OCC shifts to new conference

Orange Coast College will change conference alignments in football for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, trading its current six-team alignment for a seven-team grouping that features teams that have traditionally had more success.

The Pirates, who competed in the Central Division East Conference the last two seasons, will shift to the National Division Southern Conference. They will be joined by former East Conference members Golden West and Santa Ana, as well as Orange County rivals Saddleback and Fullerton, and San Diego County representatives Grossmont and Palomar.

OCC had competed in conference play the last two seasons against national powerhouse Riverside, Southwestern of Chula Vista and College of the Desert. OCC lost to Riverside and College of the Desert. It defeated Southwestern, 34-31, in overtime.

"We're back in with the Orange County schools, which is fine," OCC Coach Mike Taylor said. "That's the way it should be."

The National Division, which also features the Central and Northern conferences, is comprised of the top 21 schools in the 37-school Southern California Football Assn.

OCC's current conference includes opponents that were a combined 35-27 last season. That's a .565 winning percentage. This conference includes three teams — Grossmont, Saddleback and Golden West — that defeated the Pirates in 2011.

OCC, coming off a 4-6 season, had conference foes who posted a combined 26-19 mark last fall, a winning percentage of .578.

OCC has posted all-time winning records against Grossmont (14-7-1) and Santa Ana (31-30). The Pirates trail their all-time series with Palomar (10-16), Saddleback (12-23), Fullerton (21-34-2) and Golden West (20-22-2).

OCC Coach Mike Taylor also said that sophomore center Alec Davis, a two-time all-conference performer who was considered the best offensive lineman on a team that featured the state's top rusher, has committed to continue his career at Louisiana Tech University.

Davis will join former OCC tailback Ray Holley, who was granted an additional year of eligibility after suffering an injury in 2011, Taylor said.


Twitter: @BarryFaulkner5

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