It can be called the Group of Death and, unlike many situations when that title is hyperbole, it's very appropriate for the Division 4 bracket of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Three teams are 10-0, another three are 9-1 and six come in at 8-2. Looking at records, it's the most difficult bracket in the history of the section.
That's 42 years of football.
There are 11 Stanislaus District teams among the 16, and five will host on Friday when all the divisions will kick off.
Already projected to be one of the most difficult brackets in the section, Division 4 took a big step up in talent Saturday when it was revealed 10-0 Placer would also be playing.
While the section emphasizes wins when selecting its 76 playoff teams 40 slots go to league champs and runners-up, but at-large bids are given solely on total wins it later splits schools in six divisions based on enrollment.
Placer, and an athletic Center team (8-2) that fell 15-14 to Placer Friday, are the largest schools in D4. They were bubble teams, bouncing between D4 and D3 in most of the late playoff projections.
If Orestimba, Sonora or Colfax had won Friday, it would have sent them to the playoffs and sent Placer to D3 with larger schools like Oakdale. Had two of those three teams won, Center would be D3, too.
The arrival of Placer has its greatest impact on Ripon, the 10-0 Trans-Valley League winner that expected to earn the No. 2 seed. That would have kept it in the bracket opposite Central Catholic possibly the hottest team in the field.
Ripon fell to the third seed behind Placer and Argonaut (10-0). Opponents' wins dictated the order, as Placer's foes won 59, Argonaut's 54 and Ripon's 52. The Indians fell victim to a soft non-league schedule: Only one of its four foes won more than three games.
Because of it, Ripon likely is going to host Central Catholic in a quarterfinal. That's a tough draw for a program celebrating its first perfect regular season in three decades.
While Placer's perceived as the bully in D4, it would have faced fewer challenges had it played in a larger division. It opens with defending section champ Hilmar, has 2010 state champ Escalon or Calaveras in the quarters and then likely Los Banos in a semifinal.
It was a difficult task for the section seeding committee. It divided the top two from the TVL, MLL, Western Athletic and Pioneer Valley leagues in two groups: Placer, No. 5 Los Banos, No. 8 Escalon and No. 9 Calaveras going to the top bracket, and Argonaut, Ripon, Central Catholic and Center in the bottom bracket.
There are a couple oddballs with No. 4 Capital Christian and No. 7 Dixon, both 9-1, but neither has a significant win and both are underdogs Friday despite facing low seeds.
Dixon has played one team over .500, and lost that game to Capital Christian, whose best foe was Amador, seeded No. 14 in the division; Amador won 31-12.
Center drew a break by getting Dixon in its opener, but the most fortunate team in D4 is Modesto Christian. It's also a team many coaches fear because MC can be mercurial: It upset Hilmar 32-21, lost 52-0 to Ripon and beat Riverbank 63-0 in a three-game stretch.
The Crusaders visit Capital Christian, knowing a victory likely puts them in Los Banos the next week for a potentially explosive quarterfinal.
With so much talent in one division, there are going to be some first-round showdowns.
The best of that bunch will be Calaveras at Escalon, 8-2 teams that met for the section title in 2010. Escalon won on a Hail Mary catch at midfield and a last-minute field goal.
DIVISION 5: When Ripon Christian upset Le Grand Friday, it gave the top seed here to Waterford (8-2). The three share the SL title, but Waterford is designated No. 1 due to tiebreakers. Head-to-head broke the tie between RC and Le Grand, and being the No. 3 team meant the Bulldogs (8-2) are seeded behind Golden Sierra (7-3). Overall wins is typically the criteria for seeding.
The committee cited Golden Sierra's outright title as sufficient cause to disregard the higher win total of Le Grand.
DIVISION 6: Ripon Christian (8-2) is the No. 4 seed, despite having won a title in the most of the D6 leagues. It gets RC a home opener with Elliot Christian, and a trip to No. 1 Foresthill (9-1) if the Knights win. No. 2 Brookside Christian (8-2) is the best team in the bottom half of the field.