Six was the magic number Saturday, as in six wins was enough to send Davis, Buhach Colony and Pitman into the Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs.
They benefited from the section's new win-based selection system — at-large bids, based on wins, were issued for the first time — and will open the playoffs with 73 other teams Friday night. The old system issued bids by league, regardless of record. That explains why 8-2 Manteca was denied last season, while 2-8 Foothill advanced.
The "poster child" for change, Manteca (7-3) was one of 16 teams picked in Division 3. Valley Oak League rivals Sierra (9-1) and Oakdale (9-1) were picked, too, as was Patterson (6-4).
The Stanislaus District will send 25 teams into seven divisions — D4 is split into two parts — as part of the largest football postseason in the section's 67-year history. After picking teams, the section divided them by enrollment before seeding the divisions.
With just eight at-large bids for large schools divisions, it looked like a few of six-win teams would be left out. Though teams with seven or more wins knew they were going to the playoffs, they did not find until Saturday night who they'll play and where.
Modesto (7-3) was hoping a Modesto Metro Conference title would be worth a home game, but instead visits Central California Conference champ Los Banos (7-3).
Buhach Colony feared its 48-47 loss to Los Banos might have ended its season, but the Thunder got the final seed in the 16-team D2 bracket. That means a trip to top-seeded St. Mary's, 10-0 and ranked No. 3 in all of Northern California.
Enochs (4-6) is one of two teams with losing records to advance — D5 Lindhurst (4-6) is the other — and is a No. 16 seed in D1 after receiving one of the MMC's two automatic berths for finishing second. It will visit No. 1 Tracy (10-0).