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Week 9 Football Preview: Special Playoff Scenarios Edition

10/12/2017, 8:00am CDT
By Travis Wilson

There are several big games this week, including many that will impact conference races. However, the big story statewide is the playoffs; who is in, who needs to win to get in, who is on the bubble. As such, we're going to change up the preview this week and focus on those games that may impact playoff qualification. We will break them down on a conference-by-conference basis. To view our current Playoff Qualifying Report, click here. To check out our PROJECTED Playoff Field, click here. will have a projected playoff field posted shortly after all games are completed Friday night, likely between 10:30 and 11 pm. The WIAA has indicated they will release the official playoff field around midnight, and we will be posting it immediately as well. The WIAA will be releasing the 8-team regional groupings around 1:30 am, and the actual playoff brackets and match-ups on Saturday afternoon. is once again your BEST source for the brackets and other playoff information so be sure to visit WSN frequently and hit refresh often.

Please note, this report assumes several things:

  • All teams that are currently playoff-eligible (meaning they've guaranteed themselves at least a .500 conference record) will get in the playoffs. Every year since 2012 has seen every team that finished .500 or better in conference make the playoff field.. There is a chance that one or two .500 teams could miss out via tiebreakers if multiple games go a certain way, but it is unlikely and for the sake of time and space, we didn't address those games in the write-ups.
  • Teams that finish 2-3 in conference will have no shot at the playoffs due to changes in tiebreaker procedures several years ago. If the WIAA does need to take sub-.500 teams, the order would go 4-5, then 3-4, and finally 2-3. There would likely be 15 to 20 teams at least above any 2-3 conference record teams. Thus, teams who have a best case scenario of finishing 2-3 are not mentioned in the game write-ups and are considered "Out".


(Conference record in parenthesis)


Reedsburg (2-4) at Baraboo (0-6) – There’s a slim chance Reedsburg gets in with a win, as their tiebreaker number would be very poor. Their best chance is to win and hope for Portage to beat DeForest. A loss eliminates the Beavers.

Portage (2-4) at DeForest (4-2) – Portage would leap to the front of the list of 3-4 conference teams if they can pull the shocking upset, as they’d have a win over a playoff team. 

In: Waunakee, Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Beaver Dam, DeForest

Out: Baraboo, Sauk Prairie


Stoughton (5-1) at Fort Atkinson (2-4) – Fort Atkinson is eliminated with a loss. A surprising win would put them towards the top of the list of 3-4 teams thanks to a victory over a playoff team.

Watertown (3-3) at Monona Grove (6-0) – A win gets Watertown in. A loss puts them squarely on the bubble. We project them to lose but get in as one of the final teams via tiebreaker, but it would be 50/50 at best.

Oregon (4-2) at Monroe (3-3) – This is one of the swing games to watch this week, as a Monroe win would get them in. A loss gets them on the bubble, where they are likely in the same spot as Watertown, with a solid tiebreaker number but a very tenuous position.

In: Monona Grove, Stoughton, Oregon

Out: Milton, Madison Edgewood


Shawano (3-4) at New London (4-3) – Shawano gets in with a road win, but a loss eliminates the Hawks.

Xavier (5-2) at Waupaca (3-4) – Along with the game above, this is one that many fans will have their eyes on, as a Waupaca win would get them in (and knock out a sub-.500 conference team), while a loss eliminates them.

In: Menasha, West De Pere, Xavier, Seymour, New London

Out: Green Bay East, Green Bay West

Big East

Mishicot (4-3) at Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran/Christian (3-4) – This is a huge game for first-year coach Chris Zablocki of the Kohler co-op, as his team can clinch with a win and is eliminated with a loss.

In: Cedar Grove-Belgium, Howards Grove, Manitowoc Lutheran, Reedsville, Mishicot, Hilbert/Stockbridge

Out: Random Lake, Ozaukee, Oostburg, Saint Mary Catholic

Big Eight

Beloit Memorial (2-6) at Madison Memorial (3-5) – Madison Memorial is out with a loss to a much-improved Beloit Memorial squad, while a win very likely gets them in as a 4-5 conference team.

Madison La Follette (4-4) at Sun Prairie (8-0) – La Follette shocked Sun Prairie in Level 1 last season, and if they can do it again, they are in. Even with a loss, it appears very likely the Lancers will squeak into the playoffs.

Janesville Craig (4-4) at Verona (5-3) – Craig gets in with a victory, while a loss would leave them waiting intently Friday night, but ultimately likely to get in the postseason.

In: Sun Prairie, Middleton, Madison West, Verona

Out: Beloit Memorial, Janesville Parker, Madison East

Big Rivers

Menomonie (6-0) at Chippewa Falls (3-3) – Menomonie is gunning for an outright Big Rivers title, but if ChiHi can pull the upset, they are in the playoffs. A loss puts them towards the bottom of the tiebreaker list for teams that finish 3-4 in conference, and we project they would be left out.

Hudson (5-1) at River Falls (2-4) – This would be a shocker, but if River Falls wins they stand a very good chance of getting in the playoffs, as they’d have a win over a playoff team. A loss eliminates the Wildcats.

In: Menomonie, Hudson, Rice Lake, Eau Claire Memorial

Out: Eau Claire North, Superior


Watertown Luther Prep (2-2) at Lakeside Lutheran (2-2) – The simplest of scenarios: the winner gets in the playoffs and the loser stays home.

In: Lodi, Lake Mills

Out: Columbus, Poynette


In: Cambridge, Belleville, New Glarus/Monticello

Out: Waterloo, Marshall

Classic Eight

Arrowhead (4-3) at Waukesha North (3-4) – A potential swing game, if Waukesha North can knock off Arrowhead for a second straight year, they get in the postseason and likely knock out a sub-.500 team. A loss eliminates the Northstars.

In: Waukesha West, Catholic Memorial, Muskego, Kettle Moraine, Arrowhead

Out: Mukwonago, Oconomowoc, Waukesha South


Fall Creek (3-4) at Neillsville/Granton (0-7) – Neillsville/Granton has the state’s longest active conference losing streak at 47 games, which means Fall Creek is likely to get the necessary win to get in the postseason.

In: Stanley-Boyd, Spencer/Columbus Catholic, Regis, Colby

Out: Altoona, Osseo-Fairchild, Cadott, Neillsville/Granton


Athens (2-4) at Owen-Withee (3-3) – A bubble battle, as an O-W win gets them in and knocks Athens out. An Athens victory would put both on the bubble, with an ok but not great tiebreaker number, where they’d be perhaps less than 50/50 to get in.

Thorp (2-4) at Assumption (4-2) – A Thorp loss ends their season, while a victory would put them in a position to have a solid tiebreaker with a win over a playoff team.

In: Abbotsford, Loyal, Assumption

Out: Gilman, Greenwood


Black River Falls (1-3) at Arcadia (2-2) – It’s pretty simple for Arcadia: win and get in, lose and stay home.

Viroqua (2-2) at G-E-T (4-0) – It’d be an epic upset, but if Viroqua wins they are in, while a loss ends their hopes for the playoffs.

In: G-E-T, Westby

Out: Black River Falls, Luther


Shiocton (2-4) at Pacelli (2-4) – The loser is eliminated, while the winner would have to hope and pray that the tiebreakers go deep and they can squeak in. We projected a Shiocton win, with the Chiefs being the last team to qualify for the postseason.

In: Amherst, Bonduel, Wittenberg-Birnamwood, Iola-Scandinavia

Out: Manawa, Weyauwega-Fremont


Rosholt (2-3) at Tri-County (2-3) – The winner is in, while the loser stays home.

In: Wild Rose, Pittsville, Almond-Bancroft

Out: Marion/Tigerton, Port Edwards


Eleva-Strum (1-4) at Cochrane-Fountain City (2-3) – CFC is in with a victory, and stays home with a loss.

In: Independence/Gilmanton, Melrose-Mindoro, Whitehall

Out: Augusta, Eleva-Strum, Blair-Taylor

Dunn-St. Croix

Boyceville (1-4) at Mondovi (2-3) – Mondovi almost certainly is in with a win, while a loss would eliminate the Buffaloes.

In: Elk Mound, Spring Valley, Durand

Out: Glenwood City, Boyceville, Colfax

East Central

Winneconne (3-4) at Kettle Moraine Lutheran (0-6) – Winneconne should be winless KML and get in, but a loss would eliminate the Wolves.

Ripon (2-4) at Berlin (5-1) – A loss leaves Ripon at home, while a surprising road victory would put the Tigers near the top of the 3-4 conference teams thanks to a victory over a playoff team.

Campbellsport (2-4) at Plymouth (4-2) – A loss leaves Campbellsport at home, while a surprising road victory would put the Cougars near the top of the 3-4 conference teams thanks to a victory over a playoff team.

Kewaskum (6-0) at Waupun (2-4) – Waupun is eliminated with a loss, while a shocking home victory would move the Warriors near the top of the heap of 3-4 conference teams thanks to a victory over a playoff team.

In: Kewaskum, Berlin, Plymouth

Out: Kettle Moraine Lutheran

Eastern Wisconsin

Valders (3-3) at Chilton (3-3) – The winner gets in. The loser has to wait and see how tiebreakers play out, but would have a very good chance to get in thanks to a high tiebreaker number.

In: Sheboygan Falls, Two Rivers, Kiel, New Holstein

out: Roncalli, Brillion


Omro (2-3) at Winnebago Lutheran (2-3) – The winner almost certainly gets in while the loser is eliminated.

In: Saint Mary’s Springs, Laconia, Mayville

Out: Lomira, North Fond du Lac


Manitowoc Lincoln (2-6) at Pulaski (4-4) – Pulaski can get in with a win, while a loss would put them at the top of sub-.500 teams for consideration, and still likely in.

Notre Dame (6-2) at De Pere (3-5) – De Pere is eliminated with a loss, while a victory would keep their hopes alive, and quite likely get them in the playoffs.

Ashwaubenon (3-5) at Sheboygan South (1-7) – Ashwaubenon would be eliminated with a loss, but likely to get in with a victory as one of the sub-.500 teams to make the field.

In: Bay Port, Green Bay Southwest, Notre Dame, Green Bay Preble

Out: Manitowoc Lincoln, Sheboygan South, Sheboygan North

Great Northern

Ashland (2-3) at Medford (2-3) – The winner almost certainly gets in, while the loser is eliminated.

In: Antigo, Mosinee, Merrill

Out: Lakeland, Rhinelander

Greater Metro

In: Brookfield Central, Brookfield East, Sussex Hamilton, Marquette, Germantown, Menomonee Falls

Out: Wauwatosa West, Wauwatosa East, West Allis Hale

Heart O’North

Hayward (2-4) at Cumberland (4-2) – If Hayward can pick up a win, they’d move near the top of the tiebreaker list amongst 3-4 conference teams, while a loss would eliminate the Hurricanes.

In: Bloomer, Spooner, Cumberland, Northwestern, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser

Out: Ladysmith, Barron


Out: Wausau East (Ineligible for playoffs due to leaving VFA)


Saint Croix Falls (2-3) at Shell Lake (2-3) – The victor is almost certainly in the postseason, while the loser stays home.

In: Unity, Grantsburg, Webster

Out: Cameron, Washburn/Bayfield/South Shore


Flambeau (1-4) at Frederic (2-3) – Frederic is likely in with a win, while a loss would eliminate the Vikings.

In: Clear Lake, Turtle Lake, Elmwood/Plum City, Lake Holcombe/Cornell

Out: Flambeau, Pepin/Alma


Tomahawk (2-3) at Marathon (3-2) – If Tomahawk can spring the upset, they likely get in, but a loss would leave them out of the postseason.

In: Edgar, Stratford, Marathon, Auburndale

Out: Chequamegon, Rib Lake/Prentice

Metro Classic

Dominican (3-3) at Martin Luther (4-2) – Dominican gets in with a win, while a loss would leave the Knights with a very poor tiebreaker number and likely to stay home.

Shoreland Lutheran (2-4) at Kenosha St. Joseph (3-3) – A St. Joe’s win gets them in and eliminates Shoreland Lutheran. A victory by Shoreland Lutheran would leave both teams on the bubble, with marginal tiebreaker resumes and dependent on what happens elsewhere in the state to determine if there are enough spots for them to sneak in as one of the last to qualify.

In: Racine St. Catherine’s Racine Lutheran, Martin Lutheran

Out: Saint Thomas More, Catholic Central

Middle Border

Ellsworth (3-3) at Prescott (2-4) – An Ellsworth win gets them in and knocks Prescott out officially. A Prescott victory would put both teams squarely on the bubble, where their chances of getting in would hinge on just how deep into tiebreakers we need to go to fill spots. It’d be 50/50 at best for both teams.

Saint Croix Central (5-1) at Somerset (2-4) – It appears Somerset will miss the playoffs for a second straight year, which would happen with a loss. If they can pull off the shocker, they’d end up on the bubble but with a pretty solid tiebreaker resume amongst 3-4 conference teams.

In: Osceola, Saint Croix Central, New Richmond

Out: Baldwin-Woodville, Amery

Midwest Classic 

In: Lake Country Lutheran, Saint Francis, University School, Brookfield Academy

Out: Living Word Lutheran, HOPE Christian, Saint John’s NW Military

Milwaukee City-Blackbourn

In: Milwaukee Marshall, Milwaukee King, Milwaukee Washington, Milwaukee Career & Tech. Ed.

Out: Milwaukee Madison, Milwaukee North, Milwaukee Vincent

Milwaukee City-Richardson

In: Milwaukee Bay View, Milwaukee Riverside, Milwaukee Hamilton, Milwaukee Reagan

Out: Milwaukee Bradley Tech, Milwaukee South, Milwaukee Pulaski

Mississippi Valley

La Crosse Central (3-3) at Tomah (1-5) – Central is in with a win, while a loss likely leaves the Red Raiders at home due to a poor tiebreaker number.

Sparta (2-4) at Holmen (5-1) – Sparta is eliminated with a loss, while a victory would put the Spartans high up on the tiebreaker list amongst 3-4 teams thanks to a win over a playoff team.

La Crosse Logan (2-4) at Aquinas (0-6) – Logan would be eliminated with a loss to winless Aquinas. We project Logan to make the playoffs as one of the last teams in, but because so there are so many variables amongst other teams, it is probably only 50/50 that they’d make it.

In: West Salem, Holmen, Onalaska

Out: Tomah, Aquinas


In: Southern Door, Oconto, Kewaunee, Peshtigo

Out: Sturgeon Bay, Coleman, Algoma


Wabeno/Laona (5-1) at Suring (3-3) – Suring gets in with a victory, while a loss would leave the Eagles on the outside looking in most likely due to a poor tiebreaker number.

In: Crandon, Wabeno/Laona, Crivitz, Northern Elite

Out: Three Lakes/Phelps, Elcho/White Lake, Florence

North Eastern

Marinette (3-4) at Fox Valley Lutheran (5-2) – If the Marines of Marinette can find a way to pull an upset, they almost certainly become the sixth of nine North Eastern teams to get in, while a loss leaves them out.

In: Wrightstown, Little Chute, Fox Valley Lutheran, Luxemburg-Casco, Freedom

Out: Denmark, Clintonville, Oconto Falls

North Shore

West Bend West (1-7) at West Bend East (4-4) – East gets in for the first time since 2011 with a win over their cross-hall rivals. A loss still likely allows East to sneak in as a 4-5 conference team.

Grafton (3-5) at Port Washington (4-4) – A Port Washington win makes things nice and easy, as the Pirates would get in while the Blackhawks of Grafton would be left out. A Grafton win complicates things a bit, though there would be a strong chance both teams would make it in the playoff field as 4-5 teams.

In: Whitefish Bay, Homestead, Hartford, Slinger

Out: Cedarburg, West Bend West, Nicolet

Ridge & Valley

Wonewoc/Weston (1-4) at North Crawford (2-3) – North Crawford is almost certain to get in with a victory, while a loss would leave the Trojans watching from home.

In: Wauzeka/Seneca, Ithaca, De Soto

Out: Wonewoc/Weston, Riverdale, Kickapoo/La Farge

Rock Valley

East Troy (4-4) at Brodhead/Juda (2-6) – While Brodhead/Juda’s state record of 25 straight playoff appearances has come to an end, the team can put East Troy in a tough spot, as a loss would leave East Troy on the bubble, though still likely to get in. A win by East Troy would clinch a spot for the Trojans.

Evansville/Albany (5-3) at Big Foot (3-5) – Evansville/Albany is one of the hottest teams in the state, and Big Foot is without dynamic senior Jackson Enz, meaning a win would be a tall order for the Chiefs. If they can score an upset, they have a strong chance of getting in the playoffs as a 4-5 team, while a loss would eliminate them.

In: Clinton, Jefferson, Beloit Turner, Evansville/Albany

Out: Edgerton, McFarland, Brodhead/Juda, Whitewater

Scenic Bluffs

Bangor (5-0) at Cashton (2-3) – A Cashton win would be perhaps the biggest upset of the year, but if it happened, the Eagles almost certainly get in. A loss drops them out of the postseason.

Hillsboro (2-3) at New Lisbon (2-3) – The winner almost certainly gets in, while the loser stays home.

In: Bangor, Brookwood, Royall

Out: Necedah

Six Rivers

River Ridge (3-3) at Benton/Scales Mound (2-4) – If River Ridge wins, they get in. A Benton victory would leave both towards the bottom end of the tiebreaker list and very much on the playoff bubble.

Highland (2-4) at Belmont (0-6) – Highland is eliminated with a loss. A victory would put them on the lower end of the postseason bubble, and we currently project them as team 225, meaning one spot out of the playoffs. 

In: Black Hawk, Potosi/Cassville, Pecatonica/Argyle

Out: Shullsburg, Belmont

South Central

Adams-Friendship (1-3) at Nekoosa (2-2) – Nekoosa is in with a victory, while a loss would leave them out of the postseason.

In: Wautoma, Mauston

Out: Wisconsin Dells, Adams-Friendship, Westfield


Racine Horlick (6-0) at Kenosha Indian Trail (3-3) – Indian Trail would get in with a surprise win, while a loss would leave the Hawks’ status up in the air. We projected them to be one of the two last teams in the playoffs.

Kenosha Bradford (3-3) at Racine Case (2-4) – Bradford is in with a win, while Case would be out. If Case wins, both teams would be on the bubble, and would not have great tiebreaker numbers.

In: Racine Horlick, Franklin, Oak Creek

Out: Racine Park, Kenosha Tremper

Southern Lakes

Westosha Central (3-3) at Wilmot (3-3) – The winner gets in, while the loser winds up squarely on the bubble. We projected Wilmot to lose, in part because quarterback A.J. Frisby is out for the year, and finish as one of the two last teams out of the playoffs.

Badger (6-0) at Union Grove (2-4) – Union Grove is out with a loss, while a win puts them on the bubble, with a solid tiebreaker resume amongst 3-4 teams.

In: Badger, Waterford, Burlington

Out: Delavan-Darien/Williams Bay, Elkhorn


Boscobel (1-4) at Darlington (2-3) – Darlington, the four-time D6 runner-up, sneaks into the playoffs after a 0-5 start to the season with a victory, while a shocking loss would put an end to their season.

Cuba City (5-0) at Iowa-Grant (2-3) – Iowa-Grant is most likely in with a win, while a loss would keep the Panthers out of the postseason.

In: Cuba City, Mineral Point, Fennimore

Out: Boscobel, Southwestern


River Valley (2-2) at Prairie du Chien (3-1) – River Valley was in the Division 4 state title game last season, but the Blackhawks must win to get in, or miss the playoffs.

In: Lancaster, Platteville, Prairie du Chien

Out: Dodgeville, Richland Center


In: Markesan, Pardeeville, Dodgeland, Horicon/Hustisford

Out: Montello/Princeton/Green Lake, Palmyra-Eagle, Parkview


Cambria-Friesland (3-3) at Randolph (1-5) – Cambria-Friesland is in with a victory. A loss would cause the Hilltoppers to end up on the bubble, where their tiebreaker resume would not be very strong.

Lourdes Academy (5-1) at Deerfield (3-3) – Deerfield gets in with a victory. The Demons would be on the bubble with a low tiebreaker score with a loss.

Rio (2-4) at Fall River (6-0) – If Rio pulls off the shocker over rival Fall River, the Vikings have a strong chance to get into the postseason with a strong tiebreaker number.

In: Fall River, Lourdes Academy, Johnson Creek

Out: Randolph, Wayland Academy


In: Kimberly, Appleton North, Appleton West

Out: Kaukauna, Appleton East


In: Fond du Lac, Oshkosh West, Neenah

Out: Hortonville, Oshkosh North


Fond du Lac (6-1) at Stevens Point (3-4) – This VFA crossover counts in the league standings for both teams, meaning Stevens Point has one more shot to pick up the necessary four wins to qualify for the postseason. This one will have a lot of eyes on it around the state, because if Stevens Point can pull the upset, they get in and likely force the cutline down, good news for teams on the division bubble.

In: Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield

Out: D.C. Everest, Wausau Westfield


Houghton, MI (1-4) at Hurley (3-3) – Hurley is in with a win, but with a loss the Midgets still have a strong chance to get in due to a strong tiebreaker mark.

Out: Northland Pines


South Milwaukee (3-4) at New Berlin West (4-3) – This Woodland crossover counts in the standings, so if South Milwaukee wins they almost certainly get in the postseason, while a loss would leave them home.

In: Whitnall, Milwaukee Lutheran, Greenfield

Out: Shorewood/Messmer, Brown Deer, Cudahy


Shorewood/Messmer (2-5) at Wisconsin Lutheran (3-4) – Wisco has been in the playoffs every year since joining the WIAA in 2000, but need to win in this Woodland crossover to get qualified for the postseason, or they’ll miss out.

In: New Berlin Eisenhower, Greendale, Pewaukee, New Berlin Westfield

Out: Pius XI Catholic, West Allis Central

For the latest and most up to date football news and recruiting information, follow Travis on Twitter @travisWSN. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Travis at travis(at)

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