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Cougars should be playoff bound

Following Half Moon Bay High School’s 36-27 win over Hillsdale Friday, there was some wondering about the Cougars’ chances of making the Central Coast Section playoffs as an at-large team.

Aragon will receive the lone automatic qualifying bid from Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division thanks to beating South San Francisco earlier Friday and the Cougars’ beating Hillsdale.

If Half Moon Bay beats Terra Nova, the Cougars will be in the playoffs, done deal. There is a chance Half Moon Bay could host a playoff game if it prevails over the Tigers.

But, what happens if Terra Nova prevails? Not a disaster, as I and several others have projected Half Moon Bay to have enough points to get it. How is this possible?

The CCS playoffs is made up of five divisions, with eight teams per division. Of the 40 teams in the tournament, 26 are automatic qualifiers, made of league champions and high-placing teams from the 13 leagues or divisions.

Thus, there are 14 at-large teams. All 14 of those teams qualify based on their CCS power point totals, calculated by the numbers of wins, strength of schedule and number of league champions a team has played.

In reviewing my numbers, there are eight who will enter as at-large teams who enter this weekend with point totals greater than Half Moon Bay. Three teams – Leland, Piedmont Hills and San Benito – equal Half Moon Bay’s point total of 20. Figure on all three of those teams to win their respective games.

Palo Alto plays Saratoga with the winner to equal the Cougars’ points, if the Cougars lose Friday.

The bottom line is that the Cougars will return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

The seeding meet takes place Sunday morning at the CCS office in San Jose.


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