Projections for all 8 classes from state football expert Steve Soucie
Big changes could be in store for high school football in Illinois.
The IHSA football committee recently revealed a proposal that would assign schools to geographic-based districts, eliminating traditional football conferences altogether.
The proposal has a ways to go. The committee plans to share its proposal and listen to feedback from schools in November, when the IHSA considers by-law amendments. Any formal proposal would have to pass a vote by IHSA member schools.
Still, high school football expert Steve Soucie put together a projection for what a possible district system would look like. Keep in mind, the following projection is based on the current plan, which likely will be revised before any vote takes place.
Before diving in, here's how Soucie constructed his projection, which is based on last year’s participation list with 558 schools taking part in the IHSA football playoff system.
• All enrollments in this projection are based on the numbers used for the 2016-17 sports season. The new enrollment numbers are not available until August. Unlike the current system where classifications are based on who qualifies, the proposed system would have locked classes (teams will know what class they are in before the season begins) the exact enrollment numbers are significant, particularly around classification bubbles.
• The Chicago Public League realigned its conferences for the upcoming season, changing the number of teams eligible for playoff contention. Sixteen teams remain in the Intra-City Conferences, which are ineligible to qualify for postseason play. More teams were moved into Illini Conferences, where all teams can qualify, instead of from Chicago Conferences, where the top two teams qualify. For the purposes of this exercise, all non-Intra City Conferences were placed in the district projection.
• Several teams have elected to switch to eight-man football for the coming season, those known were removed from the district projection.
• Several cooperative agreements have either dissolved or formed under different circumstances. For those that are known, the enrollment adjustment was made.
• Success formula adjustments were applied as well as known adjustments to the multiplier waivers.
• This scenario leaves 539 teams to place in the district projection. In order for the projection to allow for eight districts in each of the eight classes all with eight teams, 512 teams is the number that is required. Since it is unclear how the state intends to provide for that imbalance, this projection has eight classes that include 67 teams rather than 64 teams (one has 68). Several of the districts have nine teams to allow for each eligible team to have a projected district position. It is likely, although not confirmed, that more CPL teams would be moved to the exempt-from-playoffs grouping to give the district proposal the needed number of teams to make the 512 system get off the ground.