Chukchansi Park, where football shouldn't be played.
But No. 15 Bullard played near flawlessly nonetheless — and to heck with the fact its fans were miles from a faintly lined field at an otherwise splendid baseball facility — as Isaiah Justice passed for 167 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 152 and two scores, receiver John Brown scored four times and Dejonte Oneal rushed for 164 yards against the No. 20 Panthers (5-2, 1-1).
The final score wasn't novel for the Knights, who have also throttled Paso Robles (56-30), Buchanan (54-14), Clovis East (48-25), Hoover (56-25) and Madera South (55-0).
Interrupting the dominance, however, was a 27-14 loss to a Clovis West team that stands 2-5 today.
Yes, the Golden Eagles have played the most difficult schedule in the Central Section. And, yes, they pressed No. 1 Edison in a 24-17 loss.
So does that explain it?
Who knows? Let it all play out for Bullard — specifically, CMAC games against No. 18 Sanger next Friday at McLane and, above all, against Edison on Nov. 8 at Sunnyside to close the regular season.
Edison a top seed?
If Edison, Bakersfield (Southwest Yosemite League) and Clovis North (Tri-River Athletic Conference) run the regular season table the next three weeks, look for Edison to land the Division I top seed.
Why? Because the Tigers would be 10-0, Bakersfield 8-2 and Clovis North 9-1.
And, while final regular-season records are only part of the criteria — and not the most important — followed by Crichlow's five-man seeding committee, the commish says: "If someone goes 10-0 and somebody else is at 8-2, chances are the 10-0 team is going to be the No. 1 seed. That's the way I would lead, personally."
That said, here are the section's seeding priorities for football, and in this order: head-to-head results, record vs. common opponents, record vs. league champions (including out of section), record vs. playoff eligible teams in division and then strength of schedule.
Further, Crichlow says, if the first criteria — head-to-head results — is satisfied, the remaining criteria become moot.
Madera South, Kennedy misplaced
The next league realignment cycle in the Central Section — this one for four years — will begin next fall.
When it does, Madera South will remain in the County/Metro Athletic Conference and Kennedy the same in the South Sequoia League.
Too bad. Really too bad for football.
Crunch the dreadful numbers: Madera South is 0-7 in two seasons in the CMAC, having been outscored by an average of 46 points. Kennedy is 0-8 in two seasons in the SSL, having been outscored by an average of 51 points.
Worse, the Thunderbirds have been torched 62-0 (Shafter), 83-0 (Bakersfield Christian) and 72-0 (Wasco) in the league this season.
There is nothing to suggest these patterns will reverse.
This is a territorial problem.
Madera South, formerly of the North Yosemite League — where it belongs — wanted to partner with city neighbor Madera in the same league.
In Delano, district administrators frowned upon having their three schools in separate leagues, so Kennedy and Chavez were joined in the SSL while Delano remained in the East Yosemite League.
“We wanted to put Kennedy in the East Sequoia,” section Commissioner Jim Crichlow says. “It would have been a good fit, competition wise.”
Communities wanting to house their schools in the same leagues is understandable. That explains why Visalia’s four public schools are in the West Yosemite and Tulare’s three are in the EYL.
Another key element in the equation is leagues are aligned by sports across the board. Meaning, the section’s not going to allow Madera South toplay football in the NYL and basketball and baseball in the CMAC.
Fine, but common sense needs to be part of the equation, also. And, like the NCAA, administrative decisions begin with football. It’s the sport that pays the bills.
Equal in importance, it’s the sport that sets the year-long tone for student body spirit on campus. And that spirit has been broken at Madera South and Kennedy.
Turn-head scores Friday night in the section:
** Tulare Western 28, No. 10 Porterville 13 in the East Yosemite League: Add Western's Ryan Rocha to The Bee's Coach of the Year candidates. Mustangs were 0-10 a year ago. Serious.
** Ridgeview 27, South 14 in the South Yosemite League: Rebels lose to an ordinary Ridgeview team, which explains why South, 6-0 coming in, wasn't ranked in The Bee's Top 20.
** No. 17 Lemoore 28, Mt. Whitney 21 in the West Yosemite League: Mt. Whitney, 1-5 coming in, had a chance to tie or win it late. Not exactly a boost of momentum for the Tigers entering their home showdown with No. 9 El Diamante on Nov. 1 after a bye week.
** Kingsburg 35, No. 12 Dinuba 27: Hate to justify Vikings, with 1,075 enrollment, being in D-II, but, hey, this was impressive against a D-III power on a night that division's top-ranked teams were swept (also Dinuba, South).
** Bakersfield Christian 47, No. 8 Wasco 20 in South Sequoia League: Mission Oak clearly the team to beat in D-IV after this shocker.
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