League title races are a hot topic at this point of the high school football season. But for a few leagues, that conversation is going to change next year.
Two new 12-team leagues will take shape for the 2012 season, moving teams in the Bay Shore Conference around based on geographic proximity. The leagues will then be broken into six-team divisions based on competitive equity.
There is still some shifting left to be done to make the transition work. First, both 12-team leagues would like automatic bids to the North Coast Section playoffs for the winner of each six-team division. NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon said Tuesday that the NCS Board of Managers will vote Oct. 24 on whether to award those extra automatic spots.
"If that passes, then we'll be giving them a second entry based on some parameters," Lemmon said. "We won't know what those parameters will be until the meeting on Monday. If it fails, I suppose there is still an opportunity to move forward on a different recommendation, but I don't know what that will be."
One possible parameter that could be considered is the addition of a 12th football-playing team to one of the new leagues. That would fill the void created by St. Joseph Notre Dame, which will be in one of the new leagues but does not play football.
The fate of the Bay Football League is also in question, because as it stands now, Salesian is scheduled to move to one of the 12-team leagues. That will leave the BFL with only five teams -- Valley Christian, Berean Christian, Emery, St. Elizabeth and California School for the Deaf.
It's possible one of the remaining BFL schools could fill the 12th spot in the larger league, but that would leave the remaining four BFL schools still looking for a new league. Lemmon said discussions on what to do with the BFL are ongoing, and the NCS Alignment and Classification Committee will likely discuss it at its meeting in late November.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW: The actions during Saturday's Hayward Area Athletic League showdown between Bishop O'Dowd and Tennyson left more than a few rankled, most notably Lancers coach Terry Smith.
There was pregame ugliness when O'Dowd received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting Tennyson players as they took the field. It continued with eight personal foul penalties being called on the Dragons.
With three minutes left and O'Dowd leading 42-13, the Dragons left starting quarterback Dominic Miroglio in and attempted three straight pass plays (two were incomplete; Miroglio was sacked on the third play). After Tennyson scored with 22 seconds left to make it 42-19, O'Dowd took it to the air again and completed a 42-yard pass and called a timeout. After an incompletion with 0.6 seconds left, the Dragons attempted a field goal that was off the mark.
"Those were just classless acts, and it's reflective of their leadership," said Smith, who directed his team not to shake hands with O'Dowd afterward.
Dragons coach Hardy Nickerson said Monday that the pregame incident was "something that went bad and it's something that we don't condone. It's not what we do here and not what we're about."
Regarding the personal fouls, Nickerson said: "That's not the kind of football that we teach. We do tell our kids to play hard, but it just got taken over the top."
He also said that given the opportunity, he would've done some things differently Saturday.
"Anytime you're in a coaching position, anything that happens, of course you feel responsible for it," he said. "The actions and the things that happened are embarrassing and of course, I'm sorry for it."
All-star honors: San Ramon Valley quarterback and Cal commit Zach Kline has been selected to participate in the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 5 in St. Petersburg, Fla. ... O'Dowd linebacker Hardy Nickerson Jr. was selected to play for the 2012 U.S. Under-19 National Team, assembled by USA Football. Nickerson, another Cal commit, will play against a World team in the International Bowl on Feb. 1 in Austin, Texas.
Staff writer Jimmy Durkin contributed to this notebook.