The dust has been collecting on my football crystal ball so I figured it was time to take it off the shelf and see what it has to say about the rest of the Fox Valley area football season.
Week 7 is upon us and we've come to that time where some teams are in the postseason and now trying to secure conference championships and tuneup for the playoffs, some teams are looking for that sixth win to seal a postseason berth, some teams are on the fence and trying to get to their fifth win and/or avoid their fifth loss, and some teams are playing for pride and next year.
So let's take a look at how things are shaping up for area teams as well as the conference races in the six conferences we cover here in the northern Fox Valley.
Upstate Eight River: It's going to take a heck of an effort for anyone to knock off undefeated Batavia, although if the Bulldogs beat St. Charles North tonight and St. Charles East beats Streamwood, the River title will be on the line next week when Batavia and East clash at Norris Stadium in St. Charles. At 4-2 overall, East seems to be the division's best bet for a second playoff team. St. Charles North could slip into the postseason by upsetting Batavia or winning out against Larkin and South Elgin.
Larkin is playing for its postseason life tonight against Bartlett and even if the Royals upset the Hawks, standing at 2-4 they'd have to win out. Even at 5-4 it would be a longshot on playoff points for the Royals as they have only 23 on the board now.
At 2-4, Streamwood is in the same boat as Larkin. The Sabres will have to win out against St. Charles East, Elgin and Geneva, with the East game tonight being the big key. Streamwood currently has 26 playoff points and would need a lot of help to get into the postseason for the second straight year even if the Sabres do win out.
A tough season for Elgin has left the Maroons playing for pride and next year as they wrap up 2012 with games against Geneva, Streamwood and Batavia.
Upstate Eight Valley: There's a very interesting scenario that could unfold in the UEC Valley and much of it will be sorted out tonight when undefeated Waubonsie Valley and Neuqua Valley clash in Naperville. Should Neuqua win tonight and Bartlett (4-2, 3-1) take care of business next week against South Elgin (the Hawks play Larkin tonight in a crossover), the Valley title will be on the line in Week 9 when Bartlett visits Neuqua. Should Waubonsie win tonight, the Warriors will likely claim the Valley title as they close with East Aurora and Metea Valley, who currently have one win between them.
At 3-3 and with 28 playoff points, South Elgin would probably get in at 5-4 but it would be much easier on the Storm if they won out. That's easier said than done though as the final 3 weeks are tough ones for the Storm, who host Lake Park Saturday then hit the road to Bartlett and St. Charles North the final two weeks.
Fox Valley (Valley): The FVC Game of the Year is Saturday afternoon at Cary-Grove's Al Bohrer Field when the Trojans (6-0, 3-0) host Huntley (4-2, 4-0). To the winner will likely go the Valley title, and if the Red Raiders were to pull off the upset and spoil Cary-Grove's homecoming, it would pretty much lock up a playoff berth for coach John Hart in his first year on Harmony Road. Even if Cary-Grove wins Saturday, Huntley should get into the postseason. The Raiders finish with Woodstock and McHenry, both currently 2-4. Cary-Grove, meanwhile, appears to be on the fast track to a 9-0 season. The Trojans, who play Dundee-Crown and Prairie Ridge the final two weeks, have scored 223 points this season and only allowed 72. Not going 9-0 would mean someone pulled the upset of the year on C-G.
Meanwhile Dundee-Crown, Jacobs and Crystal Lake South are locked in a fight for a playoff berth. They're all 3-3, and any FVC Valley team will have enough points to get in at 5-4, but 6-3 is a much better option when it comes to seeding. D-C is at CL South tonight and that loser will be left to win out to make it to the postseason. D-C has to take on Cary-Grove next week, which means the Week 9 battle between Jacobs and Dundee-Crown in Carpentersville could be the District 300 Super Bowl.
Crystal Lake South has to think it can win out and make the playoffs for the 12th straight year. After hosting D-C tonight, the Gators travel to Jacobs next week then finish the regular season at Grayslake Central.
Jacobs also has a shot at 6-3, but the Golden Eagles can't overlook Prairie Ridge tonight.
Fox Valley (Fox): The FVC Fox Game of the Year is tonight in Crystal Lake when Grayslake North invades Metcalf Field. The Tigers and Knights are both 5-1, 3-0 and the winner gets the inside track on the division title. Although, if Grayslake North wins tonight and Woodstock North handles Grayslake Central and Hampshire the next two weeks, then Game of the Year II will be Week 9 when Woodstock North travels to Grayslake.
Speaking of Hampshire, it's been a few years since the Whip-Purs were still in the playoff hunt in Week 7, but not only is Hampshire still in the playoff hunt, the Whips are still alive for the Fox title. That, though, will be a tall task. After playing 2-4 Woodstock tonight, Hampshire has to finish with Woodstock North and CL Central. But with 30 playoff points already, if the Whips can win tonight and pull off at least one upset, they'd get in at 5-4.
Big Northern East: Burlington Central (5-1, 4-0) can lock up its second straight playoff berth with a win against Richmond-Burton (4-2, 2-1) tonight. If that happens, after a trip to 1-5 Rock Falls next week, there could be a winner take all Week 9 clash on Rocket Hill against North Boone -- yes, North Boone. The Vikings are having their best season ever at 6-0, 3-0, but they also have to play Richmond next week after traveling to Genoa-Kingston tonight.
Don't count out defending Class 4A state runner-up Richmond in the East chase. The Rockets may have stumbled against Winnebago and Genoa in Weeks 2 and 3 but they've come back to win 3 straight.
Suburban Christian Blue: Marian Central, Montini and Aurora Christian are logjammed at the top of the SCC Blue, all at 4-0, with tonight's Montini at Marian and next week's Montini at Aurora Christian games left to sort it out (Marian and Aurora Christian do not play each other this season).
St. Edward (2-4) has its playoff life on the line Saturday at Wheaton Academy but even if the Green Wave survive this week, they close out with Marian Central and St. Francis (3-3), so getting to that elusive fifth win will be quite a challenge for coach Mike Rolando's crew.
So that's it. The crystal ball has gone foggy again so back to the shelf it goes for another year.
What it did tell us that doesn't take a prognosticator to figure out is that the last three weeks of the regular season should be filled with excitement, regardless of who your favorite team is.