By Scott Taylor | @Taylor_Sports
It is hard to imagine that we are in the second half of the high school football season, but we are. A few teams have been eliminated from playoff contention and others are headed that way at 1-4. Here is the scoop on teams still in serious playoff contention.
Maine South (3-2): The Hawks have rolled their past two opponents after the brutal start to the schedule. They should win easily this weekend before finishing with three teams with winning records. Book them in the playoffs at 7-2. (Playoff chance 99.9%)
Niles West (4-1): The Wolves have returned to relevance this year after a couple down years and are a win away from being playoff eligible. Winless Niles North is still on the schedule, so making the playoffs appears likely, but it is a rivalry game. (Playoff chance 80%)
Benet (4-1): The Redwings have reeled off four straight wins and with their next two opponents 1-9, a six-game winning streak appears likely. They have a great chance at the ESCC title. (Playoff chance 99.9%)
Notre Dame (4-1): The Dons’ only loss of the year was to Benet and they have a three-game winning streak. They also have a chance at winning the ESCC on a year where the powers aren’t as strong as they have been. 3-1 or 4-0 appears like a likely finish. (Playoff chance 99.9%)
Lisle (3-2): The Lions suffered a disappointing loss to Peotone last week and now there is little room for error with power Wilmington up next. Still, picking up two more wins appears like a pretty good shot. (Playoff chance 70%).
Joliet West (3-2): The Tigers have been very competitive after the season opener and are in good shape after a shutout win over Plainfield East. With two opponents a combined 1-9, getting to at least five wins looks very good, with a chance for more. (Playoff chance 85%)
Minooka (3-2): The Indians don’t have the forgiving schedule that West has with a game against unbeaten Oswego East still ahead. They will beed to take down either West or Plainfield South to appear likely to gain a playoff berth. (Playoff chance 60%)
Plainfield East (2-3): The Bengals let one get away against Joliet West and now need to win three of four with a road trip to unbeaten Oswego East still ahead. That means beating Plainfield North and South at home, as well as winning at Romeoville. This young team appears a year away (Playoff chance 15%)
Plainfield North (3-2): The Tigers have blown away three teams and suffered two losses to the unbeaten Oswegos. That has left four winnable games and they should get at least three, but will need all four to try to get that elusive home playoff game (Playoff chance 95%)
Plainfield South (3-2): The Cougars are the biggest wild card of remaining teams with no likely wins or losses on the schedule. They do face unbeaten Oswego at home, but they can win that game with their defense. The rest are on the road and Plainfield East Friday is a must win. (Playoff chance 50%)
Bolingbrook (2-3): The Raiders face four teams with winning records, including Homewood-Flossmoor to end the year. Last year they beat H-F to make the playoffs, but they don’t want it to be a must win again. That means they have to win at 4-1 Lockport this week and against 4-1 Lincoln-Way Central next week. The long playoff streak is in some trouble. (Playoff chance 35%)
Lockport (4-1): The Porters have winless Stagg on their schedule, so the long playoff drought appears over. But their other three games are far from gimmies, so they will look to pick up some more wins for playoff seeding. (Playoff chance 98%)
Downers Grove South (2-3): The Mustangs’ win over Hinsdale South shows they have potential. All games are winnable with an expected win over Proviso East. The other three are toss ups and they will need to win two of them. This is a coin flip. (Playoff chance 51%)