Every year there is an upset or two that makes for a Tight State Playoff Picture In The Southwest Prairie Conference and 2015-2016 is no exception.
And with Week Seven Results now in the books we have a clearer idea of who and who won't have an extended season.
Friday Night SPC Scores
Oswego H.S. 28, Plainfield East 7
Oswego East 48, Plainfield Central 21
Plainfield North 56, Romeoville 7
Plainfield South 34, Minooka 27
So lets get to the bad news first:
The Plainfield Central Wildcats (0-7, 0-5) are still winless (but not for the lack of trying) while the Romeoville Spartans (1-6, 1-4) and Plainfield East Bengals (2-5, 2-3) have now been officially eliminated from the playoff picture after all three teams suffered defeats Friday Night.
The Oswego Panthers (6-1, 5-0) are still the creme of the crop in the SPC and have secured this season's first playoff berth with a sound 28-7 win over the Plainfield East Bengals. The Plainfield North Tigers (5-2, 4-1) meanwhile, have managed to secure an "at-large" playoff bid with their 5th win and currently hold down 2nd place over District 202 Rivals Plainfield South (4-3, 4-1) even though they lost to the Cougars earlier in the season 6-3.
The Plainfield South Cougars, though, seem to be their own worst enemy the last few seasons by losing a conference game they shouldn't - and this year was no different as they lost in OT to the Oswego East Wolves by the same 6-3 score they had defeated North by the week before. It almost looked as if the Cougars had little in their Offensive Tank but have since exploded versus the Romeoville Spartans (a 55-14 Homecoming Win) and the Minooka Indians (4-3, 2-3) in a hard-fought 34-27 victory that literally went down to the final seconds of the game as the Indians QB was sacked for an 8 Yard Loss on 4th and Goal from the 1/2 yard line last night.
Last Night's Results have now set up one heck of a humdinger final two weeks of the season that is akin to a playoff round-robin tournament among Minooka, Oswego East, Plainfield North and Plainfield South.
So let's look through the rabbit-hole shall we?
Minooka's loss to Plainfield East last week coupled with this week's loss to Plainfield South have left Minooka stunned but they aren't out of playoff contention yet, but they must win out in order to make the playoffs given their 25 Opposition Points are considerably lower than what Plainfield North (33) and South (31) have. And that goes for the Oswego East Wolves (4-3, 2-3) as well because like Minooka, their 24 Opposition Points is much lower than Plainfield North and/or South.
Now I have learned long ago to never ever bet against the Minooka Indians, especially when their backs are up against the wall, but they are facing a Herculean Task versus the Oswego East Wolves (4-3, 2-3) and the Plainfield North Tigers (5-2, 4-1) the next two weeks and they have not seen much of a "home-field advantage" this season. As it stands I can see the Indians splitting the final two games and that just won't be quite good enough.
Same goes for the Plainfield North Tigers (5-2, 4-1) - but a 1-1 split puts them in with an automatic bid and even 2 losses don't necessarily knock them out depending upon which Playoff Classification Enrollment they are put in. So North will be at the Oswego Panthers (6-1, 5-0) this Friday and Home vs Minooka which will no doubt be contested in a Full House with Rabid Fans.
That leaves the Oswego East Wolves and Plainfield South Cougars to look at:
Now I can see the Oswego East Wolves (4-3, 2-3) either going 1-1 and/or 2-0 versus Minooka and Romeoville - Naturally the Minooka Game will be the toughest of the two but it will be contested in front of their Home Crowd and that's usually a good thing. They will need 2 Victories to make the State Playoffs and I have a feeling they may just make it for Head Coach Tyson LeBlanc.
Plainfield South, meanwhile, may have dug themselves a hole like the year before and the year before that.....those damn games that one shoulda or coulda won always seem to come back and bite ya when you are a 7A/8A Class Team. I mean let's face it the top two classes are always loaded for bear and one seems to need mega opposition points to get in. This year will be no different even though we seem to have more losing teams than usual.
But it really comes down to this beat last place Plainfield Central as you are supposed to this Friday and hopefully Oswego will put in some reserves in their final game to spare themselves any needless pre-playoff injuries and leave it all out on the field to go 2-0. And don't get me wrong here - Plainfield South can compete with Oswego THIS year if they don't make silly mistakes and Head Coach Bublitz gets a little creative to keep the Panthers off balance a bit.
So here goes: Oswego (already in), Plainfield North and Plainfield South will make the IHSA State Playoffs!
As will the Winner of Minooka vs Oswego East.
Tags: Football, High School Football, High School Sports, IHSA, IHSA State Playoffs, Minooka, Oswego, Oswego East, Plainfield Central, Plainfield East, Plainfield North, Plainfield South, Romeoville, Southwest Prairie Conference, SPC, Sports