The 2023 football season has already presented plenty of storylines in the CCL/ESCC through five weeks. Here are five of the most interesting numbers from around the megaconference.
Loyola likely kept the longest playoff streak in the CCL/ESCC alive with its 38-0 win over St. Patrick on Saturday. With five wins and their strength of schedule, the Ramblers all but assured themselves of a playoff berth.
The Ramblers have made every postseason since 2003. Loyola won three state championships and played in four more state title games during that span.
Mount Carmel has made the playoffs each season since 1986 with the expectation of 2016. The Caravan also likely secured a playoff berth with their win over Carmel on Friday.
While Loyola kept its playoff streak alive, the next three longest streaks are at risk of being snapped. Nazareth has made the playoffs each year since 2013, while Marist and St. Ignatius have been playoff teams each season since 2015. IC Catholic has made the postseason since 2015 and has already secured five wins.
The Roadrunners (1-4), RedHawks (1-4) and Wolfpack (2-3) will all need to go on run to keep their respective streaks alive.
Mount Carmel, Loyola and IC Catholic are three of the 24 teams in the megaconference who have a point differential of plus-100 or more. The Ramblers lead the way with a plus-141, the Knights have a plus-115 while the Caravan are at plus-100.
All three defending state champions are close to keeping up the offensive and defensive paces they set last season. Through five games this season, Loyola has averaged 37 points per game and allowed an average of 8.8, compared to 47.4 and 13.8, respectively, last season.
Mount Carmel has scored an average of 33.6 and given up an average of 13.6 compared to 40.8 and 5.4, respectively, last season. IC Catholic has scored an average of 35.8 and allowed an average of 12.8 compared to 48 and 10.4, respectively.
The three will test each other during the second half of the season. Loyola will travel to IC Catholic for Week 7 while Mount Carmel and the Ramblers will square off in Week 9.
The Blue and White divisions are the only two where all of their teams have winning records. The Ramblers, Caravan and Montini are all 5-0, St. Rita and St. Laurence hold 4-1 records while Brother Rice, Benet and Providence all sit at 3-2.
The last time two CCL/ESCC divisions qualified every team for the playoffs with winning records was 2019. All the teams in the Blue (Loyola, Mount Carmel, Marist, Brother Rice), Green (St. Rita, Niles Notre Dame, Montini, Providence) and White (Joliet Catholic, Marmion, Fenwick, St. Ignatius) ended the regular season with winning records.
The Red division is the lone division this season that doesn’t have a team with a winning record. Marian Catholic, De La Salle, DePaul Prep and Leo all have 2-3 records.
Carmel has competed at a different level under head coach Jason McKie the last two years. The Corsairs already have more wins in one-and-a-half seasons compared to how many it won from 2017 to 2019.
McKie has led Carmel to 11 wins between this season’s 4-1 record and last season’s 7-4 finish. The program went 7-20 from 2017 to 2019 and 12-25 from 2016 to 2019. Carmel finished the COVID-shortened Spring 2021 season with a 1-4 record.
The Corsairs have a plus-59 point differential this season and competed well into the second half against Mount Carmel on Friday before losing 37-16. Carmel sits atop the Purple division, a game ahead of St. Viator.
Both Montini and St. Laurence have set themselves up well to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2019. The Broncos already likely earned postseason qualification with a 5-0 record while the Vikings sit at 4-1.
Montini and St. Laurence have both flirted with making the last two postseasons. The Broncos started last season with a 3-2 record before losing their remaining four games while the Vikings started the last two seasons with 3-2 records before losing out in the regular season.
If both teams make the playoffs, it would break some of the longer playoffless streaks in the megaconference. Leo hasn’t been in the postseason the longest in the league, not competing since 2013, while DePaul Prep is second, not making it since 2015.