The Road To Madison
Each week, we will take a look at the area games and check out the playoff scenarios at play for each team. Projected divisions are based on the cutoff lines from last year based on enrollment.
Projected playoff teams are based largely based on current record and quality of opponents faced.
Big 8: 5 wins needed to clinch
*4 wins sometimes is enough for a playoff spot if not enough .500 teams qualify for the playoffs
Clinched With a Win: Sun Prairie (4-0)
Eliminated With a Loss: Madison East (0-4)*
Clinching Scenarios: Sun Prairie (4-0) meets Beloit Memorial (1-3) this week in Beloit. The Purple Knights ended one of the state's three longest conference losing streaks with a victory over Madison East last week, and have been competitive in their other three games as well. If the Cardinals can get a win here, they will lock up their 14th straight playoff appearance and the 27th in school history... two games pit 3-1 squads in the Big 8, which means it's a separation Friday. The winners between Verona/Middleton and La Follette/West will have four victories, which is enough some years to get into the playoff field. Verona still has to face Sun Prairie in week 8, while Middleton will have only one game against a team that currently has a winning record the rest of the way. La Follette still has to play all of Verona, Middleton, and Sun Prairie, so there is some urgency for the Lancers to wrap up a playoff spot before the schedule gets meatier.
Elimination Scenarios: Madison East (0-4) wouldn't be totally eliminated with a loss, but they would have to run the table to even have a shot at the postseason... the team that drops the Battle for Monterey between Craig and Parker will have four losses, as would Beloit Memorial if they lose to Sun Prairie. That leaves no margin for error the rest of the way for any playoff hopes.
Projected Playoff Teams: Sun Prairie, Middleton, Madison West, Verona (and 1-2 more from below).
Bubble Playoff Teams: Madison La Follette
Still in the Hunt: Madison Memorial, Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker, Beloit Memorial
Badger North: 4 wins needed to clinch
Clinched With a Win: None
Eliminated With a Loss: None
Clinching Scenarios: The winner of Waunakee (2-0) and Portage (2-0) only needs one more victory in the final four weeks to clinch a postseason berth.
Elimination Scenarios: For Baraboo (0-2) and Sauk Prairie (0-2), they can only lose one of their remaining five contests, so a loss this week would eliminate any margin for error. Four losses eliminates Badger Conference teams from contention for the playoffs.
Projected Playoff Teams: Waunakee, Mount Horeb/Barneveld (and 1-3 more from below).
Bubble Playoff Teams: DeForest, Reedsburg, Portage, Beaver Dam
Still in the Hunt: Baraboo, Sauk Prairie
Badger South: 4 wins needed to clinch
Clinched With a Win: None
Eliminated With a Loss: None
Clinching Scenarios: Monona Grove (2-0) and Stoughton (2-0), with wins, can move to within one more victory of clinching a playoff spot.
Elimination Scenarios: As detailed above, if Edgewood (0-2) and Fort Atkinson (0-2 and facing Monona Grove this week) lose this week, they can't lose another game the rest of the regular season, or they'll miss the playoffs.
Projected Playoff Teams: Monona Grove, Stoughton (and 1-3 more from below)
Bubble Playoff Teams: Milton, Oregon, Watertown, Monroe
Still in the Hunt: Fort Atkinson, Edgewood
Capitol North: 3 wins needed to clinch
Capitol South: 2 wins needed for playoff eligibility, 3 wins needed to clinch
*Capitol Conference play begins this week
Plenty of attention will be paid to Lodi (4-0 overall) against Lake Mills (4-0 overall) in the conference opener. Both teams are poised for deep playoff runs, and this will be the best team either will see before we get to Level 1. Belleville and New Glarus/Monticello will be a very interesting game in the Capitol South. NG/M (2-2 overall) went 4-0 in conference play last year while Belleville (3-1 overall) finished with a 5-4 overall record, but only 1-3 in the conference, losing what was essentially a play-in game to Marshall in week 9 last year.
(More detailed breakdowns to come next week, as Capitol South teams can potentially become playoff eligible with a second conference win)
Rock Valley: 5 wins needed to clinch
*4 wins sometimes is enough for a playoff spot if not enough .500 or above teams qualify for the playoffs
Clinched With a Win: Clinton (4-0), Jefferson (4-0), Turner (4-0)
Eliminated With a Loss: Brodhead/Juda (0-4)*, Whitewater (0-4)*
Clinching Scenarios: Our first playoff team in the greater Madison area will be known after the finish of Clinton and Jefferson: the winning team will have five wins and a clinched postseason spot. Another Rock Valley team could clinch Friday night as well, if Turner can defeat Big Foot (1-3). The Chiefs have had a rough go of it against some of the conference's best squads as of late, and was a team ranked earlier in the season, so it's no cakewalk for Turner to earn a playoff spot for only the second time since 1992.
Elimination Scenarios: Whitewater and Brodhead/Juda wouldn't lose all hope of a playoff spot, since 4-5 teams are the first ones in if there's not enough qualified teams for the postseason. However, a loss in their respective games means that they'd have to win all remaining four contests to advance this year, and for Brodhead/Juda, a quarter-century playoff streak is now in serious jeopardy.
Projected Playoff Teams: Clinton, Jefferson, Turner, East Troy (and 1-2 more from below)
Bubble Playoff Teams: McFarland, Big Foot, Evansville/Albany
Still in the Hunt: Edgerton, Brodhead/Juda
Teams are drawn from a pool of "North" and "South" schools for the Jamboree (in its final year). Only two area teams can qualify for the Jamboree due to enrollment size: Oakfield and Abundant Life/St. Ambrose, both of whom are expected to be selected for the Jamboree. Wisconsin Heights has too large of an enrollment for Jamboree participation, but will be eligible for participation in the 8-player football playoffs next year.