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.
Current area teams (Big 8, Badger North/South, Capitol North/South, Rock Valley) teams that have clinched a playoff spot and their projected divisions: Sun Prairie (1), Turner (4), Clinton (5).
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: Sun Prairie (5-0), D1
Eliminated: Madison East (0-5)*
Clinched With a Win: Middleton (4-1), Madison West (4-1)
Eliminated With a Loss: Beloit Memorial (1-4)*, Janesville Parker (1-4)*
Clinching Scenarios: Madison West plays host to rival Madison East on Friday night. East is 0-5, while West appears to be a major player in the Big 8 title race. If the Regents can keep the Purgolders winless, they'll clinch a return trip to the playoffs... Middleton is coming off of big wins in the three weeks since their loss to Sun Prairie, including a shutout victory over West and a three-score advantage over Verona. They'll play a reeling Janesville Parker squad this Friday night.
Elimination Scenarios: Janesville Parker needs to upset Middleton to stay alive to clinch a playoff spot, although in some years teams can get in with 4-5 records... Beloit Memorial is playing host to Janesville Craig, in a fairly important contest for both schools if they are hoping to keep those postseason hopes alive.
Projected Playoff Teams: Sun Prairie, Middleton, Madison West, Verona (and 1-2 more from below).
Bubble Playoff Teams: Madison Memorial, Madison La Follette
Still in the Hunt: Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker, Beloit Memorial
Badger North: 4 wins needed to clinch
Clinched With a Win: Waunakee (5-0, 3-0)
Eliminated With a Loss: Baraboo (0-5, 0-3), Sauk Prairie (1-4, 0-3)
Clinching Scenarios: Waunakee needs to take down Sauk Prairie to clinch a playoff spot.
Elimination Scenarios: Sauk Prairie will need to pull a massive upset to keep those postseason dreams alive. Baraboo's task is only easier on paper: they'll take on a very good DeForest team this week, as the Thunderbirds go for their first win. It should be noted that Reedsburg can only afford to lose one more game, but play Mount Horeb/Barneveld and Waunakee in back-to-back weeks, meaning the Beavers will need to win one of those games in order to stay in the hunt.
Projected Playoff Teams: Waunakee, Mount Horeb/Barneveld, DeForest (and 1-2 more from below).
Bubble Playoff Teams: Portage, Beaver Dam
Still in the Hunt: Reedsburg, Baraboo
Badger South: 4 wins needed to clinch
Clinched With a Win: Monona Grove (5-0, 3-0), Stoughton (5-0, 3-0)
Eliminated With a Loss: Edgewood (0-5, 0-3), Fort Atkinson (1-4, 0-3)
Clinching Scenarios: If Monona Grove can avenge last year's loss to defending conference champion Monroe, the Silver Eagles will return to the Division 2 field where they made a run all the way to Madison last year. In our Madison Taxi Game of the Week, Stoughton will need to earn a victory against Oregon, likely the best team they will have faced all season, to clinch a postseason opportunity.
Elimination Scenarios: The losing team of the Fort Atkinson and Edgewood game is eliminated from playoff contention. Watertown's date with Milton is important because the Goslings still have to face both Stoughton and Monona Grove this year--a loss this week means they'd need to upset one of those two teams in order to advance to the playoff tournament.
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
Clinched With a Win: None
Eliminated With a Loss: None
Clinching Scenarios: None exist at least until next week, when the winner of Lodi and Lakeside Lutheran will be one victory away from clinching a playoff spot.
Elimination Scenarios: None exist at least until next week, when the loser of Poynette and Columbus, as well as if Lake Mills falters this week, will have to win out to make the postseason.
Projected Playoff Teams: Lodi (and 2-3 of the remaining conference teams)
Capitol South: 2 wins needed for playoff eligibility, 3 wins needed to clinch
Clinched With a Win: None
Eligible With a Win: Belleville (4-1, 1-0), Cambridge (4-1, 1-0)
Eliminated With a Loss: None
Clinching Scenarios: None exist at least until next week, when Belleville could clinch a playoff spot with a win this week over Waterloo, and then one in week 7 over Cambridge.
Eligible Scenarios: Belleville can become playoff eligible by defeating Waterloo this week. Cambridge is playing a non-conference game against Darlington, and while the Redbirds are 0-5, they've gone to four straight state title games. The outcome of that game will not affect either team's playoff hopes.
Elimination Scenarios: None exist at least until next week, if Waterloo and New Glarus/Monticello pick up losses this week.
Projected Playoff Teams: Belleville, Cambridge (and 1-2 of the remaining conference teams)
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: Clinton (5-0), D5; Turner (5-0), D4
Eliminated: Whitewater (0-5)*
Clinched With a Win: Jefferson (4-1), East Troy (4-1)
Eliminated With a Loss: Brodhead/Juda (1-4)*, Edgerton (1-4)*, Big Foot (1-4)*
Clinching Scenarios: At least one more team is clinching a playoff spot this week from the Rock Valley, as the winner of Jefferson and East Troy will be on to the playoffs.
Elimination Scenarios: The losing team in the Brodhead/Juda vs Edgerton contest will have five losses; while that isn't automatic elimination, it's not a guarantee that a 4-5 record will get in some years. Big Foot needs a win against McFarland if they want to keep those playoff dreams alive one more week, after being picked as one of the top teams in the Rock Valley in the preseason.
Projected Playoff Teams: Clinton, Jefferson, Turner, East Troy (and 1-2 more from below)
Bubble Playoff Teams: Evansville/Albany, Brodhead/Juda
Still in the Hunt: McFarland, Big Foot, Edgerton
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.
What about other southern Wisconsin schools?