The California community college season has looked a lot like NCAA Division I football this year as two teams, one in each region, have put together impressive 10-0 seasons but yet will not be allowed to compete for the state title.
Because of the three-tiered systems employed by the SCFA and NCFA, 10-0 Riverside (ranked tied for No. 1 in Southern California) and 10-0 American River (ranked No. 3 in Northern California), who are both from their region's middle tier, were not placed in their region's playoff systems Sunday.
Former Ventura High and Ventura College linebacker Jerry Haflich is the head coach at American River.
"We're having a great time," said Haflich, who was inducted in the Ventura College Athletic Hall of Fame earlier this year. "I'm really proud of my guys. They've played their fannies."
Since giving defending state champion and top-ranked Mount San Antonio its only loss of the season, Riverside fans have called for their team to be considered for the national title, which is determined by polls.
Despite the Boise State-like situation, Haflich isn't calling for his team to be considered for playoff spot.
"Are we ready to compete for the state title?" asked Haflich. "I don't know. We haven't
been tested week in and week out like the guys in (the top tier)."
Instead, American River has applied to be promoted to the NCFA's top tier.
"If you want to play for the state title you have to jump into the conferences that are there," said Haflich. "We're preparing to take the next step and go from there. That'll take all the question marks away."