Chicago Public League – 31 of them – schools held at least a remote chance of qualifying for the IHSA State Playoffs while the Chicago Teachers as the CPS braced for the impact of a teacher's strike.
Nearly all of the 31 schools were able to get their Week 8 contests in prior to Thursday's scheduled walk-out, which allowed teams to delay the possible impact of a number of double forfeits and helped keep at least a few more teams in the running for playoff consideration.
After the Tuesday and Wednesday slate of games involving the CPS games, here's what we know as we wait to see if Week 9 games are played.
• Teams that have already clinched berths in the playoffs with at-least six wins are: Agricultural Science, Amundsen, Carver, Dunbar, Harlan, Kenwood, Mather, Orr, Payton, and Phillips.
• One other team, Simeon, has also reached six victories. However, due to the fact that they haven't yet met the eight-game requirement of games played, Simeon needs a Week 9 game to be played in order to be playoff eligible. If the Week 9 slate is not completed, Simeon will be ineligible to qualify.
• Several other CPS teams are playoff eligible to get into the field with five wins and of that group. Lincoln Park, Curie, Taft should be fine on playoff points regardless if they would lose the brunt of their playoff points to opponents not playing in Week 9.
• Things aren't as certain for Clark and Hyde Park, and even less certain for schools like Morgan Park and Sullivan. The loss of Week 9 playoffs could put them in very bad shape for at-large berths and might only be saved by the fact of the relatively small number of teams that may reach five wins across the state.
• There are six schools that have a record of 4-3 or 4-4 entering Week 9. They are King, Whitney Young, Vocational, Back of the Yards, Solorio and Military/Bronzeville. Obviously, all of these teams now need Week 9 game to be played in order to have a chance of qualifying. Five of those six teams are scheduled to play teams that are out of the playoff chase in Week 9.
• The lone team slated to play a team still in the playoff chase is Military-Bronzeville, whose need for Week 9 game to be played is two-fold. First, Military-Bronzeville needs the game to be played so they can reach the minimum games played threshold of eight games (They were unable to schedule a Week 2 contest). Second, they need the win to get to five.
Phoenix Military, Military-Bronzeville's Week 9 opponent, has a similar problem. They haven't lost a conference game yet, but due to the fact they were the only school that still has playoff aspirations that wasn't able to reschedule its Week 8 contest, that will go down as a double forfeit. It also puts Phoenix at just seven games played, needing Week 9 to get to eight.
If Week 9 isn't played, Phoenix is currently the only team in its league without a loss. But they couldn't claim the conference title because of the lack of eight games played. Military-Bronzeville would also be eliminated from the chase for the same game minimum reason, so Marine, who doesn't have the best of playoff point situations would ascend from at-large hopeful with low points to conference champion and an automatic berth.
And then there's the very curious case of Urban Prep-Bronzeville.
Urban Prep-Bronzeville entered Tuesday night's contest with Vocational with a 2-5 record. But UP-Bronzeville collected a 14-12 victory to suddenly radically boost their playoff positioning.
Even though they had just three wins, all three of those wins came in conference play, including wins over Brooks and now Vocational, who are the other two teams that have just one conference loss to date. UP-Bronzeville's lone league loss came at the hands of Mather, who is in fourth place the league.
UP-Bronzeville holds the tiebreaker over the other two teams that they are tied with head-to-head wins over both. If Week 9 isn't played they would go to the state playoffs as the conference representative with just three wins. It would be the first time a three-win team ever qualified for the playoffs.
UP-Bronzeville is in a extremely rare situation where they could potentially be hurt if Week 9 was played. If they were to lose to North Lawndale, the automatic bid would then go to the winner of the Brooks/Vocational game.