2006 7A Playoff Central
Welcome to Playoff Central. IHSFW.com gives you an in depth look at how the playoffs may take shape, by putting you right in the middle of our information control room. We break down who we think is the best bet to win it all and who are the most likely challengers. We also give you a list of the dark horse teams, or sleepers. Those teams that are overlooked throughout the year, but may sneak up o you in the playoffs or those pesky 6-3 & 5-4 teams that don't know when to quit. You can also get the latest info on what games you shouldn't miss each round in "The Big Game" & who the best teams in the state are regardless of class "The Big 30".
2006 Title Game Date & Time; Nov. 25th 7 pm
Favorites to win the title; Libertyville (9-0),East
St. Louis (Sr.)(9-0) &Mt.
Libertyville (9-0) - The Wildcats haven't been pounding away at opposing teams, they've averaged just 13 point margin victory so far this season, but after going undefeated against 6 playoff teams, 3 of which are 8A schools, the Cats have the best chance of repeating their 2004 Championship run.
East St. Louis (Sr.) (9-0) - The last southern Illinois team and really only southern Illinois team to ever bring home the state title in the larger of the playoff classes is the Flyers, but with the last title coming in 1991, many of the students weren't born or can't remember the glory days of ESL in the 1980's. WIth speed to rival a bullet train these Flyers could be on the fast track to Champaign.
Mt. Prospect (Prospect) (8-1) - Last year's defending 7A Champs are back and given the Knights ability to win the title even when they're are being counted out, puts them in good standings to have a shot at title number 4 in 5 years.
Rockford (Boylan)(8-1) - Boylan could be on to something that a lot of top teams seemed to be focusing on and with good results. DEFENSE. Yes the long lost art of stopping the other teams from scoring. Giving up a mere 6 points a game, the Titans are among the tops in the state. With Junior LB Pat Appino & senior Doug Bartels filling the gaps, look for this team to have a good shot at making the quarter or semifinals.
Plainfield (South)(9-0) - What can you say about the Cougars. Only that in their first 4 years they were 5-31. Now with second year head coach Mike Briscoe, they've gone 9-0 and are the best bet at a title for an area that is use to having two or three teams deep in the playoffs. The Cougars could benefit from their unknown status in the playoffs. With few coaches having faced them in previous season at 9-0 and in their first ever playoffs, we were almost tempted to place them in the Sleeper team category, but that wouldn't have been fitting for a team we've got ranked in the BIG 30 as well as predicting to make the quarter or semifinals.
Edwardsville (H.S.) (7-2) - The Tigers have made it to the finals or semifinals 3 out of the last 5 seasons. Some of those were expected, some were a surprise. Last year the Tigers made it to the semis before losing to Mt. Carmel. With a large group of junior returning they looked poised to go undefeated or at least suffer just one losing sin a close game to East St. Louis. Well they did lose that game 21-17, but only after falling to Alton 17-14 the week before. They rest of the season they won their games soundly, but also only faced one other playoff team. If the Tigers can get past a 2nd round match up with conference foe East St. Louis don't be surprise to see this team in the title game.
(Carmel) (7-2) - It's hard to say that the East Suburban Conference is having an off year when 6 of their 10 teams make the playoffs, but after going 10-11 versus non conference teams St. Viator at 8-1 had the best record & Carmel at 7-2 looks to be the toughest team as interconference games took a big toll on the Corsairs, including a 40-28 whipping by Nazareth Academy (3-6). Fullback Jim Potempa and the rest of the Carmel team will need to work extra hard to advance in a 7A bracket that has some of the states top teams.