Team-by-Team Football Playoff Projections: Week 9

Going conference-by-conference, here is what is at stake for the playoffs this week for each team.

Big 8

Sun Prairie (8-0) - vs La Follette (4-4): Sun Prairie, with a win, is a near-lock as a #1 seed. In years past, the D1 playoffs have the Big 8 schools all bunched up together, and with as many as seven teams in the Big 8 making it into the playoffs, there's not much else the WIAA can do in moving another undefeated conference team over to balance the brackets. If Sun Prairie loses, they still likely have the #1 seed.

Projection: Division 1, #1 Seed

Middleton (7-1) - at Madison East (0-8): Since their loss to Sun Prairie in Week 2, when Middleton was still trying to find ways to replace five injured starters, they've gone 6-0. If they can avoid the upset bid, Middleton will enter the postseason at 8-1, on a seven-game winning streak, and almost certainly a #2 or #3 seed depending on which southeastern Wisconsin D1 school joins the six or seven Big 8 playoff teams in this year's field.

Projection: Division 1, #2-#3 Seed

Madison West (6-2) - at Janesville Parker (1-7): After an impressive rally to beat a likely playoff team in Janesville Craig last week, the Regents are back at Monterey for the regular-season finale. A 7-2 record sure sounds like a lock for a home playoff game, but it depends on how the Division 1 bracket shakes out. At the moment, 15 southeastern Wisconsin teams are slated to make it in, while seven Big 8 schools are projected in. That means that the northwestern schools could be rotated into the "Big 8" pod, with Janesville Craig getting punted over to one of the two southeastern Wisconsin brackets. In that case, West should still have a home game, but it's a little up in the air.

Projection: Division 1, #3-#5 Seed

Verona (5-3) - vs Janesville Craig (4-4): There's plenty of pressure on the Wildcats, with the loss to West possibly being the difference between a home playoff game and starting Level 1 on the road, perhaps at West. With a win, they could end up in the mix for a home playoff game depending on the caliber of school (or schools) slotting in with the Big 8. With a loss, Verona is on the road.

Projection: Division 1, #4-#5 Seed

Janesville Craig (4-4) - at Verona (5-3): If Janesville Craig can win Friday, they will avoid being the lowest seed in their region. That means they won't have to face the likes of Sun Prairie to begin the playoffs. It also guarantees the Cougars get a playoff spot, regardless of what happens in the rest of the state. With a loss, Craig is still in, although as a low seed, barring anything crazy. About a dozen teams are projected to get in with sub-.500 records.

Projection: Division 1, #6-#8 Seed

Madison La Follette (4-4) - at Sun Prairie (8-0): The Lancers have won only one of their last five games, a comeback victory over winless Madison East last Friday. However, they have taken down a likely playoff team in Janesville Craig, so that win is what gets them in this year. A massive upset by the Lancers would kick them up the seed lines, perhaps as far as #5, but a loss puts them in a mix of two, maybe three teams with the same record, and then it's a matter of picking the best 4-5 squad out of that group.

Projection: Division 1, #6-#8 Seed

Madison Memorial (3-5) - at Beloit Memorial (2-6): It never seemed likely but the Spartans are likely in to the playoffs with a win. Schools around the cut lines across Wisconsin will be very interested in this outcome. Beloit has been a tougher out than in years past.

Projection: Division 1, #6-#8 Seed (if win) (Miss Playoffs With Loss)

Beloit Memorial (2-6), Janesville Parker (1-7), and Madison East (0-8) will miss the playoffs.

Badger North

Waunakee (8-0, 6-0) - vs Beaver Dam (4-4, 4-2): Even in a top-heavy D2 field, Waunakee should be a #1 seed. That would change if they lost, but should the Warriors win, the only contender for that top seed would be Monona Grove, if the Silver Eagles end up in the D2 field (they're close to the D2/D3 cut line). With virtually even schedules, the tables will be pounding in any seeding meeting with Waunakee up against Monona Grove for the top line.

Projected: Division 2, #1-#2 Seed

Mount Horeb/Barneveld (7-1, 5-1) - at Sauk Prairie (2-6, 1-5): The Vikings will find themselves in a deep D3 field, which gets even more ridiculous if you end up moving Monona Grove and Stoughton down, which means Menomonie, Menasha, and Greendale also will become part of the D3 scrum. So much of the seeding for MH/B depends on who else in the area is in their region. Monona Grove would likely be the team capable of knocking the Vikings off of the #1 seed line, but at the moment the Silver Eagles are a D2 team.

Projection: Division 3, #1-#2 Seed

DeForest (5-3, 4-2) - vs Portage (2-6, 2-4): Both teams have plenty to jostle for here, although the stakes are probably higher for the Norskies. DeForest will be a part of a top-heavy D2 field, but the difference between a game above .500 and third place in the Badger North is pretty significant--perhaps the difference between a home playoff game to open the postseason, or ending up on the road against a conference champion.

Projection: Division 2, #3-#7 Seed

Beaver Dam (4-4. 4-2) - at Waunakee (8-0, 6-0): With their playoff ticket punched, Beaver Dam doesn't have to worry about a loss here to keep them out. However, an upset win moves them all the way up, perhaps to a home playoff game. A loss may mean seeing Waunakee in back-to-back weeks, or getting kicked up to the Fox Valley region and facing one of several solid programs.

Projection: Division 2, #7-#8 Seed

Reedsburg (2-6, 2-4) - at Baraboo and Portage (2-6, 2-4) - at DeForest: If either or both teams win, they're a longshot to get into the playoff field. They'll root for a win and them some chaos, as 3-4 may be enough to get some teams in, but not all, and their overall winning percentages hurt their chances. Both teams would be in the middle of the D3 pack for enrollment.

Projection: Miss Playoffs

Sauk Priaire (2-6, 1-5) and Baraboo (0-8, 0-6) will miss the playoffs.

Badger South

Monona Grove (8-0, 6-0) - vs Watertown (4-4, 3-3): Monona Grove can win out the regular season and still not be a #1 seed, depending on which region they get placed. If they're in the same group as Waunakee, it will mean a rematch of last year's Level 2 game in Level 3. There's plenty on the table at that seeding meeting if Monona Grove is in D2. Now, in the chance that Monona Grove is pushed to D3, they'll be in a region likely with Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Stoughton, and Jefferson--all three teams that have only one loss to date.

Projection: Division 2, #1-#2 Seed... if Division 3, #1 Seed

Stoughton (7-1, 5-1) - at Fort Atkinson (3-5, 2-4): For Stoughton, they'll need to rebound from a long game against Monona Grove and wrap up a favorable seed by eliminating Fort Atkinson from playoff contention. The Vikings are a little dinged up heading to the postseason, but it's only their fourth all-time playoff appearance (third in the last four years). In Division 2, they'll be stuck with Waunakee and Monona Grove, meaning they would probably see one of those teams in Level 2. If, however, Stoughton falls to Division 3 (if the season ended today, that's where they would be), the Vikings would have an argument for a top line if the other teams in their region were Mount Horeb/Barneveld and Jefferson.

Projection: if Division 2: #3 Seed... if Division 3: #1-#2 Seed

Oregon (5-3, 4-2) - at Monroe (4-4, 3-3): With a playoff spot wrapped up, this is an important game for seeding purposes. Division 2 has plenty of conference champions, but that second tier is a little more open for interpretation. Oregon already owns a win over a Division 2 playoff team in the crossovers (beating DeForest). Getting six wins and a third-place finish in the Badger South, with only a three-point loss to Stoughton keeping them away from a second-place finish in the conference, could be enough for a home playoff game. However, D-2 will be one of the divisions most open to splitting up an area conference.

Projection: Division 2, #4-#6 Seed

Watertown (4-4, 3-3) - at Monona Grove (8-0, 6-0): If the Goslings can win a shootout with the Silver Eagles, it will clinch a playoff spot and likely move them into a more favorable Level 1 contest. If Monona Grove gets the win, it could be the same two teams to kick off the playoffs in one week, should Watertown make it in. The Goslings would be 3-4 in conference play, but having a non-conference win in their pocket could help in tiebreakers with other 3-4 teams. has them in at the moment, but they are just above the final tiebreaker to get in.

Projection: Division 2, #7-#8 Seed

Monroe (4-4, 3-3) - vs Oregon (5-3, 4-2): Believe it or not, the defending conference champions have a chance to get in, and as of the last projections, they are in even with a loss, although, like Watertown, it would be by a thread. Monroe's ground assault will get a big test with the talented front seven of the Panthers, who have seen some of the top backs in the area already this season. This might be the best game of the week for the larger schools in South-Central Wisconsin.

Projection: Division 3, #7-8 Seed

Fort Atkinson (3-5, 2-4) - vs Stoughton (7-1, 5-1): An upset win here for the Blackhawks will push them into a favorable spot for playoff tiebreakers, although there's plenty that needs to happen statewide that will impact whether or not a certain 3-4 conference team will get in. Fort Atkinson would be at the upper end of D3 for the playoffs if they did manage to get in, so they'd be one of the lowest seeds in their region.

Projection: Division 3, #7-#8 Seed (With Win) (Miss Playoffs With Loss)

Milton (3-5, 1-5) and Edgewood (0-8, 0-6) will miss the playoffs.

Capitol North

Lodi (8-0, 4-0) - at Poynette (2-6, 0-4): Lodi sure seems to be a lock to be a #1 seed in D4 (with a win here). The D4 field in the area will be fairly deep, with Lake Mills, Turner, and possibly even East Troy, plus the winner of Luther Prep-Lakeside Lutheran and a trio of South Central Conference schools, and Platteville. Depending on who wins and loses statewide Friday, Clinton may even bump up to D4. That last bit is the only scenario in which Lodi is not a clear-cut #1 going into the postseason.

Projection: Division 4, #1 Seed

Lake Mills (7-1, 3-1) - at Columbus (2-6, 1-3): If Lodi is the clear #1, Lake Mills will almost certainly slide in as the #2 in the region, and no worse than #3. That would set up a big Level 3 rematch between Lodi and Lake Mills potentially. The L-Cats are in the same scenario as Lodi, where the region they're in will likely be with each other with the teams mentioned above.

Projection: Division 4, #2-#3 Seed

Luther Prep (5-3, 2-2) at Lakeside Lutheran (5-3, 2-2): Winner-take-all! The winning team moves on to the D4 playoffs, the losing team will be watching from home despite an overall winning record. Both teams have lost to some of the best schools in the state, so it is the definition of a mid- to high-level playoff game. The winning team will likely be seeded relatively the same; Luther Prep's loss is to a D6, but that D6 is St. Mary's Springs, which could beat plenty of schools double its size.

Projection: Division 4, #3-#6 Seed (for either)

Columbus (2-6, 1-3) and Poynette (2-6, 0-4) will miss the playoffs.

Capitol South

Cambridge (6-2, 3-0) - at New Glarus/Monticello (5-3, 2-1): Cambridge has put their non-conference losses behind them (the most recent a two-point loss to Darlington) to rip off a pair of wins, highlighted by a comeback victory over Belleville. Now, the Blue Jays will have to take out defending Capitol South champion New Glarus/Monticello on the road in order to solidify their positioning. A loss could be very costly seeding-wise, perhaps a tumble all the way to a road playoff game in Level 1, but a win could secure home field for at least one round, so there's plenty at stake for Cambridge beyond an outright conference title.

Projection: Division 6, #2-#6 Seed (#2-#4 for win, #4-#6 for loss)

New Glarus/Monticello (5-3, 2-1) - vs Cambridge (6-2, 3-0): Not only would a win clinch a playoff spot and a share of a conference championship, but it would give the Glarner Knights a possible home game. The southwestern part of the state is loaded in D5 however, especially if Clinton stays in the grouping. Teams like Lancaster, Prairie du Chien, Arcadia, and Westby could lie in wait, while Clinton is a likely #1 seed after winning a conference that is heavy on D3 and D4 schools. If NG/M loses, they're going to see one of those teams on the road in Level 1.

Projection: Division 5, #4-#8 Seed (#4-#6 for win, #6-#8 for loss)

Belleville (5-3, 2-1) - vs Marshall (2-6, 0-3): Belleville's sort of sliding to the finish line here, but with a win they could be in line for a share of the conference title if New Glarus/Monticello gets a win over Cambridge. Belleville's record is inflated by an early schedule against teams that haven't done well this year, so their seeding may be low regardless of the outcome. There is a difference in backing into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak, however, and winning to end up in a tie for second place in the conference, which could move them to a more favorable match-up.

Projection: Division 6: #5-#8 Seed... Division 5: #5-#8 Seed (#7-#8 Seed for loss in either division)

Rock Valley

Clinton (8-0) - vs Whitewater (1-7): Clinton will almost assuredly be one of the top seeds in Division 5, or even Division 4 if they end up being bumped up a couple of spots. As a small school in a division heavy on D3 and D4 squads, what they did the past two years so far has been incredible. The plausible scenario in which they move down a spot is if they get to Division 4 and are in the same region as Lodi.

Projection: Division 5 or Division 4: #1-#2 Seed

Jefferson (7-1) - vs Edgerton (2-6): If the Eagles get by Edgerton, they'll head into a crowded D3 field with an 8-1 record. Last year, an 8-1 Rock Valley team got a road game to start, and that could happen again whether Jefferson is set with southwestern Wisconsin teams or southeastern Wisconsin teams. The Rock Valley doesn't get much love from the seeding meetings or AP rankings.

Projection: Division 3: #3-#5 Seed

Turner (6-2) - vs McFarland (2-6): Turner has bounced back this season, on their way to a solid regular-season finish. Now the seeding meetings await, and unfortunately, the Rock Valley is light on D4 playoff teams, so they'll be on an island trying to argue for a home playoff game. With the top end of the area's D4 teams pretty much a lock for the top couple of spots, it's anyone's guess where Turner will wind up in the seeding, win or lose.

Projection: Division 4: #4-#8 Seed

Evansville/Albany (5-3) - at Big Foot (3-5): On a five-game winning streak, the Blue Devils have been tearing through the Rock Valley. After this one final test, it seems likely that they will start the playoffs on the road, given how deep D3 projects to be in the area. Plenty also will depend on the actual cut lines, because if schools like Stoughton, Monona Grove, and others end up in D3, it pushes Evansville/Albany down the seeding. The Blue Devils went 8-1 last year and ended up a #5 seed. Hard to see how they get better than that with two additional losses this year.

Projection: Division 3: #5-#8 Seed

East Troy (4-4) - at Brodhead/Juda (2-6): East Troy meanwhile has lost four in a row, and whether or not they get a win in the final week of the regular season, they appear headed for a tough Level 1 road game. They are a few spots up from the D4 cut line, but it doesn't seem likely they'll drop below it.

Projection: Division 3: #7-#8 Seed

Big Foot (3-5) - vs Evansville/Albany (5-3): The playoffs begin this week for the Chiefs. If they win, they're in (most likely), and if they lose, they are out. Big Foot would slot in as a top seed's opening-round opponent.

Projection: Division 4: #7-#8 Seed (With Win) (Miss Playoffs With Loss)

Brodhead/Juda (2-6), McFarland (2-6), Edgerton (2-6), and Whitewater (1-7) will miss the playoffs.

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