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Friday, October 21, 2011
Updated: November 20, 5:20 PM ET
Football playoff bracket -- Class 7A

By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com

Playoff Brackets: Class 8A | 7A | 6A | 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A | 1A

Wheaton Warrenville South doesn't have a stranglehold on Class 7A this season as it has had the past two years on its way to back-to-state championships.

Glenbard West (9-0) and Lincoln-Way East (9-0) are the favorites entering the 2011 playoffs. Glenbard West's defense and Lincoln-Way East's offense are among the state's best. Both went undefeated and were challenged along the way. Glenbard West defeated Lincoln-Way East in the second round last season. If the two were to meet this time around, it would be in the state championship with each being the top seed in their respective brackets.

In the upper bracket, Lincoln-Way East could face Wheaton Warrenville South in the second round. Wheaton Warrenville South was a young team early in the season and dropped three of its four games. Since then, the Tigers have won five consecutive games and earned a share of the DuPage Valley title. They're not a team anyone wants to see right now.

No. 2 O'Fallon, No. 3 St. Rita (7-2), No. 4 Oswego (7-2) and No. 5 East St. Louis (7-2) will be tough in the upper bracket as well.

In the lower bracket, Glenbard West could have an interesting second-round matchup with either No. 8 Lake Zurich (7-2) or No. 9 Geneva (7-2). Both have shown at times this season to be among the elite teams in the area.

No. 2 Rockford Boylan (9-0) has jumped up a class after winning the 6A state title last season. The Titans rolled through the regular season and finished 9-0. Whether they can compete in a higher class will be determined in the coming weeks.

No. 6 Addison Trail (8-1), which defeated Downers Grove South in Week 9, and No. 11 Carmel (6-3), which has a potent offense, could be another first-round battle in the lower bracket.

No. 3 Crystal Lake South (8-1), No. 4 Elk Grove (8-1), No. 7 Wheaton North (7-2) and No. 10 Jacobs (7-2) are other teams to watch in the lower bracket.