Beyond that, the second group features a number of teams that currently have five wins and an insufficient amount of playoff points that can pull out a sixth victory to lock up their automatic berth.
Conversely, there are another 22 4-4 teams that have to win to lock of their berth. Most of those teams play squads with inferior or similar records, but strange things have been known to happen. Teams like Aurora Christian, Marian Central, Tinley Park and Downers Grove North need to keep their opponents from playing spoiler.
WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
Most people don’t realize that the four divisions of the Chicago Public League can only send two teams from each division.
More often than not, the leagues simply advance the top two teams from the conference race and the field of 256 teams is set.
But the Second City Division is making things a bit messy.
As we enter the final week, four teams have a shot at the two slots. Three have one-league loss and a fourth has two, but that team holds tiebreaker over two of the three teams with one loss.
Sullivan and Phoenix, both at 5-1 in division play, square off, while Orr (5-1) and Urban Prep/West (4-2) also play.
If a combination of Sullivan and Orr or Phoenix and Orr win these games, the conversation is over. The two winners advance.
But if Urban Prep/West beats Orr, things get hazy. In this scenario, the winner of the Sullivan/Phoenix game moves on, while the remaining three teams could be forced into an elaborate tiebreak situation to decide who advances.
Adding another wrinkle is the fact that none of these games will be played until Saturday afternoon, putting the entire field into a holding pattern until it is resolved.