San Francisco Golden Gate has informed clubs in Competitive Region 1 that it will pull out of the DI club competition and instead concentrate on the Elite Cup as well as an upcoming match against Tonga.
It is expected that SFGG will complete their DI league season, which culminates this weekend with a game against the Sacramento Lions. But Southern California teams have been informed that SFGG will not participate in the playoffs.
This would, in a normal world, mean that 2nd-seed Old Puget Sound Beach would move up to #1. But an agreement between Northern California teams and OPSB before the season, one which allowed OPSB to play only six games while other teams played 10, 11 or 12, stated that OPSB could not finish higher than 2nd.
As a result, the Lions, which secured the #3 seed this weekend with a truncated 10-0 defeat of the Bay Barbarians, and which lost to OPSB 61-0, could well take the #1 seed. OPSB would be #2, the East Palo Alto Bulldogs (6-4 and possibly 7-4 by season's end) would take the #3 seed, and the East Palo Alto Razorbacks, currently 3-6, would move up to #4.
(The Razorbacks were unofficially behind Olympic Club until this weekend, when they beat O-Club 19-18. Had they lost to Olympic Club, we would have seen another bit of ugliness as O-Club were likely to be docked two extra wins for forfeiting twice earlier in the season.)
The reasons for SFGG pulling out are twofold: 1. It's getting expensive. Teams are still expected to make last-minute travel plans on amateur budgets, and SFGG was looking at an Elite Cup, DI, and DIII playoff schedule, and something had to give; and 2. SFGG has been saying all season they want a more elite schedule, even promoting the idea of a West Coast league. To that end they will be playing the Tongan National Team on Treasure Island June 1, as Tonga prepares to face Canada on June 8 and the USA on June 14.