With a 10-0 record, Sacred Heart Prep has compiled the best regular season in program football history. No doubt about it. The perfect campaign earned the Gators their first PAL Bay Division title and, with it, an automatic berth into the Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs.
No surprise there. But, when the seeds were decided on Saturday for the section postseason . . . well, eyebrows had to be raised.
Sacred Heart Prep will take its 10-0 record into first-round action this Saturday as the No. 1 seed. Yes, the No. 1 seed -- higher than perennial powerhouses like Milpitas, Palma, Bellarmine and Serra.
That No. 1 seed, based on having the most power points among the five league champions that automatically qualified for the Open Division, earns the Gators a home game against No. 8 Oak Grove (7-3) on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Also in SHP's side of the bracket is No. 4 Serra (7-3) and No. 5 Los Gatos (8-2). They meet at the same time on Saturday. The SHP-Oak Grove winner and Serra-Los Gatos winner will meet in the semifinals.
The top half of the bracket features No. 2 Milpitas (10-0), No. 3 Palma (9-1), No. 6 Valley Christian (8-2) and No. 7 Bellarmine (8-2).
SHP, last year's CCS Division IV champ, has beaten six CCS playoff teams this season, including No. 1 seeds Salinas (D-1) and King's Academy (D-4).
Sacred Heart Prep is one of only two local teams to qualify for the postseason. Perhaps as surprising as SHP getting the No. 1 seed was Menlo-Atherton advancing to the Division I playoffs despite a 3-7 record.
The Bears got in when it was determined last week that Menlo School would not gain an extra point from its win over Mission (San Francisco) in September. The CCS adds a point for teams that beat league champs.
While Mission (San Francisco Section) won the Academic Athletic League round-robin title, the league doesn't crown a champion until after the playoff title game on Thanksgiving. Thus, Menlo wouldn't get that needed point for nearly two more weeks, and the CCS playoffs begin Friday.
Menlo needed that one point to win a tiebreaker for the Bay Division's final automatic CCS berth. To further rub salt into the wound, the Knights finished 4-6 and beat M-A during the regular season.
M-A, meanwhile, CCS playoff teams like SHP, Burlingame, Los Gatos and Terra Nova -- losing to all four.
M-A is the No. 8 seed in Division I and will play at No. 1 Salinas (6-4) on Friday at 7 p.m.
Missing the playoffs were Menlo School and Palo Alto, both of which have been postseason regulars over the years. Paly missed the CCS playoffs for the first time since 2002.
2014 CCS FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
No. 8 Oak Grove (7-3) at No. 1 Sacred Heart Prep (10-0), Saturday, 1 p.m.
No. 5 Los Gatos (8-2) at No. 4 Serra (7-3), Saturday, 1 p.m.
No. 6 Valley Christian (8-2) vs. No. 3 Palma (9-1) at Rabobank Stadium in Salinas, Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Bellarmine (8-2) at No. 2 Milpitas (10-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Menlo-Atherton (3-7) at No. 1 Salinas (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Fremont (9-1) at No. 4 Piedmont Hills (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Silver Creek (8-2) at No. 3 San Benito (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Santa Teresa (5-5) at No. 2 Alvarez (7-3), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Mt. Pleasant (9-1) at No. 1 St. Francis (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Leland (5-5) at No. 4 Westmont (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Wilcox (6-4) at No. 3 Christopher (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Willow Glen (5-5) vs. No. 2 Archbishop Mitty (6-4) at Foothill College, Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Saratoga (5-5) at No. 1 Pioneer (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Monterey (8-2) at No. 4 St. Ignatius (5-5), Saturday, 1 p.m.
No. 6 Aragon (9-1) at No. 3 Burlingame (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Branham (10-0) at No. 2 Aptos (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Terra Nova (4-6) at No. 1 King's Academy (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Half Moon Bay (7-3) vs. No. 4 Carmel (7-3) at Pacific Grove, Saturday, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Live Oak (7-3) at No. 3 Monte Vista Christian (8-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
No. 7 San Lorenzo Valley (8-2) at No. 2 Pacific Grove (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.