The Public League’s Week 11 football rankings

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Phillips' Kenneth Sanders (5) and Malcolm Fox (54) celebrate against Kewanee. (Photo by Quinn Harris.)

Phillips’ Kenneth Sanders (5) and Malcolm Fox (54) celebrate against Kewanee. (Photo by Quinn Harris.)

1. Phillips (9-1) 1

Last week: won 46-7 vs. Kewanee.
Next week: hosts No. 5 Aurora Central Catholic (9-1) at 4 p.m., Saturday, at Gately.

2. Curie (8-2) 2

Last week: lost 56-14 at Oswego East.
Next week: faces Perspectives (7-3) at 6 p.m., Thursday, at Rockne.

3. Morgan Park (8-2) 3

Last week: lost 41-7 vs. Shepard.
Next week: faces Simeon (5-5) at 6 p.m., Thursday, at Gately.

4. Hubbard (7-3) 4

Last week: lost 35-21 at Galesburg.
Next week: at Solorio (7-3) at 6 p.m., Thursday.

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The Public League’s Week 8 football rankings

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The Phillips defense stacks the line.

The Phillips defense stacks the line in Week 2 against Richards.

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Standings  |  Playoff picture  |  Week 8 schedule

By: Eric Van Dril  ||| Oct. 10, 2016

It’s 5:55 p.m. on Monday evening as I write this, and the Chicago Teachers Union is reportedly pondering a new offer by CPS. Week 8 remains in jeopardy. 

These rankings were written under the presumption that the two sides will to an agreement and Week 8 won’t be wiped out completely. Follow The Public League on Twitter for the latest updates.

1. Phillips (6-1) 1

Last week: won 53-14 against Raby.
This week: hosts Solorio (6-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday at Mandrake Park.

One of the things that has stuck in my head as the Oct. 11 strike has gotten closer and closer is the scene that the Chicago Tribune described last year.

On Wednesday, in front of more than 10 television cameras, the Wildcats were honored during an hourlong assembly in the school’s auditorium. With the entire student body wearing blue T-shirts emblazoned with “Chicago’s Champions” on the back, [Mayor Rahm] Emanuel and other local officials honored the team’s historic accomplishments.

“I believe today as we stand here we are now seeing history being made,” Emanuel said. “Chicago will become a football powerhouse city because of Phillips High School.”

Phillips has the best chance of any team in the Public League to win a state championship this year.

It would be cruel if the Wildcats — a group of players that were so inspiring last year as positive representatives of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools — don’t get a chance to defend their Class 4A state championship because of the dysfunction of Chicago and its public school system.

2. Curie (6-1) 2

Last week: won 41-0 against North Lawndale.
This week: faces Simeon (4-3) at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday at Rockne.

The Condors have rolled through the Illini Red Bird, beating Dunbar, Lane Tech, Whitney Young and North Lawndale by a combined score of 198-7.

They enter Week 8 with the lowest playoff points (18) of any team in the Public League. They’re tied with West Aurora (7-0) for the lowest number of playoff points in all of Illinois, according to ihsa.org. Playoff points are calculated by adding up the wins of a team’s opponents.

Simeon, like Curie, hasn’t been challenged since Week 3.

That will change this week, if the Illini Red Bird heavyweights get a chance to play on Thursday afternoon.

3. Simeon (4-3) 3

Last week: won 53-0 against Dunbar.
This week: faces Curie (6-1) at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday at Rockne.

The Wolverines started the season 0-3, but they have won four-straight games. They would be in the state playoffs, if they started today.

As The Public League wrote on Saturday morning, Simeon has the potential to make a deep run in a wide-open Class 7A field that doesn’t have a heavyweight like Glenbard West or Libertyville were last year.

Let’s say the playoffs did indeed start today. Simeon would be the No. 30 seed in Class 7A. The Wolverines would face No. 3 Glenbrook North (7-0) in a very-winnable game.

They would then face the winner of No. 14 Lake Zurich (5-2) and No. 19 McHenry (5-2) — another winnable game for battle-tested Simeon.

They just need the chance.

4. Hubbard (6-1) 5

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The Public League’s Week 7 football rankings

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Hubbard LB Lamaris Edwards peers into the Perspectives backfield.

Hubbard LB Lamaris Edwards peers into the Perspectives backfield.

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By: Eric Van Dril ||| Oct. 3, 2016

Standings ||| IHSA state playoff picture after Week 6 ||| Full Week 7 schedule

1. Phillips (5-1) 1

Last week: won 51-14 against King.
This week: vs. Raby (1-5) at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Lane.

2. Curie (5-1) 2

Last week: won 48-7 against Whitney Young.
This week: vs. North Lawndale (0-6) at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday at Rockne.

Phillips, Curie and six other ranked teams are in the same situation this week. If they win, they guarantee themselves a place in the state playoffs — with one big “IF”.

That IF is if a Chicago Teachers Union strike doesn’t wipe out the rest of this season.

Last week, the CTU announced that it intends to go on strike on Oct. 11, if a new contract is not agreed upon by that date.

Week 8, which begins on Oct. 13, is not guaranteed. Week 9 isn’t, either.

A month-long strike would cost almost every Public League team the chance to compete in the state playoffs, including defending Class 4A state champions Phillips. Charter schools like Perspectives and Urban Prep-Bronzeville are notable exceptions.

But let’s say the CTU strike ends much quicker than that. Missing one or two weeks could be devastating for CPS teams who finish the regular season with five wins. It would wreak havoc on playoff points, which are calculated by adding up the wins of a team’s opponents.

For a team like Curie, a Class 8A school who is scheduled to play eight out of its nine regular-season games against Public League teams, the loss of those points could be the difference between making the playoffs and missing them.

Therefore, it will be imperative for all 5-1 teams to take care of business this week and get to six wins.

3. Simeon (3-3) 3

Last week: won via forfeit against North Lawndale.
This week: vs. Dunbar (2-4) at 4:15 p.m. on Friday at Gately.

Simeon is the team that can arguably least afford the CTU strike.

The Wolverines need to win out to guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs. They need to win two out of their next three games to become eligible to play in a Class 7A field that is expected to be weaker than usual and wide open, as IHSA bracketologist Steve Soucie said on the Preps 312 podcast this week.

Losing just one week of games would hurt Simeon’s playoff points significantly, as was explained above. That one week could mean the difference between getting into the playoffs — where the Wolverines could make a deep run — and being on the outside looking in when the playoff pairings are announced.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that for Simeon or any other team.

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