There are 77 programs in Illinois that have played at least two games this season and have not incurred a loss as of yet.
That list is going to take some serious damage this week.
While there are only three games statewide where the two combatants have 4-0 records, there are several others where undefeated four-win teams are challenging undefeated three-win or two-win teams, and on top of that several others on the list have matchups with really strong one-loss squads.
Let’s take a look at a few of the big ones.
Hinsdale Central (4-0) at Glenbard West (2-0): Glenbard West didn’t play in Week 3 or 4 but the expectation is these two schools will have the chance to clash.
The West Suburban Silver Conference championship is usually heavily influenced by the winner of the contest. In this year’s chaos the winner might take even more satisfaction from being the one with the conference bragging rights.
Phillips (2-0) at Loyola (4-0): Both teams had to scramble to find a game when the initial opponents on their schedules fell through.
It almost seems fitting that the two ended up together because when potential opponents were looking for foes this week most were probably more inclined to sit on their hands and wait for someone else to come calling.
Regardless of the outcome, the game is probably more valuable to Phillips as a measuring stick to see how good the Wildcasts are. Phillips doesn’t get to play Simeon in this shortened season, so the unofficial CPL Super Bowl is on hiatus hopefully to return in the fall.
This is just another hurdle for Loyola in an already loaded schedule. The Ramblers close the season with a road trip to Marist next week.
New Trier (4-0) at Maine South (4-0): For years this has been the key matchup in the Central Suburban South, but New Trier hasn’t been quite at the Maine South level for a few campaigns.
But quietly it appears New Trier is coming back to prominence and might make this year’s installment a tough one. The winner gets the bid to the crossover title game next week, so there’s more on the line than just bragging rights.
Maroa-Forsyth (4-0) at Williamsville (4-0): It isn’t the least bit surprising to see these two teams with undefeated marks heading into this clash as they’ve seemingly vied for the Sangamo Conference crown for years. It’s a fierce rivalry for sure, but with the two squads going their separate ways for postseason (Williamsville is a 3A school, Maroa-Forsyth is a 2A school) it isn’t an end-all, be-all game in normal years. But with no postseason to play for this year, both will likely be treating this similar to a state title game that they often find themselves competing for.
Breese Mater Dei (4-0) at Mt. Carmel (4-0): A clash of Southern Illinois small school titans here. On paper, it looks like Breese Mater Dei might be a slight favorite to win.
But the Knights will have to deal with the fact that the game will be played in Mt. Carmel’s home venue affectionately named The Snake Pit.
Other games to watch: Annawan-Wethersfield at Mercer County; Benton at Nashville; Freeport Aquin at Forreston; Galena at Lena-Winslow; Hampshire at Huntley; Lake Forest at Stevenson; Princeton at Sterling Newman Central Catholic; Rockford Boylan at Machesney Park Harlem; Wilmington at Peotone; Yorkville at Oswego.