2018 High School Football Playoff Picture: Week 8

posted by Jimmie Kaska - 

With only two weeks left in the season, conference title races are heating up, but so are the battles for one of the 224 playoff spots available across the state of Wisconsin. This week, we add WisSports.net's projected teams in to the playoff field to our list of Week 8 playoff-clinching scenarios for every area team and conference.

Each week leading up to the games in the final half of the regular season in high school football, we'll take a look at area teams that can clinch a playoff spot, become playoff-eligible, or risk elimination from the postseason field.

In the past two years, teams with 4-5 and 3-4 conference records have made the playoff field; therefore, we won't consider a team eliminated unless they can no longer get to those marks in the Big 8, Badger, and Rock Valley conferences. With 224 playoff spots and around 395 teams competing for those spots, it's expected several teams that finish with records under .500 will again make the postseason.

The division listed with a team is based on the projections at WisSports.net for divisional placement at the beginning of the season (not from their Week 8 and Week 9 projected field). The final determination of football divisions is made when the full postseason field is announced after Week 9.

Area Teams Clinched

Here are the area teams that have clinched a playoff spot with WSN's projected division. Schools within five of the divisional cut lines are noted below with an asterisk (*), but placed into their predicted divisions.

Division 1: Madison Memorial (6-1), Big 8; Sun Prairie (6-1), Big 8; Janesville Craig (5-2), Big 8; Middleton (5-2), Big 8; Verona (5-2), Big 8.

*Watertown is borderline D1/D2

Division 2Waunakee (7-0, 5-0), Badger North; Monona Grove (7-0, 5-0), Badger South; Watertown* (6-1, 5-0), Badger South; DeForest (5-2, 4-1), Badger North; Oregon (5-2, 4-1), Badger South.

*Mount Horeb/Barneveld is borderline D2/D3

Division 3McFarland (7-0), Rock Valley; East Troy* (5-2), Rock Valley; Jefferson (5-2), Rock Valley; Mount Horeb/Barneveld* (6-1, 4-1), Badger North.

*East Troy and Edgerton are borderline D3/D4

Division 4Edgerton* (6-1), Rock Valley; Lodi (7-0, 3-0), Capitol North; Lakeside Lutheran (6-1, 3-0), Capitol North; Mauston (6-1, 3-0), South Central.

*Horicon/Hustisford and Prairie du Chien are borderline D4/D5

Division 5: Horicon/Hustisford* (6-1, 4-0), Trailways-Large; Prairie du Chien* (6-1, 3-0), Southwestern.

Division 6: Markesan (5-2, 4-1), Trailways-Large; Lourdes Academy* (6-1, 4-1), Trailways-Small; Fennimore (7-0, 5-0), Southwestern; Mineral Point* (6-1, 4-0), SWAL; Pecatonica/Argyle (6-1, 5-1), Six Rivers; Wauzeka-Steuben/Seneca* (7-0, 4-0), Ridge & Valley.

*Lourdes Academy, Mineral Point, Potosi/Cassville, and Johnson Creek are borderline D6/D7

Division 7Johnson Creek* (7-0, 5-0) Trailways-Small; Fall River (6-1, 4-1), Trailways-Small; Black Hawk (6-0, 5-0), Six Rivers; Potosi/Cassville* (5-2, 4-2), Six Rivers; Ithaca (5-2, 4-0), Ridge & Valley.

Area Teams Eligible: Marshall (3-4, 2-0), Capitol South/D5; Cambridge (7-0, 2-0), Capitol South/D6; Cuba City (3-4, 3-2), SWAL/D6; De Soto (5-2, 3-1), Ridge & Valley/D7.

8-Player: Oakfield (6-1) is currently in the Top 8 of Overall Record and Top 4 of Overall Record in the East Division, so with a win this week, they'd likely be in to the playoffs.

WisSports.net Projected Teams In (Other Than Teams Listed Above)

Madison La Follette (Big 8-D1), Stoughton (Badger South-D2/D3), Turner (Rock Valley-D4), Big Foot (Rock Valley-D4), Lake Mills (Capitol North-D4), River Valley (Southwestern-D4), Wautoma (South Central-D4/D5); New Glarus/Monticello (Capitol South-D5), Palmyra-Eagle (Trailways Large-D5), Lancaster (Southwestern-D5/D6), Dodgeland (Trailways Large-D6), Cambria-Friesland (Trailways Small-D7); Randolph (Trailways Small-D7); Cuba City (SWAL-D7); North Crawford (Ridge & Valley-D7); Highland (Six Rivers-D7); Benton/Scales Mound (Six Rivers-D7).

(Note: WSN Projections below include ALL teams in the conference that are projected to make the playoffs based on their predictions; this can change greatly as ~400 games will be played between now and the time the playoff field is set. The WSN Cut Line lists all schools within five schools of the projected divisional cut lines).

See The Full WisSports.net Projected Field Here

Big 8

*Five wins clinches a playoff spot... four wins is usually enough to get in

Clinched: Madison Memorial (6-1), D1; Sun Prairie (6-1), D1; Janesville Craig (5-2), D1; Middleton (5-2), D1; Verona (5-2), D1.

Can Clinch: None.

Eliminated: Janesville Parker (0-7), Madison East (1-6), Beloit Memorial (1-6).

Risk of Elimination: None.

"Four Wins Gets You In": Madison West (3-4) needs to win one of their final two games to get to four wins, against Janesville Craig (5-2) in Week 8 or Madison Memorial (6-1) in Week 9... Madison La Follette (3-4) needs to win one of their final two games to get to four wins, against Madison East (1-6) in Week 8 or Middleton (5-2) in Week 9.

WSN Projections: D1: Madison Memorial, Sun Prairie, Janesville Craig, Middleton, Verona, Madison La Follette. 

WSN Cut Line: None.

Badger North

*Four wins clinches a playoff spot... three wins is right about the cut line for the postseason

Clinched: Waunakee (7-0, 5-0), D2; Mount Horeb/Barneveld (6-1, 4-1), D3; DeForest (5-2, 4-1), D2.

Can Clinch: Baraboo (3-4, 3-2) can clinch with a win over Waunakee (7-0, 5-0) in Week 8 or Reedsburg (4-3, 2-3) in Week 9.

Eliminated: Portage (0-7, 0-5).

Risk of Elimination: Beaver Dam (2-5, 1-4) or Sauk Prairie (1-6, 1-4) will be eliminated with a loss this week in their head-to-head match-up.

"Three Wins Gets You In": Baraboo (3-4, 3-2) already has three wins, but in WSN's latest projections, they fall just short of the playoff field in a tiebreaker with several other projected 3-4 teams. Reedsburg (4-3, 2-3) needs to win one of their two remaining games against Portage (0-7, 0-5) in Week 8 or Baraboo in Week 9 to get their third win, or win both games to clinch a playoff spot.

WSN Projections: D2: Waunakee, DeForest. D3: Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Reedsburg. **While Baraboo is not in the projected field, they would currently be right on the D2/D3 cut line for the playoffs if they did get in**

WSN Cut Line: Mount Horeb/Barneveld (D3) is the fourth school from the D2/D3 cut line.

Badger South

*Four wins clinches a playoff spot... three wins is right about the cut line for the postseason

Clinched: Monona Grove (7-0, 5-0), D2; Watertown (6-1, 5-0), D2; Oregon (5-2, 4-1), D2.

Can Clinch: Stoughton (5-2, 3-2) can clinch a playoff spot with a win over Monona Grove (7-0, 5-0) in Week 8 or Fort Atkinson (0-7, 0-5) in Week 9.

Eliminated: Fort Atkinson (0-7, 0-5).

Risk of Elimination: The losing team between Edgewood (2-5, 1-4) and Monroe (1-6, 1-4) is eliminated from playoff contention. Milton (2-5, 1-4) is eliminated with a loss to Fort Atkinson (0-7, 0-5) in Week 8 or Edgewood (2-5, 1-4) in Week 9.

"Three Wins Gets You In": Stoughton (5-2, 3-2) already has three wins. They'll need to win one of their two remaining games to clinch a playoff spot, or risk missing the postseason. Of the Monroe-Edgewood-Milton trio, Milton is the team WSN projects to get to three wins, but like Baraboo in the Badger North, the Redhawks would be on the outside looking in according to their forecast.

WSN Projections: D2: Watertown, Oregon, Monona Grove, Stoughton.

WSN Cut Line: Watertown (D2) is the fifth school from the D1/D2 cut line. Stoughton (D2) is the third school from the D2/D3 cut line.

Rock Valley

*Five wins clinches a playoff spot... four wins is usually enough to get in

Clinched: McFarland (7-0), D3; Edgerton (6-1), D4; East Troy (5-2), D3; Jefferson (5-2), D3.

Can Clinch: Turner (4-3) clinches a spot with a win over Clinton (1-6) in Week 8 or East Troy (5-2) in Week 9.

Eliminated: Evansville/Albany (0-7), Clinton (1-6).

Risk of Elimination: Whitewater (2-5) is eliminated with a loss to Edgerton (6-1) in Week 8 or Jefferson (5-2) in Week 9. Brodhead/Juda is eliminated with a loss to Big Foot (3-4) in Week 8 or McFarland (7-0) in Week 9.

"Four Wins Gets You In": Turner (4-3) has four wins, but can clinch a playoff spot as noted above with a win in the final two weeks. Big Foot needs to beat either Brodhead/Juda (2-5) in Week 8 or Edgerton (6-1) in Week 9 to get to four wins, and win both to clinch a playoff spot. Whitewater (2-5) and Brodhead/Juda (2-5) both need to win out to make the playoffs.

WSN Projections: D3: McFarland, Jefferson, East Troy. D4: Edgerton, Big Foot, Turner.

WSN Cut Line: East Troy (D3) is the second school from the D3/D4 cut line. Edgerton (D4) is the second school from the D3/D4 cut line.

Capitol North

*Three wins clinches a playoff spot

Clinched: Lodi (7-0, 3-0), D4; Lakeside Lutheran (6-1, 3-0), D4.

Can Clinch: Lake Mills (5-2, 2-1) can clinch a playoff spot with a win over Lodi (7-0, 3-0) in Week 8 or Luther Prep (4-3, 1-2) in Week 9.

Eliminated: Poynette (4-3, 0-3), Columbus (1-6, 0-3).

Risk of Elimination: Luther Prep (4-3, 1-2) is eliminated with a loss to Columbus (1-6, 0-3) in Week 8 or Lake Mills (5-2, 2-1) in Week 9.

WSN Projections: D4: Lodi, Lake Mills, Lakeside Lutheran.

WSN Cut Line: None.

Capitol South

*Two wins for playoff eligibility, three wins to clinch a playoff spot

Clinched: None.

Can Clinch: The winner between Cambridge (7-0, 2-0) and Marshall (3-4, 2-0) will clinch a playoff spot; both are already playoff-eligible.

Eligible: Marshall (3-4, 2-0), D5; Cambridge (7-0, 2-0), D6.

Can Become Eligible: New Glarus/Monticello (3-4, 1-1) can become playoff-eligible with a win over Waterloo (0-7, 0-3) in Week 8 or Cambridge (7-0, 2-0) in Week 9... Belleville (5-2, 1-2) can become playoff-eligible with a win over Marshall (3-4, 2-0) in Week 9.

Eliminated: Waterloo (0-7, 0-3).

Risk of Elimination: None.

WSN Projections: D5: New Glarus/Monticello, Marshall. D6: Cambridge **Belleville would be four schools above the D5/D6 cut line if they become playoff-eligible**

WSN Cut Line: Cambridge (D6) is the first school on the D5/D6 cut line.

Other Area Teams

Trailways-Large: CLINCHED: Horicon/Hustisford (D4/D5) and Markesan (D6). MORE: Palmyra-Eagle, Dodgeland, and Pardeeville are all 2-2, and need one more win each to become playoff-eligible, and must win two of their three remaining games to clinch a playoff spot. None of these teams meet head-to-head this week. WSN PROJECTION: Palmyra-Eagle (D5) and Dodgeland (D6) make the playoffs along with the teams that clinched already.

Trailways-Small: CLINCHED: Johnson Creek (D6/D7), Fall River (D7), Lourdes Academy (D6/D7). MORE: Cambria-Friesland can clinch a playoff spot with a win over Fall River (Week 8) or Randolph (Week 9). Randolph needs to win out to clinch a playoff spot, over Wayland Academy (Week 8) and Cambria-Friesland (Week 9). Deerfield and Rio meet this week to eliminate one team from playoff contention, and then must win their season finale to be 3-4 and have a shot at the postseason. WSN PROJECTION: Cambria-Friesland (D7), Randolph (D7) make the playoffs along with the teams that clinched already.

SWC/Southwestern: CLINCHED: Prairie du Chien (D5/D4). MORE: River Valley and Lancaster can clinch a playoff spot with a win in the next two weeks. Dodgeville and Platteville need to win out to make the postseason. WSN PROJECTION: River Valley (D4), Lancaster (D5/D6) make the playoffs along with the teams that clinched already.

SWAL: CLINCHED: Fennimore (D6), Mineral Point (D6/D7). ELIGIBLE: Cuba City (D4). MORE: Iowa-Grant can become playoff-eligible with a win over Darlington (Week 8) or Cuba City (Week 9) and clinches a playoff spot by winning both. Darlington needs to win out over Iowa-Grant (Week 8) and Boscobel (Week 9) to become playoff-eligible. WSN PROJECTION: Cuba City (D7) makes the playoffs along with the teams that clinched already.

South Central: CLINCHED: Mauston (D4). MORE: Wautoma and Wisconsin Dells meet this week, with the winner clinching a playoff spot. The losing team will need to win in Week 9 to clinch. Adams-Friendship will need to win out over Westfield (Week 8) and Nekoosa (Week 9) to clinch a playoff spot. Nekoosa will need to win out over Mauston (Week 8) and Adams-Friendship (Week 9) to clinch a playoff spot. WSN PROJECTION: Wautoma (D4/D5) makes the playoffs along with the teams that clinched already.

Six Rivers: CLINCHED: Black Hawk (D7), Pecatonica/Argyle (D6), Potosi/Cassville (D7/D6). MORE: Benton/Scales Mound needs to win in Week 9 over River Ridge to clinch a playoff spot. Highland needs to win over both Black Hawk (Week 8) and Belmont (Week 9) to make the playoffs. River Ridge needs to win over both Pecatonica/Argyle (Week 8) and Benton/Scales Mount (Week 9) to make the playoffs. WSN PROJECTION: Benton/Scales Mound (D7), Highland (D7) make the playoffs along with the teams that clinched already.

Ridge & Valley: CLINCHED: Ithaca (D7) and Wauzeka-Steuben/Seneca (D6/D7). ELIGIBLE: De Soto (D7). MORE: De Soto can clinch a playoff spot with a win over either Wonewoc Center/Weston (Week 8) or Ithaca (Week 9). Riverdale can become playoff-eligible with a Week 9 win over Wauzeka-Steuben/Seneca. North Crawford needs to win out over Kickapoo/La Farge (Week 8) and Wonewoc Center-Weston (Week 9) to become playoff-eligible. WSN PROJECTION: North Crawford (D7) makes the playoffs along with the teams that clinched already.

Great 8: Wisconsin Heights is not eligible for the postseason (enrollment size). Oakfield is 6-1, and with a win this week, would likely secure a playoff spot in the inaugural 8-player football playoffs.

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