Soucie: Week 3 playoff projection

I’d like to say Week 3 provided a little more clarity on things, but I’d also like to not openly lie either.

Twenty-two teams broke into the projection that were not in last week’s. The hardest thing to do remains sorting out the Chicago Public League.

It’s always a difficult piece of this process, but the number of games that have been forfeited in the league and the relatively late notice of if and when that happens is making it difficult to sort out the eight divisions. For example, two teams that hadn’t played any games to date, popped back onto the landscape this week, played each other, and consequently I have very little information on those teams other than the fact that one can beat the other and isn’t, for the time being, forfeiting any more games.

We also still had a healthy handful of four win-teams making the projected draw. The number dipped to nine this week, after what seemed to be an astronomical number of 15 the week before. The dip can be explained by what were considered mild upsets involving teams on the 4-5/5-4 bubble, but as the season develops we’re just as likely to have teams bumped off that bubble in the other direction. It usually all washes itself out and we end up with just enough five-win teams to fill the field naturally. I remain extremely skeptical that will happen this season. At minimum, I don’t see any way there’s not at least a few four-win at-large teams in this field when all is said and done.

Although it hadn’t been made official as I compiled this projection, East St. Louis has been moved up to the Class 6A field in adherence of its wishes to “play up.” It doesn’t seem like it would be much in terms of moving things around in the field. But East St. Louis’ decision could have a very interesting effect on where the bubble line breaks between 5A/6A. Kaneland, a team that has historically done well in the playoffs, is currently pushed down to Class 5A because of East St. Louis’ decision. Kankakee, a team currently ranked in the top 5 in the Class 6A poll, resides one slot above Kaneland just off the bubble, as a large Class 5A team.

Loyola also made a late election to “play up” from Class 7A to Class 8A. This moves Loyola into the projected No. 1 seed position in 8A.

Here’s a look at all eight classes with the final six weeks projected to make up the 256-team playoff field. Maps are provided for Class 1A through 6A to see where the north/south dividing line could break. Class 7A and Class 8A are not divided into geographic groups.

Class 8A

Class 8A Playoff Projection
(32) Stevensonat(1) Loyola
(17) Maristat(16) Bartlett
(25) O’Fallonat(8) Barrington
(24) Edwardsvilleat(9) Lockport
(29) Palatineat(4) South Elgin
(20) Minookaat(13) Hinsdale Central
(28) Taftat(5) Naperville Central
(21) Yorkat(12) Plainfield North
(31) Downers Grove Southat(2) Maine South
(18) Bolingbrookat(15) Homewood-Flossmoor
(26) Plainfield Southat(7) Lincoln-Way East
(23) Huntleyat(10) Oswego East
(30) Oswegoat(3) Glenbard West
(19) Oak Park-River Forestat(14) New Trier
(27) Rich Townshipat(6) Warren
(22) Glenbard Southat(11) Neuqua Valley

New Teams in Class 8A Field

TeamReason
Downers Grove SouthSlight shift in West Suburban rankings.
TaftIn one of the tougher CPL Divisions, but path is there.
LoyolaHas petitioned to “play up” to 8A.

Class 7A

Class 7A Playoff Projection
(32) Rolling Meadowsat(1) Batavia
(17) Molineat(16) Glenbard East
(25) Libertyvilleat(8) Mount Carmel
(24) Glenbard Northat(9) Brother Rice
(29) T.F. Southat(4) Normal Community
(20) Willowbrookat(13) St. Charles North
(28) Oak Lawn Communityat(5) Wheaton North
(21) Whitney Youngat(12) St. Rita
(31) Lincoln-Way Westat(2) Hononegah
(18) Prospectat(15) Lake Zurich
(26) Streamwoodat(7) Collinsville
(23) Downers Grove Northat(10) Pekin
(30) Highland Parkat(3) Hersey
(19) Thornwoodat(14) DeKalb
(27) Jacobsat(6) Buffalo Grove
(22) Plainfield Centralat(11) Wheaton Warrenville South

New Teams in Class 7A Field

TeamReason
ThornwoodKey win over Rich Township.
Oak Lawn CommunitySouth Suburban Conference mix is hard to read.
Rolling MeadowsStill a rough remaining schedule, but points are quite good.
JacobsSlight shift in Fox Valley rankings.
Glenbard EastWas in 8A.

Class 6A

Class 6A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Waucondaat(1) Cary-Grove
(9) Lakesat(8) Lake Forest
(13) Grayslake Centralat(4) Prairie Ridge
(12) Crystal Lake Centralat(5) Kenwood
(15) Machesney Park Harlemat(2) Amundsen
(10) Matherat(7) Vernon Hills
(14) St. Ignatiusat(3) Belvidere North
(11) Antiochat(6) Deerfield
South Bracket
(16) Danvilleat(1) Lemont
(9) Simeonat(8) Springfield
(13) East Moline Unitedat(4) Crete-Monee
(12) Blue Island Eisenhowerat(5) East St. Louis
(15) Champaign Centennialat(2) Richards
(10) Glenwoodat(7) Normal Community West
(14) Kennedyat(3) Washington
(11) Oak Forestat(6) Crete-Monee

New Teams in Class 6A Field

TeamReason
East St. LouisNow petitioning up to 6A.
Chicago KennedyYet another difficult CPL read.
Machesney Park HarlemWas in 7A.
Blue Island EisenhowerWas in 7A.

Class 6A North/South Map

Class 5A

Class 5A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Prosserat(1) Sycamore
(9) Rockford Boylanat(8) Marmion
(13) Nazarethat(4) Glenbard South
(12) Brooksat(5) Evergreen Park
(15) Carmelat(2) Goode
(10) Kanelandat(7) Fenwick
(14) Freeportat(3) Sterling
(11) Morgan Parkat(6) Payton
South Bracket
(16) Providenceat(1) Marion
(9) Waterlooat(8) Highland
(13) Triadat(4) Metamora
(12) LaSalle-Peruat(5) Mahomet-Seymour
(15) Geneseoat(2) Kankakee
(10) Hillcrestat(7) Peoria
(14) Mortonat(3) Mascoutah
(11) Centraliaat(6) Morris

New Teams in Class 5A Field

TeamReason
WaterlooMississippi Valley still a tough league to figure.
ProvidenceFenwick win a huge boost for prospects.
BrooksNot enough data right now to get a clear picture.
ProsserEven less data than Brooks.
KanelandWas in 6A.

Class 5A North/South Map

Class 4A

Class 4A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) De La Salleat(1) Joliet Catholic
(9) Marengoat(8) Dixon
(13) Chicago Sullivanat(4) Coal City
(12) Planoat(5) Phillips
(15) Johnsburgat(2) Hyde Park
(10) Stillman Valleyat(7) Agricultural Science
(14) Wheaton Academyat(3) Richmond-Burton
(11) Boganat(6) Wheaton St. Francis
South Bracket
(16) Effinghamat(1) Quincy Notre Dame
(9) Parisat(8) Murphysboro
(13) Cahokiaat(4) Rochester
(12) Peoria Notre Dameat(5) Sacred Heart Griffin
(15) Bethalto Civic Memorialat(2) Breese Central
(10) Salemat(7) Macomb
(14) Columbiaat(3) Carterville
(11) Freeburgat(6) Mount ZIon

New Teams in Class 4A Field

TeamReason
De La SalleWas in 5A.
Chicago SullivanCPL increasingly difficult to read.
Wheaton AcademyStill a tricky back half, but point situation good.
EffinghamProjected at four wins, but points are quite good.
BoganAnother complicated CPL scenario.
RochesterWas in 5A.

Class 4A North/South Map

Class 3A

Class 3A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Montiniat(1) Princeton
(9) Reed-Custerat(8) Kewanee
(13) Monmouthat(4) Durand-Pecatonica
(12) North Booneat(5) Clark
(15) Kingat(2) Genoa-Kingston
(10) Mendotaat(7) Julian
(14) Lisleat(3) Byron
(11) Carverat(6) Peotone
South Bracket
(16) Elmwoodat(1) Tolono Unity
(9) Greenvilleat(8) Williamsville
(13) Nashvilleat(4) Carlinville
(12) Eurekaat(5) Monticello
(15) Paxton-Buckley-Lodaat(2) Mt. Carmel
(10) Prairie Centralat(7) Newton
(14) Harrisburgat(3) Benton
(11) DuQuoinat(6) Fairfield

New Teams in Class 3A Field

TeamReason
MonmouthWeek 3 win over Morrison improved status.
HarrisburgWas in 4A.
Genoa-KingstonWas in 4A.
BentonWas in 4A.

Class 3A North/South Map

Class 2A

Class 2A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) St. Edwardat(1) Wilmington
(9) Sterling Newmanat(8) Tremont
(13) Orionat(4) Knoxville
(12) Bloomington CCat(5) IC Catholic
(15) Deer Creek-Mackinawat(2) Farmington
(10) North Lawndaleat(7) Clifton Central
(14) Bishop McNamaraat(3) Tri-Valley
(11) Momenceat(6) Rockridge
South Bracket
(16) White Countyat(1) Pana
(9) Floraat(8) Athens
(13) Warrensburg-Lathamat(4) Maroa-Forsyth
(12) Westvilleat(5) Breese Mater Dei
(15) Pittsfieldat(2) Bismarck-Henning
(10) Vandaliaat(7) Chester
(14) Red Budat(3) St. Teresa
(11) Pleasant Plainsat(6) Johnston City

New Teams in Class 2A Field

Team
PittsfieldSangamo is hard to figure in middle of pack.
Deer Creek-MackinawHeart of Illinois is deep league with frequent changes.
OrionThree Rivers stacking changed.
FarmingtonWas in 3A.
WilmingtonWas in 3A.

Class 2A North/South Map

Class 1A

Class 1A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) St. Bedeat(1) Lena-Winslow
(9) South Fultonat(8) Gibson City-Melvin Sibley
(13) Hope Academyat(4) Aurora Christian
(12) Annawan-Wethersfieldat(5) Ottawa Marquette
(15) Rabyat(2) Rushville
(10) Princevilleat(7) Forreston
(14) Galenaat(3) Abingdon
(11) Iroquois Westat(6) Fulton
South Bracket
(16) Cerro Gordoat(1) Cumberland
(9) Arcolaat(8) Casey-Westfield
(13) Villa Groveat(4) Moweaqua Central A&M
(12) Greenfieldat(5) Salt Fork
(15) Tuscolaat(2) Camp Point Central
(10) Triopiaat(7) Winchester West Central
(14) Nokomisat(3) Carrollton
(11) Sesser-Valierat(6) Brown County

New Teams in Class 1A Field

TeamReason
South FultonPrairieland Conference is a tough read.
PrincevilleUpset win over Annawan-Wethersfield lifts them.
RabyCPL shuffling.
Iroquois WestWas in Class 2A.

Class 1A North/South Map



Steve Soucie

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.