1. The Class 5A Upper bracket is loaded- no question that Class 5A before the pairings was shaping up to be a doozy, and the IHSA pairings didn't do anyone any favors playing in the upper bracket. How so? Four-time defending Class 5A state champion Montini Catholic (9-0) is the #1 seed and will have one of its toughest roads yet to get to DeKalb and a chance at its fifth straight state title. The Broncos open up against Morgan Park (5-4) then could face the likes of Marian Central Catholic (again) and say the potential winner of Joliet Catholic (8-1() and Kaneland (8-1). That's all before getting into the semifinal round where the likes of high seeds Sycamore (9-0) and Lincoln-Way West (8-1) could await.
EDGY Take: Four thoughts on IHSA playoff pairings
October 28, 2013, 5:00 pm
So what are some of my first thoughts and impressions once the IHSA released the 2013 State Football Playoff Pairings?
2. Defending Class 6A state champs Crete-Monee (8-1) landed one of the toughest first round draws of anyone. The Warriors won its conference and also a #1 seed in the South quad in Class 6A. So what did that get the Warriors? None other than #8 seed Providence Catholic (5-4), who might be the most battle tested 5-4 team in the state. Providence played 7A/8A sized teams all season long in the CCL Blue so moving down to Class 6A could be a big advantage for the Celtics. Also both the winner of the Providence at Crete-Monee game (1 P.M. Saturday) might want to keep its bags packed since the next closest opponent in that quad is the Normal/Bloomington area. The same quad also included the Quad Cities (Rock Island/Quincy) along with East St. Louis.
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3. Drops downs- Mount Carmel (8-1) is the defending Class 8A state champs but will play in Class 7A this year, not exactly a move favored by some Caravan faithful. Batavia was projected as a bubble team once again this playoff season. The Bulldogs ended up in Class 6A, and the drop down is huge for a team that has yet to win a state playoff game in 7A but who has also had a ton of success in 6A. Rockford Boylan (9-0) also made the cut in 6A from a projected 7A school, and the Titans are an instant contender in 6A. Downstate Edwardsville (9-0) also ended up in Class 7A even though the Tigers were projected all season in Class 8A.
4. Second Round fever anyone? Potential second round match-ups you ask? How about Stevenson at Glenbard North (again)? Or Bolingbrook and Marist? Homewood-Floosmoor and Naperville Central? In Class 7A how about Mount Carmel and St. Rita? That alone could be a state finals type of match up. In Class 5A, as mentioned besides Montini and Marian Central Catholic, how about JCA and Kaneland? Or another go around of Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin and Glenwood?