Orange Vista is one of just a couple of handfuls of local teams that will be advancing to the CIF Southern Section football playoffs starting this week. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

For the first time ever, the CIF-SS administration placed prep football teams in divisions solely based on the current season, so it is no wonder why this past Sunday’s playoff divisions and pairings announcements were like no other in history. If you were following along, the buzz was felt all over social media. Nobody knew what divisions they would play in until the announcements were made, and quite a few programs out there felt the wrath of the unknown.

The CIF Southern Section offices have used several different ways to create playoff divisions in the past, most recently placing teams in divisions based on how they performed the two previous seasons. Because of the impact that COVID-19 not only made around the world, but here locally too, things needed to be adjusted in the playoff groupings due to the uncanny season that took place earlier this year during the spring season.

The CIF-SS uses highly regarded Calpreps’ computer rankings to place teams in divisions, which has produced a power rankings formula for roughly two decades. Combine that with automatic qualifiers from league play and at-large teams that applied to get in based on their record and computer ranking, and the new system is what you are left with. Just as with any other season, some teams will be happy, some will not.

First round CIF Southern Section playoff action begins Friday, November 5, for most local teams. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

In any case, the local teams mentioned below will be moving on to the post season where they will begin their quest to a CIF-SS title starting this week. The CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship football game will be held at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach Nov. 26 and CIF State championship games will be played at Saddleback College Dec. 10 and 11. The CIF-SS football championship games in Division 2-14 will be played at host team sites Nov. 26 and 27.


Division 1

First round, Nov. 12

Division 2

First round, Nov. 5

Murrieta Valley at Edison

Cajon at Vista Murrieta

Division 3

First round, Nov. 5

No local teams

Division 4

First round, Nov. 5

Palm Desert at Chaparral

Division 5

First round, Nov. 5

Beaumont at San Jacinto

Division 6

First round, Nov. 5

North Torrance at Temecula Valley

Division 7

First round, Nov. 5

Heritage at St. Pius X-St. Matthias

Division 8

First round, Nov. 5

Serrano at Temescal Canyon

Santa Ynez at Elsinore

Orange Vista at El Dorado

Division 9

First round, Nov. 5

No local teams

Division 10

First round, Nov. 5

No local teams

Division 11

First round, Nov. 5

No local teams

Division 12

First round, Nov. 5

Tahquitz at Harvard-Westlake

Quartz Hill at Lakeside

Division 13

First round, Nov. 5

Montclair at West Valley

Division 14

First round, Nov. 5

California Military at Hawthorne

Santa Rosa Academy at Alhambra

Hamilton at Don Bosco Tech

Nuview Bridge at Loara

*Photos and sports scores/stats/highlights can be submitted to Stats, standings, results provided by MaxPreps, local ADs, fans of the game, social media, and the Valley News Sports Department.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at