Soucie: Week 7 playoff projection

Is your team in or out?

There is a strange amount of consistency running through the projection at this point, which likely means chaos is still yet to come.

But one thing is fairly clear: 4-5 teams with high playoff points are in much better position to make the playoff field than ever before. A whopping 14 of those teams are projected to make the field.

The list of teams that entered the projected field this week – either they had been in the projection before and departed for some reason or are entirely new to the draw – was just 12 teams. That’s the lowest number of the season to date, establishing that more and more teams are cementing their place and the instability is slowly starting to fade.

The bubbles between classes are still fascinating to look at. Wilmington continues to pop us as one of the largest teams in Class 2A, while Rochester gets closer and closer to being virtually assured a return to the Class 4A fray as one of the classes larger teams.

Prairie Ridge was an interesting addition to the Class 5A field as the largest member of that group. That classification continues to be one that has teams enter and leave on a week-to-week basis. This isn’t uncommon for the middle classifications, but still more than worthy of note.

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

New Teams in Class 8A Field

TeamReason
BartlettFifth place in the Upstate Eight really seems like it is up for grabs.
ConantRazor thin margins in the Mid-Suburban.
Plainfield NorthWas in 7A.

Class 7A

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

New Teams in Class 7A Field

TeamReason
PekinWas in 6A.

Class 6A

Class 6A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Von Steubenat(1) St. Ignatius
(9) Vernon Hillsat(8) Mather
(13) Rockford Eastat(4) Machesney Park Harlem
(12) Riverside-Brookfieldat(5) Deerfield
(15) Hampshireat(2) Cary-Grove
(10) Crystal Lake Centralat(7) Lake Forest
(14) Crystal Lake Southat(3) Wauconda
(11) Grayslake Centralat(6) Belvidere North
South Bracket
(16) Danvilleat(1) Lemont
(9) Blue Island Eisenhowerat(8) Rock Island
(13) Shepardat(4) Crete-Monee
(12) Kennedyat(5) East St. Louis
(15) Bremenat(2) Kenwood
(10) Normal Community Westat(7) Springfield
(14) Centennialat(3) Richards
(11) Glenwoodat(6) Washington

New Teams in Class 6A Field

TeamReason
HampshireTwo consecutive big wins in the Fox Valley.
Crystal Lake SouthWild race for potential last bid in the Fox Valley.

Class 6A North/South Map

Class 5A

Class 5A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) St. Patrickat(1) Amundsen
(9) Antiochat(8) Fenwick
(13) Noble/Bulls Prepat(4) Sterling
(12) Marmionat(5) Sycamore
(15) Paytonat(2) Goode
(10) Lakesat(7) Noble/Comer
(14) Nazarethat(3) Glenbard South
(11) Rockford Boylanat(6) Prairie Ridge
South Bracket
(16) Centraliaat(1) Mascoutah
(9) Peoriaat(8) Brooks
(13) Carbondaleat(4) Kankakee
(12) LaSalle-Peruat(5) Marion
(15) Highlandat(2) Mahomet-Seymour
(10) Metamoraat(7) Morton
(14) Dunlapat(3) Morris
(11) Morgan Parkat(6) Triad

New Teams in Class 5A Field

TeamReason
Morgan ParkMammoth win over Simeon gets it in the draw.
St. PatrickPath is murky, but has a bunch of playoff points.
Prairie RidgeWas in 6A.

Class 5A North/South Map

Class 4A

Class 4A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Evergreen Parkat(1) Joliet Catholic
(9) Dixonat(8) Wheaton St. Francis
(13) Chicago Sullivanat(4) Phillips
(12) Planoat(5) Stillman Valley
(15) Marengoat(2) Richmond-Burton
(10) Peoria Notre Dameat(7) Rochelle
(14) St. Laurenceat(3) Coal City
(11) Hyde Parkat(6) Wheaton Academy
South Bracket
(16) Effinghamat(1) Rochester
(9) Parisat(8) Mount Zion
(13) Cahokiaat(4) Murphysboro
(12) Columbiaat(5) Carterville
(15) Waterlooat(2) Breese Central
(10) Macombat(7) Freeburg
(14) Salemat(3) Sacred Heart Griffin
(11) Civic Memorialat(6) Quincy Notre Dame

New Teams in Class 4A Field

TeamReason
ColumbiaHard team to read, but has some quality wins.
EffinghamPivotal win last week, appears to be in good shape if four win teams do indeed reach field.
RochelleWas in 5A.

Class 4A North/South Map

Class 3A

Class 3A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Kingat(1) Kewanee
(9) Mendotaat(8) Reed-Custer
(13) Julianat(4) Clark
(12) Monmouthat(5) Princeton
(15) Peotoneat(2) Byron
(10) Carverat(7) Genoa-Kingston
(14) Winnebagoat(3) IC Catholic
(11) Lisleat(6) Durand-Pecatonica
South Bracket
(16) St. Joseph Ogdenat(1) Tolono Unity
(9) Paxtonat(8) Monticello
(13) Beardstownat(4) Williamsville
(12) Newtonat(5) Fairfield
(15) Harrisburgat(2) Mt. Carmel
(10) Piasa Southwesternat(7) Prairie Central
(14) Eurekaat(3) Benton
(11) Elmwoodat(6) Carlinville

New Teams in Class 3A Field

TeamReason
KingWin over Hyde Park makes bid more likely.
HarrisburgWas in 4A.
PaxtonBig win over previously undefeated Monticello.
WinnebagoStraight toss-up game with North Boone this week.

Class 3A North/South Map

Class 2A

Class 2A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Taylor Ridge Rockridgeat(1) Wilmington
(9) Erieat(8) Clifton Central
(13) Bishop McNamaraat(4) Farmington
(12) Momenceat(5) Knoxville
(15) Mendon Unityat(2) Tri-Valley
(10) Tremontat(7) North Lawndale
(14) El Pasoat(3) Bismarck-Henning
(11) Mercer Countyat(6) Deer Creek Mackinaw
South Bracket
(16) Red Budat(1) St. Teresa
(9) Westvilleat(8) Chester
(13) Arthurat(4) Johnston City
(12) North Macat(5) Maroa-Forsyth
(15) Floraat(2) Pana
(10) White Countyat(7) Nashville
(14) Shelbyvilleat(3) Breese Mater Dei
(11) Lawrencevilleat(6) Vandalia

New Teams in Class 2A Field

Team
Mendon UnityWestern Illinois Valley Conference has been really tough to parse.
NashvilleWas in 3A.

Class 2A North/South Map

Class 1A

Class 1A Playoff Projection
North Bracket
(16) Illini Westat(1) Lena-Winslow
(9) St. Bedeat(8) Forreston
(13) Galenaat(4) Camp Point Central
(12) Ridgeviewat(5) Ottawa Marquette
(15) Annawan-Wethersfieldat(2) Rushville
(10) Aurora Christianat(7) Iroquois West
(14) Princevilleat(3) Abingdon
(11) Hope Academyat(6) Fulton
South Bracket
(16) Tuscolaat(1) Carrollton
(9) Nokomisat(8) Winchester West Central
(13) Macon Meridianat(4) Salt Fork
(12) Greenfieldat(5) Arcola
(15) Warrensburg-Lathamat(2) Cumberland
(10) Brown Countyat(7) Sesser-Valier
(14) Villa Groveat(3) Moweaqua Central A&M
(11) Casey-Westfieldat(6) Athens

New Teams in Class 1A Field

TeamReason
None

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.