Here’s a look at the playoff picture for the IHSA postseason football scene heading into Friday’s Week 9 games.
Who’s in: Rockridge (8-0), Geneseo (7-1), Sterling Newman (7-1), Annawan/Wethersfield (7-1), Stark County (7-1), Erie/Prophetstown (6-2) and Kewanee (6-2). All of these area teams have clinched a playoff berth with six wins.
Who’s eligible: Hall (5-3), River Valley (5-3), St. Bede (5-3). Both Hall (38) and River Valley (39) would have enough playoff points (combined number of opponents win) to get in with five wins. Both are favored on Friday — Hall plays Princeton (0-8), River Valley has Ridgewood (2-6). Of the three, St. Bede needs to secure their playoff bid with their sixth win over Sherrard (3-5) on Friday. It is only guaranteed 34 playoff points, more depending who wins Friday.
Who needs a win: Orion (4-4), Fulton (4-4) and Sterling (4-4). Orion would be a shoe-in with a win and 39-plus playoff points, but Fulton (35) and Sterling (32-38) could be left out even with their fifth wins.
Who’s out: Amboy/LaMoille (2-6), Bureau Valley (3-5), Dixon (2-6), L-P (1-7), Mendota (3-5), Ottawa (3-5), Princeton (0-8), Sherrard (3-5) and Streator (2-6).
• Note: The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show will return to Comcast SportsNet Chicago, airing live from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The show, which will reveal the brackets and first round match-ups of all 256 playoff qualifiers across eight classes, can also be viewed via live interactive stream online at www.nfhsnetwork.com/channels/illinois/ ]IHSA.tv.