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 eight- or nine-team 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.
CLASS 1A (67 teams total)
District 1 (9): East Dubuque, Forreston, Freeport (Aquin), Galena, Hanover (River Ridge), Lena-Winslow, Orangeville, Stockton, Warren
District 2 (8): Aurora (Christian), Chicago (Fenger), Dakota, Kirkland (Hiawatha), Melrose Park (Walther Lutheran), Mooseheart, Rockford (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart), South Beloit
District 3 (8): Ashton (Franklin Center), Cambridge (Ridgewood), Kewanee (Wethersfield), Milledgeville, Morrison, Ottawa (Marquette), Polo, Toulon (Stark County)
District 4 (9): Cerro Gordo, Colfax (Ridgeview), Decatur (Lutheran), Farmer City (Blue Ridge), Fisher, Gilman (Iroquois West), Heyworth, LeRoy, Warrensburg-Latham
District 5 (9): Abingdon, Argenta-Oreana, Astoria (South Fulton), Athens, Biggsville (West Central), Camp Point Central, Cuba (North Fulton), Mount Sterling (Brown County), Princeville
District 6 (8): Albion (Edwards County), Arcola, Arthur, Bridgeport (Red Hill), Catlin (Salt Fork), Martinsville, Oakland (Tri-County), Toledo (Cumberland)
District 7 (8): Concord (Triopia), Jacksonville (Routt), Kincaid (South Fork), Lewistown, Macon (Meridian), Moweaqua (Central A&M), Nokomis, Pleasant Hill
District 8 (8): Carrollton, Dupo, Edwardsville (Metro East Lutheran), Greenfield, Hardin (Calhoun), Madison, White Hall (North Greene), Winchester (West Central)
CLASS 2A (67 total teams)
District 1 (8): Amboy, Chicago (Collins), Chicago (Hope Academy), Chicago (Marshall), Chicago (Orr), Pecatonica, River Grove (Guerin), Rockford (Christian),
District 2 (8): Chicago (CICS-Ellison), Chicago (Corliss), Chicago (UCCS-Woodlawn), Clifton (Central), Momence, Palos Heights (Chicago Christian), Watseka, Westchester (St. Joseph)
District 3 (8): Fulton, Lanark (Eastland), Manilus (Bureau Valley), Orion, Port Byron (Riverdale), Savanna (West Carroll), Sterling (Newman Central Catholic), Taylor Ridge (Rockridge)
District 4 (8): Aledo (Mercer County), Carthage (Illini West), Hamilton (West Hancock), Knoxville, Mendon (Unity), Monmouth (United), Rushville, Sciota (West Prairie)
District 5 (8): Deer Creek-Mackinaw, Downs (Tri-Valley), El Paso-Gridley, Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland, Maroa-Forsyth, Minonk (Fieldcrest), Niantic (Sangamon Valley), Tremont
District 6 (9): Bismarck-Henning, Casey-Westfield, Fithian (Oakwood), Georgetown-Ridge Farm, Gibson City-Melvin Sibley, Oblong-Palestine-Hutsonville, Tuscola, Villa Grove, Westville
District 7 (9): Auburn, Bunker Hill, Carlyle, Gillespie, Pana, Pawnee, Shelbyville, Staunton, Trenton (Wesclin)
District 8 (9): Carmi (White County), Chester, Eldorado, Flora, Johnston City. Lawrenceville, McLeansboro (Hamilton County), Red Bud, Sparta
CLASS 3A (67 total teams)
District 1 (8): Byron, Erie, Oregon, Peru (St. Bede), Poplar Grove (North Boone), Princeton, Spring Valley (Hall), Winnebago
District 2 (8): Chicago (Carver), Chicago (Clark), Chicago (DePaul Prep), Chicago (Harlan), Chicago (Leo), Chicago (Urban Prep/West), Lisle, Westmont
District 3 (9): Bloomington (Central Catholic), Braidwood (Reed-Custer), Dwight, Eureka, Peoria Heights, Peotone, Seneca, Varna (Midland), Wilmington
District 4 (8): Beardstown, Elmwood, Farmington, Monmouth, Oneida (ROWVA), Petersburg (PORTA), Rock Island (Alleman), Sherrard
District 5 (8): Champaign (St. Thomas More), Decatur (St. Teresa), Marshall, Monticello, Paxton, Riverton, St. Joseph (Ogden), Williamsville
District 6 (9): Alton (Marquette), Carlinville, New Berlin, Piasa (Southwestern), Pittsfield, Pleasant Plains, Roxana, Virden (North Mac), Wood River (East Alton)
District 7 (8): Fairfield, Greenville, Hillsboro, Litchfield, Mt. Carmel, Newton, Robinson, Vandalia
District 8 (9): Anna-Jonesboro, Christopher, DuQuoin, Harrisburg, Nashville, Pinckneyville, Sesser-Valier, Sullivan, West Frankfort
CLASS 4A (67 total teams)
District 1 (8): Genoa-Kingston, Harvard, Johnsburg, Marengo, North Chicago, Richmond-Burton, Rockford (Lutheran), Stillman Valley
District 2 (9): Chicago (Agricultural Science), Chicago (Julian), Coal City, Kewanee, Manteno, Mendota, Plano, Rock Falls, Sandwich
District 3 (9): Chicago (Clemente), Chicago (Marine), Chicago (North Lawndale Charter), Chicago (Raby), Chicago (Sullivan), Chicago (Urban Prep/Bronzeville), Elgin (St. Edward), Elmhurst (IC Catholic), West Chicago (Wheaton Academy)
District 4 (8): Chicago (Bogan), Chicago (Catalyst/Maria), Chicago (Dunbar), Chicago (DuSable), Chicago (Hyde Park), Chicago (Military/Bronzeville), Chicago (South Shore), Chicago (Urban Prep/Englewood)
District 5 (8): Canton, Chillicothe (Illinois Valley Central), Fairbury (Prairie Central), Herscher, Kankakee (Bishop McNamara), Normal (University), Peoria (Manual), Pontiac
District 6 (8): Clinton, Havana, Hoopeston, Macomb, Paris, Quincy (Notre Dame), Stanford (Olympia), Tolono (Unity)
District 7 (8): Belleville (Althoff), Bethalto (Civic Memorial), Breese (Central), Breese (Mater Dei), Columbia, Freeburg, Rochester, Taylorville
District 8 (9): Benton, Carterville, Effingham, Herrin, Metropolis (Massac County), Murphysboro, Olney (East Richland), Salem, Vienna
CLASS 5A (67 total teams)
District 1 (8): Aurora (Central Catholic), Burlington (Central), Freeport, Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South), Rockford (Boylan), Woodstock, Woodstock (Marian), Woodstock (North)
District 2 (8): Chicago (Amundsen), Chicago (Foreman), Chicago (North Grand), Chicago (Payton), Chicago (Roosevelt), Chicago (Westinghouse), Elmwood Park, Norridge (Ridgewood)
District 3 (9): Chicago (Back of the Yards), Chicago (Brooks), Chicago (De La Salle), Chicago (Goode), Chicago (King), Chicago (Lindblom), Chicago (Solorio Academy), Chicago (Vocational), Evergreen Park
District 4 (8): Chicago Heights (Marian Catholic), Country Club Hills (Hillcrest), Dolton (Thornridge), Joliet (Catholic), Olympia Fields (Rich Central), Park Forest (Rich East), Richton Park (Rich South), Tinley Park
District 5 (8): Dixon, Geneseo, Kankakee, La Salle-Peru, Morris, Rochelle, Sterling, Streator
District 6 (9): Bartonville (Limestone), Champaign (Central), East Peoria, Lincoln, Mahomet-Seymour, Metamora, Morton, Rantoul, Urbana
District 7 (8): Charleston, Decatur (Eisenhower), Decatur (MacArthur), Jacksonville, Jerseyville (Jersey), Mattoon, Mount Zion, Springfield (Southeast)
District 8 (9): Cahokia, Carbondale, Centralia, Highland, Marion, Mascoutah, Mount Vernon, Troy (Triad), Waterloo
CLASS 6A (68 total teams)
District 1 (8): Belvidere, Belvidere (North), Crystal Lake (Central), Crystal Lake (Prairie Ridge), Crystal Lake (South), Hampshire, Rockford (Guilford), Rockford (Jefferson)
District 2 (8): Antioch, Deerfield, Grayslake (North), Grayslake (Central), Lake Forest, Lake Villa (Lakes), Vernon Hills, Wauconda
District 3 (9): Arlington Heights (St. Viator), Bensenville (Fenton), Chicago (Lake View), Chicago (Mather), Chicago (Prosser), Chicago (Senn), Chicago (Steinmetz), Niles (Notre Dame), Wheeling
District 4 (8): Chicago (Juarez), Chicago (Little Village), Chicago (Phillips), Chicago (Phoenix Military), Chicago (St. Ignatius), Lombard (Montini), Maple Park (Kaneland), Sycamore, Wheaton (St. Francis)
District 5 (9): Calumet City (T.F. North), Chicago (Kenwood), Chicago (Morgan Park), Chicago (Perspectives Leadership), Chicago (Washington), Crete-Monee, Midlothian (Bremen), Oak Forest, Palos Heights (Shepard)
District 6 (9): Burbank (St. Laurence), Chicago (Kennedy), Darien (Hinsdale South), Lemont, New Lenox (Providence), Oak Lawn (Community), Oak Lawn (Richards) Ottawa, Riverside-Brookfield
District 7 (8): Dunlap, East Moline United, Galesburg, Peoria, Peoria (Notre Dame), Peoria (Richwoods), Rock Island, Washington
District 8 (8): Bloomington, Champaign (Centennial), Chatham (Glenwood), Danville, Normal (Community West), Springfield, Springfield (Lanphier), Springfield (Sacred Heart Griffin)
CLASS 7A (68 total teams)
District 1 (8): Algonquin (Jacobs), Cary-Grove, Fox Lake (Grant), Machesney Park (Harlem), Rockford (Auburn), Rockford (East), Rockton (Hononegah), Round Lake
District 2 (8): Arlington Heights (Hersey), Buffalo Grove, Highland Park, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Mundelein, Mundelein (Carmel), Northbrook (Glenbrook North)
District 3 (9): Des Plaines (Maine West), Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Park Ridge (Maine East), Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Skokie (Niles North), Streamwood
District 4 (8): Aurora (Marmion), Batavia, DeKalb, Elgin (Larkin), Geneva, St. Charles (North), West Chicago, Yorkville
District 5 (8): Addison (Trail), Burbank (Reavis), LaGrange Park (Nazareth), Maywood (Proviso East), Oak Park (Fenwick), Summit (Argo), Villa Park (Willowbrook), Wheaton (North), Wheaton (Warrenville South)
District 6 6 (8): Chicago (Hubbard), Chicago (Kelly), Chicago (Lincoln Park), Chicago (Mount Carmel), Chicago (Schurz), Chicago (St. Patrick), Chicago (St. Rita), Chicago (Von Steuben)
District 7 (8): Blue Island (Eisenhower), Harvey (Thornton), Lansing (T.F. South), New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West), Plainfield (Central), Romeoville, South Holland (Thornwood), Tinley Park (Andrew)
District 8 (9): Alton, Bradley-Bourbonnais, Collinsville, East St. Louis, Granite City, Moline, Normal (Community), Pekin, Quincy
CLASS 8A (68 total teams)
District 1 (8): Barrington, Carpentersville (Dundee-Crown), Gurnee (Warren), Huntley, Lincolnshire (Stevenson), McHenry, Waukegan, Zion-Benton
District 2 (9): Chicago (Lane), Chicago (Taft), Evanston, Glenview (Glenbrook South), Oak Park (River Forest), Park Ridge (Maine South), Skokie (Niles West), Wilmette (Loyola), Winnetka (New Trier)
District 3 (8): Bartlett, Elgin, Franklin Park (Leyden), Hoffman Estates (Conant), Palatine, Palatine (Fremd), Roselle (Lake Park), South Elgin
District 4 (9): Bolingbrook, Carol Stream (Glenbard North), Downers Grove (North), Downers Grove (South), Elmhurst (York), Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West), Lisle (Benet), Lombard (Glenbard East), St. Charles (East)
District 5 (9): Aurora (Metea Valley), Aurora (Waubonsie Valley), Aurora (East), Aurora (West), Naperville (Central), Naperville (Neuqua Valley), Naperville (North), Oswego, Oswego (East)
District 6 (9): Berwyn-Cicero (Morton), Chicago (Brother Rice), Chicago (Curie), Chicago (Marist), Chicago (Simeon), Hillside (Proviso West), Hinsdale (Central), LaGrange (Lyons), Palos Hills (Stagg)
District 7 (8): Chicago Heights (Bloom), Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East), Homewood-Flossmoor, Joliet (Central), Joliet (West), Lockport, New Lenox (Lincoln-Way Central), Orland Park (Sandburg)
District 8 (8): Belleville (East), Belleville (West), Edwardsville, Minooka, O’Fallon, Plainfield (East), Plainfield (North), Plainfield (South)