Soucie: Here’s what the 2021 spring playoffs could have looked like

There will be no playoffs this spring season. Wonder how they might have looked if we did? Using the playoff formulas with some slight adjustments Steve Soucie dusted off his projection machine.

The final weekend of the regular season was odd for a number of reasons.

For me, the strangest was not trying to scrounge up the last missing scores of the weekend to put a final playoff projection in place.

Despite not having to do that, it couldn’t keep me from constantly wondering what the field might have looked like if we were advancing to the postseason.

Since we didn’t have the typical consistency we have with a normally scheduled year, some modifications have to be made to the system.

First, all games that were canceled due to COVID-19 related reasons were counted as no contests. Teams weren’t awarded forfeit victories unless it was made known that the reasons for not playing were of a non-COVID related purpose.

Second, to qualify for one of the 256 projected-playoff places you must have played a minimum of three games.

Then, schools that elected to move up were moved up to their previously requested classes. Then, teams that faced the success formula were moved up a classification if they qualified for the field.

After establishing the field of 256, teams were seeded in order of victories amassed. Six win teams were seeded at the top of each classification then separated by playoff points. If two 6-0 teams were tied, a coin flip broke the seeds.

After placing the 6-0 teams, the five win teams were placed in the draw. In this case, winning percentage was the first deciding factor, followed by playoff points. All of the 5-0′s were placed first, then the 5-1′s.

The same protocol was followed with four-win, three-win and some two-win teams. All 2-1′s made the draw, some 2-2′s were removed via playoff-point tiebreaker.

Here are each of the eight classes with a state map with blue dots indicating north bracket and red dots indicating south bracket teams. There is no color designation for Class 7A and Class 8A who play in 1 to 32 brackets.

Beneath the maps, the bracket order is provided for the first round with seeds indicated.

Class 8A

Class8AOpening Round
(32) Waubonsie Valleyat(1) Loyola
(17) Minookaat(16) Bolingbrook
(25) Chicago Taftat(8) Bartlett
(24) Plainfield Southat(9) Oswego
(29) Joliet Westat(4) South Elgin
(20) Lockportat(13) Neuqua Valley
(28) Evanstonat(5) Hinsdale Central
(21) Elginat(12) Naperville Central
(31) Homewood-Flossmoorat(2) Lincoln-Way East
(18) Fremdat(15) Marist
(26) Downers Grove Southat(7) Huntley
(23) O’Fallonat(10) Maine South
(30) Naperville Northat(3) Barrington
(19) Palatineat(14) York
(27) Oak Park-River Forestat(6) Warren
(22) Edwardsvilleat(11) New Trier

Class 7A

Class7AOpening Round
(32) McHenryat(1) Machesney Park Harlem
(17) Rockford Eastat(16) T.F. South
(25) Bradley-Bourbonnaisat(8) St. Charles North
(24) Grantat(9) Chicago Mount Carmel
(29) Glenbard Westat(4) Lincoln-Way West
(20) Hononegahat(13) Batavia
(28) Herseyat(5) Streamwood
(21) Plainfield Northat(12) Lincoln-Way Central
(31) Jacobsat(2) Wheaton North
(18) Chicago Whitney Youngat(15) Blue Island Eisenhower
(26) Glenbard Northat(7) Willowbrook
(23) Hoffman Estatesat(10) Brother Rice
(30) Benetat(3) Prospect
(19) Chicago Phillipsat(14) Wheaton Warrenville South
(27) Plainfield Centralat(6) Buffalo Grove
(22) Lake Zurichat(11) Libertyville

Class 6A

Class6AOpening Round
North Bracket
(16) Crystal Lake Centralat(1) Antioch
(9) Grayslake Northat(8) Kaneland
(13) Chicago Von Steubenat(4) Deerfield
(12) Grayslake Centralat(5) Wauconda
(15) Prairie Ridgeat(2) Lake Forest
(10) Chicago Simeonat(7) Hampshire
(14) Hinsdale Southat(3) Vernon Hills
(11) Chicago Kennedyat(6) Cary-Grove
South Bracket
(16) Thorntonat(1) Crete-Monee
(9) Rock Islandat(8) Yorkville
(13) Champaign Centennialat(4) Peoria
(12) Normal Community Westat(5) Dunlap
(15) Oak Lawn Richardsat(2) Washington
(10) East Moline Unitedat(7) Providence
(14) Springfieldat(3) Shepard
(11) Lemontat(6) Chatham Glenwood

Class 5A

Class5AOpening Round
North Bracket
(16) Chicago Brooksat(1) Joliet Catholic
(9) Woodstockat(8) Glenbard South
(13) Chicago Noble Street/Bulls Prepat(4) Sterling
(12) Fenwickat(5) Hillcrest
(15) Freeportat(2) Sycamore
(10) Rockford Boylanat(7) Chicago Goode
(14) Montiniat(3) St. Rita
(11) Chicago Amundsenat(6) Chicago Morgan Park
South Bracketat
(16) Mortonat(1) Sacred Heart Griffin
(9) Kankakeeat(8) Cahokia
(13) Highlandat(4) Jacksonville
(12) Morrisat(5) East St. Louis
(15) Lanphierat(2) Marion
(10) Centraliaat(7) Mascoutah
(14) Mahomet-Seymourat(3) LaSalle-Peru
(11) Metamoraat(6) Triad

Class 4A

Class4AOpening Round
North Bracket
(16) Chicago Urban-Prep Bronzevilleat(1) Wheaton St. Francis
(9) Cantonat(8) IC Catholic
(13) Aurora Central Catholicat(4) Wheaton Academy
(12) Geneseoat(5) Coal City
(15) Chicago Kingat(2) Richmond-Burton
(10) Stillman Valleyat(7) Genoa-Kingston
(14) Chicago Hyde Parkat(3) St. Viator
(11) Peoria Notre Dameat(6) Marengo
South Bracket
(16) Bethalto Civic Memorialat(1) Effingham
(9) Charlestonat(8) Freeburg
(13) Salemat(4) Columbia
(12) Cartervilleat(5) Breese Central
(15) Herrinat(2) Rochester
(10) Stanford Olympiaat(7) Waterloo
(14) Murphysboroat(3) Paris
(11) Macombat(6) Mount Zion

Class 3A

Class3AOpening Round
North Bracket
(16) Kewaneeat(1) Princeton
(9) Sherrardat(8) Eureka
(13) Chicago Clarkat(4) Farmington
(12) Peotoneat(5) Prairie Central
(15) Rock Island Allemanat(2) Wilmington
(10) Bishop McNamaraat(7) Paxton
(14) Byronat(3) Poplar Grove North Boone
(11) Lisleat(6) Durand-Pecatonica
South Bracket
(16) New Berlinat(1) Williamsville
(9) Newtonat(8) Piasa Southwestern
(13) Vandaliaat(4) Fairfield
(12) North Macat(5) Tolono Unity
(15) Pleasant Plainsat(2) Mt. Carmel
(10) Breese Mater Deiat(7) Benton
(14) Quincy Notre Dameat(3) Monticello
(11) Carlinvilleat(6) Robinson

Class 2A

Class2AOpening Round
North Bracket
(16) Illini Westat(1) Clifton Central
(9) Mercer Countyat(8) Watseka
(13) Tri-Valleyat(4) Chicago Christian
(12) Sterling Newman Central Catholicat(5) Fieldcrest
(15) Rockford Lutheranat(2) Rockridge
(10) Rushvilleat(7) Momence
(14) Knoxvilleat(3) Bismarck-Henning
(11) Tremontat(6) St. Edward
South Bracket
(16) Sesser-Valierat(1) Johnston City
(9) Gillespieat(8) Tuscola
(13) Red Budat(4) Maroa-Forsyth
(12) Christopherat(5) Nashville
(15) Villa Groveat(2) St. Teresa
(10) Arthurat(7) Pana
(14) Eldoradoat(3) Nokomis
(11) Oakwoodat(6) Chester

Class 1A

Class1AOpening Round
North Bracket
(16) Stocktonat(1) Freeport Aquin
(9) Ottawa Marquetteat(8) Milledgeville
(13) Abingdonat(4) Galena
(12) LeRoyat(5) Peru St. Bede
(15) Aurora Christianat(2) Annawan-Wethersfield
(10) Cambridge-Ridgewoodat(7) Fulton
(14) Forrestonat(3) Princeville
(11) Hope Academyat(6) Lena-Winslow
South Bracket
(16) Dupoat(1) Moweaqua Central A&M
(9) Casey-Westfieldat(8) Camp Point Central
(13) Athensat(4) Arcola
(12) Warrensburg-Lathamat(5) Winchester West Central
(15) Red Hillat(2) Greenfield
(10) Carrolltonat(7) Brown County
(14) Mendon Unityat(3) Cumberland
(11) Salt Forkat(6) Triopia

Steve Soucie

Steve Soucie has been the Sports Editor at the Joliet Herald News since August of 2018. Prior to that, Soucie worked at the Kankakee Daily Journal and for Pro Football Weekly.