Soucie: Week 5 playoff projection

Is your team in or out?

It was moving week for a number of schools in regards to playoff projection.

Some of the more substantial upsets (Kewanee, St. Ignatius) led to massive seed switches, which changed the landscape of some brackets.

As always, one of the more interesting watches is where the break line between classes sits. Wilmington keeps bouncing back and forth between 2A and 3A either as the largest Class 2A school or the smallest Class 3A school, while Rochester is doing the same between 4A and 5A.

In fact, there are lots of interesting teams hovering around the break points in nearly every class. It certainly merits a hard watch as we head down the stretch.

Twenty-one teams were added to the field this week either as newcomers or returners from previous projections. Many of the 21 are from the Chicago Public League, where the only thing that seems to be consistent is that each week brings more chaos.

The number of 4-5 teams projected to make the field dropped to six this week. I’m still very confident, however, that at least some teams will make the field as four-win, at-large teams. As long as the number holds at around 10 teams, the majority of the teams that earn bids as 4-5 teams will likely be teams from larger classifications.

This projection does include IC Catholic’s Monday declaration that it will “play up” to Class 3A. IC Catholic’s enrollment number would have likely placed it in the field as a small Class 2A school, with a remote chance of the Knights landing in the Class 1A as a larger 1A school.

Here’s a look at all eight classes with the final four 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) Plainfield Southat(1) Loyola
(17) Maristat(16) Taft
(25) New Trierat(8) Warren
(24) Naperville Northat(9) Lockport
(29) Downers Grove Southat(4) Neuqua Valley
(20) O’Fallonat(13) Bolingbrook
(28) East Auroraat(5) Oswego East
(21) Bartlettat(12) Plainfield North
(31) Edwardsvilleat(2) South Elgin
(18) Naperville Centralat(15) York
(26) Barringtonat(7) Maine South
(23) Oswegoat(10) Glenbrook South
(30) Huntleyat(3) Glenbard West
(19) Homewood-Flossmoorat(14) Hinsdale Central
(27) Evanstonat(6) Lincoln-Way East
(22) Rich Townshipat(11) Palatine

New Teams in Class 8A Field

EvanstonWin over New Trier pivotal in putting it on track.
Naperville NorthJust taking care of business in DuPage Valley.

Class 7A

Class 7A Playoff Projection
(32) Lincoln-Way Westat(1) Batavia
(17) Collinsvilleat(16) Moline
(25) Downers Grove Northat(8) Plainfield North
(24) Willowbrookat(9) Glenbard North
(29) Blue Island Eisenhowerat(4) Normal Community
(20) Jacobsat(13) Glenbard East
(28) Libertyvilleat(5) Wheaton North
(21) Pekinat(12) Prospect
(31) Rolling Meadowsat(2) Hersey
(18) Mt. Carmelat(15) Buffalo Grove
(26) Shepardat(7) Brother Rice
(23) Thornwoodat(10) T.F. South
(30) Lake Zurichat(3) Hononegah
(19) Genevaat(14) Hoffman Estates
(27) Reavisat(6) Plainfield Central
(22) Whitney Youngat(11) St. Rita

New Teams in Class 7A Field

Blue Island EisenhowerWas in 6A.
PekinWas in 6A.
Lake ZurichWas in 6A.
ShepardHas a chance to get on a roll in South Suburban play.

Class 6A

Class 6A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Amundsenat(1) St. Ignatius
(9) Von Steubenat(8) Antioch
(13) Grayslake Centralat(4) Belvidere North
(12) Machesney Park Harlemat(5) Prairie Ridge
(15) Rockford Eastat(2) Cary-Grove
(10) Matherat(7) Lake Forest
(14) Vernon Hillsat(3) Wauconda
(11) Crystal Lake Centralat(6) Deerfield
South Bracket
(16) Danvilleat(1) Lemont
(9) Rock Islandat(8) Simeon
(13) Bremenat(4) Crete-Monee
(12) Riverside-Brookfieldat(5) East St. Louis
(15) East Moline Unitedat(2) Richards
(10) Glenwoodat(7) Springfield
(14) Kennedyat(3) Kenwood
(11) Oak Forestat(6) Normal West

New Teams in Class 6A Field

AmundsenHasn’t played its tougher games as of yet.
MatherWin over Hyde Park in Week 4 helped status.
Von SteubenCPL Windy City is so tricky to figure.
Rockford EastThere’s a real jumble in the middle of the NIC-10.

Class 6A North/South Map

Class 5A

Class 5A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Hillcrestat(1) Sycamore
(9) Kanelandat(8) Fenwick
(13) Nazarethat(4) Sterling
(12) Steinmetzat(5) Rockford Boylan
(15) Providenceat(2) Goode
(10) Lakesat(7) Noble/Comer
(14) Evergreen Parkat(3) Glenbard South
(11) Marmionat(6) Brooks
South Bracket
(16) Highlandat(1) Mascoutah
(9) Dunlapat(8) Peoria
(13) Mortonat(4) Morris
(12) Carbondaleat(5) Kankakee
(15) Waterlooat(2) Metamora
(10) Centraliaat(7) Triad
(14) Lincolnat(3) Mahomet-Seymour
(11) LaSalle-Peruat(6) Marion

New Teams in Class 5A Field

CarbondaleForfeit win puts it in much better position.
Noble/ComerContinues to pick up toss-up victories.
SteinmetzSeveral CPL divisions are very difficult to figure out.
LincolnMiddle of the pack in Apollo is tough to decipher.

Class 5A North/South Map

Class 4A

Class 4A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Peoria Notre Dameat(1) Joliet Catholic
(9) Wheaton Academyat(8) Stillman Valley
(13) Marengoat(4) Genoa-Kingston
(12) Planoat(5) RIchmond-Burton
(15) St. Laurenceat(2) Chicago Sullivan
(10) Hyde Parkat(7) Phillips
(14) Dixonat(3) Wheaton St. Francis
(11) Macombat(6) Coal City
South Bracket
(16) Massac Countyat(1) Rochester
(9) Olney East Richlandat(8) Freeburg
(13) Columbiaat(4) Sacred Heart Griffin
(12) Cahokiaat(5) Mount Zion
(15) Salemat(2) Breese Central
(10) Civic Memorialat(7) Quincy Notre Dame
(14) Parisat(3) Carterville
(11) Harrisburgat(6) Murphysboro

New Teams in Class 4A Field

ColumbiaTricky schedule, but there’s a path to five.
Massac CountyOdd schedule start still makes them a tough read.
Olney East RichlandReally difficult to figure in the middle of the Little Illini.

Class 4A North/South Map

Class 3A

Class 3A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Kingat(1) Kewanee
(9) Mendotaat(8) Julian
(13) North Booneat(4) Princeton
(12) Carverat(5) IC Catholic
(15) Lisleat(2) Byron
(10) Monmouthat(7) Reed-Custer
(14) Catalyst/Mariaat(3) Clark
(11) Peotoneat(6) Durand-Pecatonica
South Bracket
(16) Elmwoodat(1) Tolono Unity
(9) Eurekaat(8) Prairie Central
(13) Newtonat(4) Williamsville
(12) Piasa Southwesternat(5) Monticello
(15) Paxton-Buckley-Lodaat(2) Mt. Carmel
(10) DuQuoinat(7) Carlinville
(14) Greenvilleat(3) Benton
(11) Beardstownat(6) Fairfield

New Teams in Class 3A Field

MonmouthContinues to strengthen position in Three Rivers.
IC CatholicDeclared intent to “play up” on Monday.

Class 3A North/South Map

Class 2A

Class 2A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Bishop McNamaraat(1) Wilmington
(9) Erieat(8) North Lawndale
(13) Mercer Countyat(4) Bismarck-Henning
(12) Deer Creek-Mackinawat(5) Clifton Central
(15) Rockridgeat(2) Tri-Valley
(10) Momenceat(7) Tremont
(14) Newman Central Catholicat(3) Farmington
(11) Bloomington Central Catholicat(6) Knoxville
South Bracket
(16) Red Budat(1) Pana
(9) White Countyat(8) Shelbyville
(13) North Macat(4) Johnston City
(12) Westvilleat(5) Maroa-Forsyth
(15) Floraat(2) St. Teresa
(10) Nashvilleat(7) Chester
(14) Arthurat(3) Breese Mater Dei
(11) Lawrencevilleat(6) Vandalia

New Teams in Class 2A Field

Mercer CountyEarly forfeit loss complicates projection.
ArthurStill has some work to do.
Deer Creek-MackinawHeart of Illinois crossovers are seemingly random.
Red BudCahokia Conference might not produce second qualifier.
WilmingtonWas in 3A.
North MacSangamo is a difficult read in the middle.
NashvilleWas in 3A.

Class 2A North/South Map

Class 1A

Class 1A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) South Fultonat(1) Lena-Winslow
(9) Annawan-Wethersfieldat(8) Gibson City-Melvin Sibley
(13) Gibson City-Melvin Sibleyat(4) Ottawa Marquette
(12) Hope Academyat(5) Raby
(15) Princevilleat(2) Abingdon
(10) Iroquois Westat(7) Forreston
(14) Galenaat(3) Rushville
(11) Aurora Christianat(6) Fulton
South Bracket
(16) Villa Groveat(1) Salt Fork
(9) Sesser-Valierat(8) Athens
(13) Casey-Westfieldat(4) Camp Point Central
(12) Greenfieldat(5) Moweaqua Central A&M
(15) Warrensburg-Lathamat(2) Carrollton
(10) Winchester West Centralat(7) Arcola
(14) Tuscolaat(3) Cumberland
(11) Nokomisat(6) Brown County

New Teams in Class 1A Field

South FultonPrairieland Conference is a tough read.
PrincevilleUpset win over Annawan-Wethersfield lifts it.

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.