The 2019 season is done, and we have five more champions.

Four went undefeated — Snake River in 1A six-man, Big Horn in 1A 11-man, Mountain View in 2A and Star Valley in 3A. Sheridan, meanwhile, won the 4A title with an 11-1 record after beating previously unbeaten Thunder Basin 35-26.

There are a host of places where you can read about these games, with info from people who were at the games. That wasn’t me — in case you weren’t aware, I live in California these days, and making it to Laramie in mid-November with work is tough — but I watched as much as I could of the championships via the live video streams online. I do miss attending championship weekend in Laramie, but I don’t miss the snow.

Things I noticed from the title games, and the season:

Both Big Horn and Star Valley will carry long winning streaks into next season. Big Horn has won 22 games in a row, including its 55-7 demolition of Cokeville in the Class 1A 11-man title game, while Star Valley has won 21 in a row with its 49-13 thumping of Powell in the Class 3A championship.

Big Horn has also won 15 consecutive home games, as well as 15 consecutive road games. The Rams’ 15 straight road victories is within sniffing distance of the top five such streaks all-time; however, Natrona has won 18 straight home games and Mountain View has won 17 straight at home.

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With its 71-38 victory in the Class 1A six-man title game, Snake River has now scored in 105 consecutive games, the best active streak in the state but still well short of the state record of 175, set by Cokeville. Snake River hasn’t been shut out since resurrecting its program in 2009.

Snake River was scored on in the title game, leaving the Rattlers tied for the state’s longest shutout streak at nine with three other programs. However, the Rattlers are the only team to have ever done so at six-man, and the only one to have ever done so after World War II. It’s an unbelievable run that I don’t know we’ll ever see again.

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Even though they lost the Class 1A 11-man title game, the Cokeville Panthers notched their 32nd consecutive winning season, a total that’s twice as good as any other program in the state. Meanwhile, Laramie finished with its 19th consecutive losing season, the second-longest such streak in state history.

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Despite losing the 1A six-man title game, Hanna finished the season with 795 points, second-best all-time. The Miners also finished with 72.27 points per game, the highest mark in state history.

Class 2A champ Mountain View didn’t score a lot in the title game, beating Buffalo 24-14, but the Buffalos finished with 549 points this season, second-best all time for 11-man teams. Their average of 49.91 points per game is third-best all time. Meanwhile, Class 1A 11-man champ Big Horn averaged 49 ppg, fourth-best all time, and had 539 total points, tied for fourth-highest in the state’s 11-man annals.

Several other efforts — some good, some not so good — ended up on the list of scoring records.

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Cokeville coach Todd Dayton will reach a heck of a milestone in the first game of the 2020 season. Right now, Dayton has 399 games to his credit; the first of 2020 will be his 400th as a head coach. Similarly, Natrona coach Steve Harshman needs seven more games to reach No. 300 in his Wyoming career. Dayton and Harshman rank 1-2 in Wyoming history in career victories, with Dayton way out in front with 335 and Harshman second with 207. This season, Harshman passed John E. Deti, who has 205 victories, for the No. 2 spot. They’re the only three coaches in state history with more than 200 career victories.

Meanwhile, Lander coach John Scott now has 102 victories in his Wyoming career; he became the 27th coach to join the 100-victory club. Two more coaches could join that group in 2020, as Upton-Sundance’s Andy Garland finished this season with 93 career victories and Cheyenne East’s Chad Goff emerged with 92.

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Here are the results of my picks from title-game weekend, this season and my “career”:

Last week: 5-0 (100 percent). This season: 250-57 (81 percent). The past 15 years: 3,584-887 (80 percent).

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Just because the 2019 season is done doesn’t mean we’re done here. Be sure to follow wyoming-football.com on Facebook or Twitter, or both. I’ll be sharing all kinds of offseason news, including coaching changes and peeks ahead to 2020, as well as all kinds of nerdy stuff related to Wyoming high school football (and occasionally other stuff I hope you find interesting).

The site has been updated with all the information I have available for 2019. Postseason recognition is yet to come — the all-state, Super 25 and all-America listings will be updated with that info when it becomes available — and I’m planning a couple other small tweaks to what’s here, too. If you see anything that’s incorrect or missing, let me know.

Finally, if you like what you see here, consider a page sponsorship. I truly appreciate all the sponsors who have already supported the site, but I also have room for more. I have to pay for my web space, and sponsorships help keep me from having to pay for the site out of my own pocket. For $20 a year, you can sponsor a page. If you like having on-demand results of 25,007 Wyoming high school football games across 5,449 team seasons — and you appreciate the work that went into it — then toss me a Jackson.

–patrick

You know what we’re here for — a breakdown of this week’s title games. So why put that off any longer?

Class 2A, noon Friday
Mountain View (1W, 10-0) vs. Buffalo Bison (1E, 10-0)
Series record: Buffalo leads 4-3.
Last meeting/last playoff meeting: Buffalo beat Mountain View 43-18 in the Class 2A championship on Nov. 10 in Laramie.
State championships: Mountain View five, most recently in 2017. … Buffalo six, most recently in 2018.
Previous title game record: Mountain View, 5-7. … Buffalo, 6-10.
The path to Laramie: Mountain View whitewashed Wheatland 72-0 in the quarterfinals before thumping Burns 56-12 in the semifinals. … Buffalo fought past Lovell 28-6 in the first round and outlasted Thermopolis 45-22 in the semifinals.
The case for the Buffalos: My goodness, Mountain View has been on a tear this season. The Buffs haven’t been in a single close game this year and have outscored opponents more than tenfold, 525-37. Their diverse offense can beat you in a thousand different ways; their defense allows fewer than 100 yards per game. For a senior class who knows its way around War Memorial (in its third consecutive title game) and knows its way to victory, a championship makes a lot of sense.
The case for the Bison: Knock, knock. Hi. Buffalo is the defending 2A champs. The Bison have won 20 games in a row. Rowen Ruby has been all but unstoppable at running back with 1,699 yards. The defense has bent a bit but hasn’t broken. And when they’ve been pushed, as they were both early in the season and in the playoffs, the Bison pushed back — and kept on winning.
The pick: Last year’s game ended up being great for Buffalo, not so great for Mountain View. If nothing else, this game should be a better game — but the Buffalos have shown all season they’re ready for a different result. … Mountain View 34, Buffalo 28.

Class 3A, 3 p.m. Friday
Powell Panthers (4W, 7-4) vs. Star Valley Braves (1W, 11-0)
Series record: Star Valley leads 29-13.
Last meeting: Star Valley beat Powell 36-0 on Oct. 4 in Afton.
Last playoff meeting: Star Valley beat Powell 28-10 on Nov. 11, 2016, in the 3A championship game.
State championships: Powell eight, most recently in 2013. … Star Valley 11, most recently in 2018.
Previous title game record: Powell, 6-3. … Star Valley, 10-10.
The path to Laramie: Powell won a pair of road games, beating Lander 41-14 in the first round and Park County rival Cody 20-13 in the semifinals. … Star Valley won a pair of games at home, topping Douglas 45-12 in the first round before beating Jackson 42-21 in the semis.
The case for the Panthers: In short, #ethanstrong. To be honest, Powell’s 5-4 regular season was nice but easily forgettable. But the Panthers have gone to another level in the playoffs. Attribute that to any number of reasons, sure, but the emotion of playing for someone who can’t has to be in the back of the mind not only of everyone in uniform, but everyone on Powell’s side of the field.
The case for the Braves: Star Valley has the favorite to win the 2019 3A title since about halfway through the 2018 season. Deep, talented, experienced… what more could you want? The Braves lead 3A in yardage defense and scoring defense; they control the pace of the game; they get stronger, not weaker, as games move along. Even with plenty of individual talent, it’s the Braves’ team chemistry that really sets them apart.
The pick: The emotional pick is for Powell to complete its incredible run. The logical pick is for Star Valley to complete its incredible run. Either way, whoever wins this game will absolutely, positively deserve it after a season that’s been memorable for divergent reasons, leading to the same concluding point. … Star Valley 35, Powell 20.

Class 1A six-man, 10 a.m. Saturday
Hanna Miners (1E, 10-0) vs. Snake River Rattlers (1W, 9-0)
Series record: Snake River leads 8-7.
Last meeting/last playoff meeting: Snake River beat Hanna 75-13 on Oct. 27, 2017, in a 1A six-man quarterfinal game in Hanna.
State championships: Hanna three, most recently in 1989. … Snake River two, most recently in 2011.
Previous title game record: Hanna, 3-3. … Snake River, 2-1.
The path to Laramie: Hanna’s offense took care of business in the playoffs, rolling up big numbers in beating Meeteetse 73-36 in the first round and Lingle 92-58 in the semifinals. … Snake River shut down Kaycee 59-0 in the quarterfinals and did the same to Hulett 61-0 in the semis.
The case for the Miners: The offense is diverse and can score seemingly at will. With 34 points in the title game, Hanna will set the record for highest scoring offense in state history, topping Farson’s 71.82 ppg from last season. Senior twins Conor McGraw and Shane McGraw are both over 1,000 rushing yards for the season, and Shane McGraw has thrown for more than 1,000, too. The defense hasn’t always been perfect, but, hey, 10-0 is 10-0.
The case for the Rattlers: Nine games. Zero points allowed. That’s what Snake River’s defense has done this year. That record-setting pace is unheard of, but at six-man? That’s just banana pants crazy. And the offense? Super efficient, with Riggen Myers consistently breaking defenders’ hearts, and ankles.
The pick: Yes, everyone will look at the Miners’ offense vs. the Rattlers’ defense, and that might be the most fun matchup to watch this weekend. But this game may be decided by the Rattlers’ offense vs. the Miners’ defense, and that’s where Snake River has the edge. … Snake River 50, Hanna 38.

Class 1A 11-man, 1 p.m. Saturday
Cokeville Panthers (1W, 10-1) vs. Big Horn Rams (1E, 10-0)
Series record: Series tied 3-3.
Last meeting/last playoff meeting: Big Horn beat Cokeville 56-3 on Nov. 10, 2018, in the 1A 11-man championship in Laramie.
State championships: Cokeville 22, most recently in 2014. … Big Horn six, most recently in 2018.
Previous title game record: Cokeville, 21-7. … Big Horn, 6-10.
The path to Laramie: Cokeville held off Wright 20-16 in the first round and held strong to beat Upton-Sundance 16-7 in the semifinals. … Big Horn rolled through Wind River 82-0 in the first round and beat Southeast 48-7 in the semifinals, both at home.
The case for the Panthers: I’ve heard rumors that UW will install a third locker room at War Memorial — one for home teams, one for visiting teams, and one for Cokeville. Because the Panthers have made trips to title games a habit over the past four decades. Who else but Cokeville would you expect in this game? Even with a team that started inexperienced, decimated by graduation, Todd Dayton and the Panthers have lost only to 2A Mountain View and blown out almost everyone else behind a surprisingly diverse offense and a defense that can stand up to pretty much anyone.
The case for the Rams: Where to start? Big Horn racks up more yards and more points than anyone in 1A 11-man, and it’s not even close. The Rams also allow fewer yards than anyone in 1A 11-man. Can’t get much better than that. Oh, and they beat Cokeville in last year’s championship by 53 freakin’ points — one of 21 consecutive victories, Big Horn’s longest in program history and the longest active winning streak in the state.
The pick: No one’s winning this by 53. But Big Horn is still the favorite, and Cokeville will need to play not just flawless to win — the Panthers will have to create opportunities they didn’t even know existed. The Rams won’t allow that. … Big Horn 38, Cokeville 21.

Class 4A, 4 p.m. Saturday
Sheridan Broncs (2, 10-1) vs. Thunder Basin ‘Bolts (1, 11-0)
Series record: Series tied 2-2.
Last meeting: Thunder Basin beat Sheridan 37-30 on Sept. 20 in Gillette.
Last playoff meeting: Sheridan beat Thunder Basin 14-7 on Nov. 2, 2018, in a 4A semifinal in Gillette.
State championships: Sheridan 26, most recently in 2017. … Thunder Basin zero.
Previous title game record: Sheridan, 16-7. … Thunder Basin, 0-0.
The path to Laramie: Sheridan put up a pair of 62s, beating Kelly Walsh 62-14 in the quarterfinals and Cheyenne Central 62-35 in the semifinals. … Thunder Basin played in a pair of tight games, beating crosstown rival Gillette 24-20 in the quarterfinals before topping Cheyenne East 27-21 in the semifinals.
The case for the Broncs: This is familiar territory for Sheridan. Since the title games moved to Laramie in 2009, the Broncs have won five championships and finished as runners-up twice, and this is their fifth title game appearance in a row. Led by Garrett Coon, their rushing game is strong; the rush defense, though, could be even stronger — and that sets up well for success in mid-November.
The case for the ‘Bolts: To be honest, a lot of the ‘Bolts’ success may ride on Mason Hamilton’s shoulders — er, shoulder, which he injured in last week’s semifinals. With him in the first half, Thunder Basin scored 27 points; without him in the second half, zero. If he can go, watch out. If he can’t, the ‘Bolts will need to rely on its defense (tops in 4A in yards allowed, by the way) to complete an undefeated season and win the program’s first 4A title.
The pick: The last game of the weekend should be the closest of the weekend. Both teams have defenses upon which they can rely. And both have offenses capable of controlling the clock AND striking for fast scores. I really like how Sheridan is looking right now, though, and as the underdogs, they have a little less pressure on them. … Sheridan 28, Thunder Basin 27.

Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:

Last week: 8-2 (80 percent). This season: 245-57 (81 percent). 

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Which five teams do YOU see leaving Laramie with championship trophies? Leave a comment here, or hit me up on the Facebook page or on Twitter.

If you like what you see here, consider a page sponsorship

–patrick

For first-year head coaches in Wyoming high school football, it’s not uncommon to see a coach find immediate success.

In all, 31 coaches in Wyoming high school football — including current Big Horn coach Kirk McLaughlin — started their coaching careers with an undefeated season (with at least four games in the season).

However, maintaining that success has been tricky.

Of the 31 coaches who went undefeated (four or more games) in their first season, 14 of them didn’t return to coach the next season. Of the remaining 17, six posted losing records the following season.

The only other coach to go undefeated his first two seasons as head coach (minimum four games per season) is Joseph Weller, who led Albin to a 5-0 season in 1942 and a 4-0 season in 1943. Those were Weller’s only two seasons as a head football coach in Wyoming.

That brings us to McLaughlin.

McLaughlin started his head coaching career in Wyoming with an 11-0 season in 2018 followed up by a 2019 campaign that, so far, is 10-0, with the Class 1A 11-man state championship game against Cokeville scheduled for Saturday in Laramie.

The 21 consecutive victories to start a head coaching career in Wyoming is a state record.

Prior to McLaughlin, the coach who started his Wyoming head coaching career with the most consecutive victories was Jim Rooks. Rooks led Jackson to a 9-0 season his first season in 1981 and then won his first six in 1982 before losing to Star Valley in the second-to-last game of the 1982 season — notching 15 straight victories before a loss.

Third on the list is Talbot Rudolph, who posted 11 consecutive victories to start his career in one of the most circuitous paths a coach has ever taken. He started his Wyoming career with a 7-0 season at Pine Bluffs in 1941, then went 1-0 in the only game I can find for Big Piney in 1942. I don’t know where he was in 1943… but in 1944, he was coaching again, this time at the Heart Mountain internment camp, where he went 3-1 (winning the first three games to extend his start to 11 consecutive victories).

Three other coaches posted 10 consecutive victories to start their Wyoming head coaching careers — Lou Maiben (10 straight at Byron in 1954 and 1955), Tony Rouse (10 straight at Kaycee in 2017) and Bill Sollars (10 straight at Shoshoni in 1959).

–patrick

It’s rivalry week in Class 3A this week.

It’s also the semifinal round of the playoffs.

In a weird twist, two of 3A’s biggest rivalries, Cody/Powell and Star Valley/Jackson, will be staged on the doorstep of a state championship game berth.

With the West sweeping the East out of the 3A playoffs with scores of 55-26, 48-6, 41-14 and 45-12, the bracket distilled down to a renewal of the Bighorn Brawl in the battle for Park County supremacy between Cody and Powell and a restaging of the Fall Brawl between western edge rivals Jackson and Star Valley.

The West’s control of 3A is nothing new — it’s been the norm for almost the entire decade.

In 2012, the West swept the East, albeit by smaller margins as two of the four games that year were one-possession games. And in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2013, three West teams reached the semis. The only year left out of that conflagration is 2014, when the only West team to reach the semis (Cody) ended up winning the 3A title. Moreover, the past eight 3A state champs have all been West teams.

Well, make it nine, because a West team will win 3A again this year.

The question now is which one.

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I’ve made some picks, with the team I think will win in bold. However, as you can see, I’ve only picked one road team to win, which is kind of boring:

Friday
Class 4A
(4) Cheyenne East at (1) Thunder Basin: The ‘Bolts are undefeated but aren’t unbeatable. Last week showed that. A 31-30 game with East in Week 2 showed that. And it’ll take a heck of an effort from Thunder Basin to hold off a confident Thunderbird crew. (First playoff meeting.)
(3) Cheyenne Central at (2) Sheridan: Man, it seems like a LONG time ago that Sheridan beat Central 28-14. That’s because that game was in Week 1. Since then, the Broncs have been consistent but the Indians have been streaky. I like consistency, but I fear streakiness. (First playoff meeting since 2017 4A quarterfinals.)
Class 3A
(3W) Jackson at (1W) Star Valley: Don’t forget, the last time these two teams met, it was a one-score game at halftime before the Braves ran away with it in the second half. If the Broncs can put together a complete game, they can absolutely win in Afton. If. (First playoff meeting since 1990 3A quarterfinals.)
(4W) Powell at (2W) Cody: The Broncs controlled the first meeting between these teams from start to finish and won 38-14. But rivalries have a weird way of manifesting weird results when they’re staged in the playoffs. (First playoff meeting since 2013 3A semifinals.)
Class 2A
(3E) Thermopolis at (1E) Buffalo: The Bison had to rally late last week to stay unbeaten. And the Bobcats hung with the Bison in their first game before falling 28-14. Buffalo’s the favorite, but Thermop is a capable spoiler. (First playoff meeting since 2003 4A semifinals.)
(2E) Burns at (1W) Mountain View: Both teams had easy first-round victories. Despite how good and confident the Broncs might be, the Buffalos still enter as big favorites. (First playoff meeting.)
Class 1A 11-man
(3E) Southeast at (1E) Big Horn: Big Horn won the first matchup two weeks ago 49-7 in Yoder. The Cyclones might keep it closer this time around, but the Rams are in great position to move back into the title game. (First playoff meeting since 2001 2A semifinals.)
(2E) Upton-Sundance at (1W) Cokeville: Cokeville won this game last year. But that was last year, and the Patriots are looking stronger than they’ve looked in a while. Incidentally, I’m looking forward to seeing this game again in the 2A semifinals next year. (Rematch of a 2018 1A 11-man semifinal.)
Class 1A six-man
(3E) Lingle at (1E) Hanna: I know Snake River’s defense gets the attention, but how about Hanna’s offense? The Miners are averaging 73.9 points per game, which if they can keep up that pace would be an all-time state record for scoring proficiency. With a 69-24 victory against the Doggers already logged this season, Hanna’s the easy favorite in this one. (First playoff meeting since 1991 1A quarterfinals.)
Saturday
Class 1A six-man
(2E) Hulett at (1W) Snake River: The Rattlers are the favorites to win, yes. But the Red Devils’ solid performance against Farson last week has me thinking they might be the team to break Snake’s season-long shutout streak. (First playoff meeting since 2012 1A six-man quarterfinals.)

For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Semifinals” on the top of the page for this week’s schedule.

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Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:

Last week: 17-3 (85 percent). This season: 237-55 (81 percent). 

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Which road team do you think is most likely to win this week? Leave a comment here, or hit me up on the Facebook page or on Twitter.

If you like what you see here, consider a page sponsorship

–patrick

Let’s face it: Last year’s opening round of the playoffs was a pretty big, boring dud.

Only two out of 20 games statewide in last year’s opening round were decided by a possession or less — Cody’s 29-26 victory against Douglas and Wheatland’s 21-14 victory against Greybull. Meanwhile, eight games reached running-clock status, including all four first-round games in 1A 11-man.

Although the 2019 quarterfinals probably won’t be running clock-free, they certainly present more possibilities for close games than last year.

Finally, we have some intrigue in the first round of the playoffs.

Class 4A has a pair of intriguing games, with Natrona and East reprising a game that went Natrona won in double overtime in Week 4 and with Rock Springs and Central meeting in a game that finished 36-29 Indians in Week 2. Central is hosting a playoff game for the first time since 2009, and the Indians’ meeting with Rock Springs assures us that it won’t be the Big Four of East, Natrona, Thunder Basin and Sheridan dominating the semis again — and that’s a nice breath of fresh air for Wyoming’s big schools.

Class 3A’s most interesting first-round game matches up East Conference champ Lander, winners of six in a row, against Powell, the team that gave Lander its last, and only, loss of the season. The Panthers won 17-7 in Week 2, in Lander, and has to duplicate that feat to keep its season going — a tough task against a confident Tiger team.

In 2A, the 2-3 games are more or less toss-ups. Rising Lyman hosts a solid Thermopolis team, while Big Piney travels to Burns to play the Broncs for the first meeting between the programs. Both games provide ample opportunities for final-possession magic, because all four teams have shown potential.

Likewise in Class 1A six-man, the 2-3 games (Farson at Hulett, Lingle at Burlington) could go either way. Last year, the West swept the East in the first round, but the East has been improved this year. And with Hanna at 8-0 and Hulett at 7-1, the East has some teams thinking more than just escaping the first round — they’re thinking title.

That leaves us with… oh yeah, Class 1A 11-man, where intrigue is as rare as steak tartare.

Three of the four first-round matchups are rematches of last year’s blowouts (Wind River/Big Horn, Wright/Cokeville, Rocky Mountain/Upton-Sundance). Southeast’s venture to Shoshoni is the only thing new on the playoff schedule, but even that’s not rare — they’ve already met in the quarterfinals in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016. The East is the better conference, again; Cokeville is the lone exception, again; of the four teams favored to win on Friday, three are headed to 2A next year…

At least in four of the five classes, some intrigue, some unpredictability, is a nice change this year. I’d love more of it. The last couple years have been pretty predictable in the first round:

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If you’re new to the site, I predict who’s going to win every game by bolding the team I think will have more points at the end. See above; I’m pretty good at this in the quarterfinals. That said, see above; I’m ready to be surprised.

Class 4A
(8) Gillette at (1) Thunder Basin: The Camels aren’t “back,” but a playoff berth is a nice step forward for the program. Thunder Basin has bigger goals. (First playoff meeting.)
(5) Natrona at (4) Cheyenne East: The first meeting this season between these two programs was an all-timer, with Natrona winning in extra time; this one should be, too, and I think the T-Birds are ready for a bit of revenge. (Rematch of a 2018 4A semifinal.)
(7) Kelly Walsh at (2) Sheridan: The Broncs showed last week just how ready they are for a deep playoff run. Playing at Homer Scott Field helps the Broncs’ cause, too. (First playoff meeting since 2017 4A semifinals.)
(6) Rock Springs at (3) Cheyenne Central: I love this matchup. Both programs are eager to prove they belong in 4A’s upper echelon. A victory here might cement that spot for awhile to come, too. (First playoff meeting since 2007 5A quarterfinals.)
Class 3A
(4E) Douglas at (1W) Star Valley: The Braves have been scary efficient all season long. At home, expect more of the same. (First playoff meeting since 2016 3A semifinals.)
(3W) Jackson at (2E) Riverton: Riverton has been a different team since conference play started and will give Jackson a tussle in the first round. But the Broncs are still the favorites here. (First playoff meeting since 2015 3A quarterfinals.)
(4W) Powell at (1E) Lander: I love, love, love this matchup. And even though Powell beat Lander in Week 2, I think Lander’s made some big improvements since then. (First playoff meeting since 2016 3A quarterfinals.)
(3E) Worland at (2W) Cody: This one might be closer than you think. Worland is better than its 3-5 record — and its 28-14 loss to Cody in Week 2 — might imply. Still, look for Cody to move on to the semis. (First playoff meeting.)
Class 2A
(4W) Lovell at (1E) Buffalo: It’s been fun to watch Lovell’s resurgence, and if Buffalo isn’t careful, the Bulldogs could be more challenging than anticipated. The Bison will likely anticipate it, though. (First playoff meeting since 1991 2A semifinals.)
(3E) Thermopolis at (2W) Lyman: I’m torn on this one. Both these programs have legit reasons to feel overlooked, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Eagles sneak out a victory in this one. However, the Bobcats have played more good teams tough. (First playoff meeting since 2010 2A quarterfinals.)
(4E) Wheatland at (1W) Mountain View: The Buffalos have outscored their opponents 397-25 this season. Wheatland’s given up more than 25 points in six of its eight games. (First playoff meeting since 2017 2A semifinals.)
(3W) Big Piney at (2E) Burns: This game REALLY intrigues me, mostly because I love it when programs meet for the first time. Burns by a hair. (First playoff meeting, obviously.)
Class 1A 11-man
(4W) Wind River at (1E) Big Horn: Oh no. With the 8-0 and rolling Rams facing the 1-7 and outscored-160-to-6-in-their-past-three-games Cougars, this one could get ugly fast. (Rematch of a 2018 1A 11-man quarterfinal.)
(3E) Southeast at (2W) Shoshoni: After last year’s aberration, Southeast is back to being Southeast again. Even on the road, the Cyclones are the favorites in this one. (First playoff meeting since 2016 1A 11-man quarterfinals.)
(4E) Wright at (1W) Cokeville: Wright’s gonna put up a fight, but Cokeville is really tough to beat at home in the first round of the playoffs: 25-1 since 1991. (Rematch of a 2018 1A 11-man quarterfinal.)
(3W) Rocky Mountain at (2E) Upton-Sundance: These two teams have met in the first round in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. The Patriots are 4-0 in those games. Unless the Griz’s young players grow up really fast, make it 5-0. (Rematch of a 2018 1A 11-man quarterfinal.)
Class 1A six-man
(4E) Kaycee at (1W) Snake River: Sorry, Buckaroos. The question isn’t who will win. The question is if Kaycee will even score a point. (Rematch of a 2018 1A six-man quarterfinal.)
(3W) Farson at (2E) Hulett: I desperately want to pick the Red Devils in this one, and don’t be surprised if they prove me wrong against the defending champs. This might be the best game of the week. (Rematch of a 2018 1A six-man quarterfinal.)
(4W) Meeteetse at (1E) Hanna: No one is more aware than Hanna of how easily a promising season can end abruptly. The Miners will be focused. (First playoff meeting since 1989 1A semifinals.)
(3E) Lingle at (2W) Burlington: Victories the past two weeks against Farson and Riverside help show just how improved the Huskies are since their 1-3 start. (First playoff meeting.)

For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Quarterfinals” on the top of the page for this week’s schedule.

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Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:

Last week: 25-4 (86 percent). This season: 220-52 (81 percent). 

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Which first-round playoff game is the most intriguing to you? Leave a comment here, or hit me up on the Facebook page or on Twitter.

If you like what you see here, consider a page sponsorship

–patrick

The Wyoming High School Activities Association released the 2020 and 2021 football schedules to schools Tuesday afternoon.

Thanks to reclassification, the schedules are significantly different from the schedules used in 2018 and 2019. In all, 12 schools will play in different classifications next year, not including the teams remaining in Class 1A but shifting from 11-man to nine-man.

Although no teams moved into or out of Class 4A, Wyoming’s big schools will also have a new schedule. The traditional “rivalry week” was removed, with the Oil Bowl (Natrona-Kelly Walsh) scheduled for Week 3, the Energy Bowl (Sheridan-Campbell County) for Week 7, the Coal Bowl (Campbell County-Thunder Basin) for Week 4 and the Capital Bowl (Cheyenne Central-Cheyenne East) for Week 6.

Several non-4A schools scheduled Zero Week games against in-state opponents. Previously, Zero Week was left open by the WHSAA for non-4A schools so they could schedule their own scrimmages, jamborees or games as they wished. WHSAA Associate Commissioner Trevor Wilson said the non-4A Zero Week games on the schedule distributed by the organization did not reflect a change in WHSAA policy; he said non-4A schools who scheduled Zero Week contests for 2020 and 2021 simply had their Zero Week games added to the schedule released by the WHSAA.

Some nonconference scheduling for 1A schools was also handled by the WHSAA office, Wilson said. In 2017 and 2018, schools had made their own nonconference schedules; prior to that, the WHSAA scheduled both conference and nonconference games. This year, 3A and 2A schools met Tuesday to set their nonconference schedules, which were then released by the WHSAA office, while 1A nonconference games were set by the WHSAA, Wilson said.

A proposal to change the Class 3A conferences, as reported earlier this week, apparently did not gain approval. For 2020 and 2021, Buffalo will replace Torrington in the 3A East, but no other changes to the conference alignment will be implemented for the next two seasons, per the schedule released Tuesday.

The Class 1A six-man schedule has numerous open dates because of an unbalanced conference alignment, with six teams in the East Conference and seven in the West Conference. After Week 1, most East teams have open weeks in Week 2 and Week 3, when West Conference teams begin league play.

Locations for three out-of-state games involving Star Valley and one out-of-state game involving Lyman have not been determined.

Schedules were released much earlier than usual by the WHSAA office. Previously, schedules had been distributed during the statewide scheduling meeting in Casper in mid-November.

The 2021 schedule will be an inverse of the 2020 schedule, with locations flip-flopping for each game.

The 2020 Wyoming high school football schedule, both by week and by team, is here:

Week 0 (Friday, Aug. 28)
Class 4A

Cheyenne Central at Natrona
Cheyenne East at Thunder Basin
Cheyenne South at Kelly Walsh
Laramie at Sheridan
Rock Springs at Campbell County
Class 3A
Cody at Douglas
Riverton at Powell
Class 2A
Tongue River at Lovell
Interclass
Big Horn at Buffalo
Lander at Pinedale
Thermopolis at Worland
Wheatland at Rawlins
Interstate
Jackson at Teton, Idaho
Lead-Deadwood, S.D., at Upton-Sundance
Lyman vs. Malad, Idaho (location TBD)
Newcastle at Hot Springs, S.D.
Ogden, Utah, at Evanston
Star Valley vs. South Summit, Utah (location TBD)
Torrington at Gering, Neb.
Open: Big Piney, Burns, Cokeville, Glenrock, Kemmerer, Green River, Mountain View. All 1A nine-man and 1A six-man programs have open weeks.
 
Week 1 (Friday, Sept. 4)
Class 4A

Campbell County at Laramie
Kelly Walsh at Cheyenne Central
Natrona at Cheyenne East
Sheridan at Cheyenne South
Thunder Basin at Rock Springs
Class 3A
Lander at Green River
Riverton at Cody
Powell at Worland
Class 2A
Lovell at Big Horn
Pinedale at Glenrock
Tongue River at Thermopolis
Class 1A nine-man
Greybull at Moorcroft
Lusk at St. Stephens
Riverside at Pine Bluffs
Saratoga at Wyoming Indian
Shoshoni at Southeast
Wind River at Lingle
Wright at Rocky Mountain
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Hulett
Guernsey-Sunrise at Farson
Kaycee at Dubois
Meeteetse at NSI
Midwest at Encampment
Snake River at Hanna
Interclass
Douglas at Torrington
Evanston JV at Big Piney
Kemmerer at Green River JV
Mountain View at Evanston
Newcastle at Buffalo
Rawlins at Lyman
Interstate
Burns at Mitchell, Neb.
Jackson at Bear Lake, Utah
Rich County, Utah, at Cokeville
Star Valley vs. Preston, Idaho (location TBD)
Open: Ten Sleep, Upton-Sundance, Wheatland.
 
Week 2 (Friday, Sept. 11)
Class 4A

Cheyenne Central at Sheridan
Cheyenne East at Campbell County
Cheyenne South at Thunder Basin
Laramie at Natrona
Rock Springs at Kelly Walsh
Class 3A
Buffalo at Green River
Evanston at Riverton
Lander at Powell
Worland at Cody
Class 2A
Big Piney at Thermopolis
Glenrock at Torrington
Lyman at Cokeville
Mountain View at Lovell
Pinedale at Kemmerer
Tongue River at Burns
Upton-Sundance at Newcastle
Wheatland at Big Horn
Class 1A nine-man
Lingle at Southeast
Moorcroft at Saratoga
Pine Bluffs at Lusk
Rocky Mountain at Shoshoni
St. Stephens at Riverside
Wind River at Greybull
Wyoming Indian at Wright
Class 1A six-man
Dubois at Midwest
Farson at Burlington
Kaycee at NSI
Snake River at Encampment
Ten Sleep at Meeteetse
Interstate
Douglas at Belle Fourche, S.D.
Hillcrest, Idaho, at Jackson
Moffat County, Colo., at Rawlins
Star Valley vs. Sugar-Salem, Idaho (location TBD)
Open: Guernsey-Sunrise, Hanna, Hulett.
 
Week 3 (Friday, Sept. 18)
Class 4A

Campbell County at Cheyenne South
Laramie at Cheyenne East
Natrona at Kelly Walsh
Sheridan at Rock Springs
Thunder Basin at Cheyenne Central
Class 3A
Cody at Buffalo
Evanston at Lander
Green River at Worland
Jackson at Riverton
Powell at Douglas
Rawlins at Star Valley
Class 2A
Big Horn at Newcastle
Big Piney at Pinedale
Burns at Glenrock
Cokeville at Mountain View
Lovell at Lyman
Thermopolis at Kemmerer
Torrington at Tongue River
Wheatland at Upton-Sundance
Class 1A nine-man
Greybull at Wyoming Indian
Lusk at Moorcroft
Riverside at Rocky Mountain
Saratoga at Pine Bluffs
Shoshoni at St. Stephens
Southeast at Wind River
Wright at Lingle
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Snake River
Encampment at Farson
Meeteetse at Dubois
NSI at Ten Sleep
Open: Guernsey-Sunrise, Hanna, Hulett, Kaycee, Midwest.
 
Week 4 (Friday, Sept. 25)
Class 4A

Campbell County at Thunder Basin
Cheyenne Central at Cheyenne South
Cheyenne East at Sheridan
Kelly Walsh at Laramie
Rock Springs at Natrona
Class 3A
Buffalo at Rawlins
Cody at Powell
Douglas at Riverton
Green River at Evanston
Star Valley at Jackson
Worland at Lander
Class 2A
Big Horn at Burns
Glenrock at Wheatland
Kemmerer at Mountain View
Lyman at Big Piney
Newcastle at Tongue River
Pinedale at Cokeville
Thermopolis at Lovell
Upton-Sundance at Torrington
Class 1A nine-man
Lingle at Lusk
Moorcroft at Wright
Rocky Mountain at Greybull
Shoshoni at Wind River
Southeast at Pine Bluffs
St. Stephens at Saratoga
Wind River at Riverside
Wyoming Indian at Rocky Mountain
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Meeteetse
Farson at Ten Sleep
Hanna at Guernsey-Sunrise
Hulett at Kaycee
NSI at Midwest
Snake River at Dubois
Open: Encampment.
 
Week 5 (Friday, Oct. 2)
Class 4A

Cheyenne Central at Campbell County
Cheyenne South at Cheyenne East
Laramie at Rock Springs
Sheridan at Natrona
Thunder Basin at Kelly Walsh
Class 3A
Evanston at Cody
Jackson at Green River
Lander at Douglas
Riverton at Buffalo
Star Valley at Powell
Worland at Rawlins
Class 2A
Burns at Wheatland
Cokeville at Thermopolis
Kemmerer at Lyman
Lovell at Big Piney
Mountain View at Pinedale
Newcastle at Glenrock
Tongue River at Upton-Sundance
Torrington at Big Horn
Class 1A nine-man
Greybull at St. Stephens
Lusk at Wright
Moorcroft at Southeast
Pine Bluffs at Shoshoni
Saratoga at Lingle
Wind River at Riverside
Wyoming Indian at Rocky Mountain
Class 1A six-man
Dubois at Burlington
Farson at Kaycee
Guernsey-Sunrise at Hulett
Meeteetse at Encampment
Midwest at Hanna
Ten Sleep at Snake River
Open: NSI. 
 
Week 6 (Friday, Oct. 9)
Class 4A

Cheyenne East at Cheyenne Central
Laramie at Thunder Basin
Natrona at Campbell County
Rock Springs at Cheyenne South
Sheridan at Kelly Walsh
Class 3A
Buffalo at Worland
Cody at Star Valley
Evanston at Jackson
Lander at Riverton
Powell at Green River
Rawlins at Douglas
Class 2A
Big Horn at Glenrock
Big Piney at Mountain View
Cokeville at Kemmerer
Pinedale at Lovell
Thermopolis at Lyman
Torrington at Newcastle
Upton-Sundance at Burns
Wheatland at Tongue River
Class 1A nine-man
Lingle at Moorcroft
Riverside at Greybull
Rocky Mountain at Lusk
Shoshoni at Wyoming Indian
Southeast at Saratoga
St. Stephens at Wind River
Wright at Pine Bluffs
Class 1A six-man
Dubois at Farson
Encampment at Ten Sleep
Hanna at NSI
Hulett at Midwest
Kaycee at Guernsey-Sunrise
Snake River at Meeteetse
Open: Burlington.
 
Week 7 (Friday, Oct. 16)
Class 4A

Campbell County at Sheridan
Cheyenne South at Laramie
Kelly Walsh at Cheyenne East
Thunder Basin at Natrona
Rock Springs at Cheyenne Central
Class 3A
Douglas at Buffalo
Green River at Cody
Jackson at Powell
Rawlins at Lander
Riverton at Worland
Star Valley at Evanston
Class 2A
Big Piney at Cokeville
Burns at Newcastle
Glenrock at Upton-Sundance
Lovell at Kemmerer
Lyman at Pinedale
Mountain View at Thermopolis
Tongue River at Big Horn
Wheatland at Torrington
Class 1A nine-man
Greybull at Shoshoni
Lusk at Southeast
Moorcroft at Riverside
Pine Bluffs at Lingle
St. Stephens at Wyoming Indian
Wind River at Rocky Mountain
Wright at Saratoga
Class 1A six-man
Encampment at Dubois
NSI at Guernsey-Sunrise
Hulett at Hanna
Meeteetse at Farson
Midwest at Kaycee
Ten Sleep at Burlington
Open: Snake River.
 
Week 8 (Friday, Oct. 23)
Class 4A

Cheyenne Central at Laramie
Cheyenne East at Rock Springs
Kelly Walsh at Campbell County
Natrona at Cheyenne South
Thunder Basin at Sheridan
Class 3A
Buffalo at Lander
Cody at Jackson
Green River at Star Valley
Powell at Evanston
Riverton at Rawlins
Worland at Douglas
Class 2A
Big Horn at Upton-Sundance
Cokeville at Lovell
Glenrock at Tongue River
Kemmerer at Big Piney
Lyman at Mountain View
Newcastle at Wheatland
Thermopolis at Pinedale
Torrington at Burns
Class 1A nine-man
Lingle at Greybull
Pine Bluffs at Moorcroft
Riverside at Shoshoni
Rocky Mountain at St. Stephens
Saratoga at Lusk
Southeast at Wright
Wyoming Indian at Wind River
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Encampment
Dubois at Ten Sleep
Farson at Snake River
Guernsey-Sunrise at Midwest
Hanna at Kaycee
NSI at Hulett
Open: Meeteetse.
 
By team
Class 4A
Campbell County
: vs. Rock Springs; at Laramie; vs. Cheyenne East; at Cheyenne South; at Thunder Basin; vs. Cheyenne Central; vs. Natrona; at Sheridan; vs. Kelly Walsh.
Cheyenne Central: at Natrona; vs. Kelly Walsh; at Sheridan; vs. Thunder Basin; at Cheyenne South; at Campbell County; vs. Cheyenne East; vs. Rock Springs; at Laramie.
Cheyenne East: at Thunder Basin; vs. Natrona; at Campbell County; vs. Laramie; at Sheridan; vs. Cheyenne South; at Cheyenne Central; vs. Kelly Walsh; at Rock Springs.
Cheyenne South: at Kelly Walsh; vs. Sheridan; at Thunder Basin; vs. Campbell County; vs. Cheyenne Central; at Cheyenne East; vs. Rock Springs; at Laramie; vs. Natrona.
Kelly Walsh: vs. Cheyenne South; at Cheyenne Central; vs. Rock Springs; vs. Natrona; at Laramie; vs. Thunder Basin; vs. Sheridan; at Cheyenne East; at Campbell County.
Laramie: at Sheridan; vs. Campbell County; at Natrona; at Cheyenne East; vs. Kelly Walsh; at Rock Springs; at Thunder Basin; vs. Cheyenne South; vs. Cheyenne Central.
Natrona: vs. Cheyenne Central; at Cheyenne East; vs. Laramie; at Kelly Walsh; vs. Rock Springs; vs. Sheridan; at Campbell County; vs. Thunder Basin; at Cheyenne South.
Rock Springs: at Campbell County; vs. Thunder Basin; at Kelly Walsh; vs. Sheridan; at Natrona; vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne South; at Cheyenne Central; vs. Cheyenne East.
Sheridan: vs. Laramie; at Cheyenne South; vs. Cheyenne Central; at Rock Springs; vs. Cheyenne East; at Natrona; at Kelly Walsh; vs. Campbell County; vs. Thunder Basin.
Thunder Basin: vs. Cheyenne East; at Rock Springs; vs. Cheyenne South; at Cheyenne Central; vs. Campbell County; at Kelly Walsh; vs. Laramie; at Natrona; at Sheridan.

Class 3A East
Buffalo
: vs. Big Horn; vs. Newcastle; at Green River; vs. Cody; at Rawlins; vs. Riverton; at Worland; vs. Douglas; at Lander.
Douglas: vs. Cody; at Torrington; at Belle Fourche, S.D.; vs. Powell; at Riverton; vs. Lander; vs. Rawlins; at Buffalo; vs. Worland.
Lander: at Pinedale; at Green River; at Powell; vs. Evanston; vs. Worland; at Douglas; at Riverton; vs. Rawlins; vs. Buffalo.
Rawlins: vs. Wheatland; at Lyman; vs. Moffat County, Colo.; at Star Valley; vs. Buffalo; vs. Worland; at Douglas; at Lander; vs. Riverton.
Riverton: at Powell; at Cody; vs. Evanston; vs. Jackson; vs. Douglas; at Buffalo; vs. Lander; at Worland; at Rawlins.
Worland: vs. Thermopolis; vs. Powell; at Cody; vs. Green River; at Lander; at Rawlins; vs. Buffalo; vs. Riverton; at Douglas.
Class 3A West
Cody
: at Douglas; vs. Riverton; vs. Worland; at Buffalo; at Powell; vs. Evanston; at Star Valley; vs. Green River; at Jackson.
Evanston: vs. Ogden, Utah; vs. Mountain View; at Riverton; at Lander; vs. Green River; at Cody; at Jackson; vs. Star Valley; vs. Powell.
Green River: Open, vs. Lander; vs. Buffalo; at Worland; at Evanston; vs. Jackson; vs. Powell; at Cody; at Star Valley.
Jackson: at Teton, Idaho; at Bear Lake, Utah; vs. Hillcrest, Idaho; at Riverton; vs. Star Valley; at Green River; vs. Evanston; at Powell; vs. Cody.
Powell: vs. Riverton; at Worland; vs. Lander; at Douglas; vs. Cody; vs. Star Valley; at Green River; vs. Jackson; at Evanston.
Star Valley: vs. South Summit, Utah (location TBD); vs. Preston, Idaho (location TBD); vs. Sugar-Salem, Idaho (location TBD); vs. Rawlins; at Jackson; at Powell; vs. Cody; at Evanston; vs. Green River.

Class 2A East
Big Horn
: at Buffalo; vs. Lovell; vs. Wheatland; at Newcastle; at Burns; vs. Torrington; at Glenrock; vs. Tongue River; at Upton-Sundance.
Burns: Open; at Mitchell, Neb.; vs. Tongue River; at Glenrock; vs. Big Horn; at Wheatland; vs. Upton-Sundance; at Newcastle; vs. Torrington.
Glenrock: Open; vs. Pinedale; at Torrington; vs. Burns; at Wheatland; vs. Newcastle; vs. Big Horn; at Upton-Sundance; at Tongue River.
Newcastle: at Hot Springs, S.D.; at Buffalo; vs. Upton-Sundance; vs. Big Horn; at Tongue River; at Glenrock; vs. Torrington; vs. Burns; at Wheatland.
Tongue River: at Lovell; at Thermopolis; at Burns; vs. Torrington; vs. Newcastle; at Upton-Sundance; vs. Wheatland; at Big Horn; vs. Glenrock.
Torrington: at Gering, Neb.; vs. Douglas; vs. Glenrock; at Tongue River; vs. Upton-Sundance; at Big Horn; at Newcastle; vs. Wheatland; at Burns.
Upton-Sundance: vs. Lead, S.D.; Open; at Newcastle; vs. Wheatland; at Torrington; vs. Tongue River; at Burns; vs. Glenrock; vs. Big Horn.
Wheatland: at Rawlins; Open; at Big Horn; at Upton-Sundance; vs. Glenrock; vs. Burns; at Tongue River; at Torrington; vs. Newcastle.
Class 2A West
Big Piney
: Open; vs. Evanston JV; at Thermopolis; at Pinedale; vs. Lyman; vs. Lovell; at Mountain View; at Cokeville; vs. Kemmerer.
Cokeville: Open; vs. Rich County, Utah; vs. Lyman; at Mountain View; vs. Pinedale; at Thermopolis; at Kemmerer; vs. Big Piney; at Lovell.
Kemmerer: Open; at Green River JV; vs. Pinedale; vs. Thermopolis; at Mountain View; at Lyman; vs. Cokeville; vs. Lovell; at Big Piney.
Lovell: vs. Tongue River; at Big Horn; vs. Mountain View; at Lyman; vs. Thermopolis; at Big Piney; vs. Pinedale; at Kemmerer; vs. Cokeville.
Lyman: vs. Malad, Idaho (location TBD); vs. Rawlins; at Cokeville; vs. Lovell; at Big Piney; vs. Kemmerer; vs. Thermopolis; at Pinedale; at Mountain View.
Mountain View: Open; at Evanston; at Lovell; vs. Cokeville; vs. Kemmerer; at Pinedale; vs. Big Piney; at Thermopolis; vs. Lyman.
Pinedale: vs. Lander; at Glenrock; at Kemmerer; vs. Big Piney; at Cokeville; vs. Mountain View; at Lovell; vs. Lyman; vs. Thermopolis.
Thermopolis: at Worland; vs. Tongue River; vs. Big Piney; at Kemmerer; at Lovell; vs. Cokeville; at Lyman; vs. Mountain View; at Pinedale.

Class 1A nine-man East (no Zero Week scheduled)
Lingle
: vs. Wind River; at Southeast; vs. Wright; at Lusk; vs. Saratoga; at Moorcroft; vs. Pine Bluffs; at Greybull.
Moorcroft: vs. Greybull; at Saratoga; vs. Lusk; at Wright; at Southeast; vs. Lingle; at Riverside; vs. Pine Bluffs.
Lusk: at St. Stephens; vs. Pine Bluffs; at Moorcroft; vs. Lingle; at Wright; vs. Rocky Mountain; at Southeast; vs. Saratoga. 
Pine Bluffs: vs. Riverside; at Lusk; vs. Saratoga; vs. Southeast; at Shoshoni; vs. Wright; at Lingle; at Moorcroft. 
Saratoga: at Wyoming Indian; vs. Moorcroft; at Pine Bluffs; vs. St. Stephens; at Lingle; vs. Southeast; vs. Wright; at Lusk.
Southeast: vs. Shoshoni; vs. Lingle; at Wind River; at Pine Bluffs; vs. Moorcroft; at Saratoga; vs. Lusk; at Wright. 
Wright: at Rocky Mountain; vs. Wyoming Indian; at Lingle; vs. Moorcroft; vs. Lusk; at Pine Bluffs; at Saratoga; vs. Southeast. 
Class 1A nine-man West (no Zero Week scheduled)
Greybull
: at Moorcroft; vs. Wind River; at Wyoming Indian; vs. Rocky Mountain; at St. Stephens; vs. Riverside; at Shoshoni; vs. Lingle. 
Riverside: at Pine Bluffs; vs. St. Stephens; at Rocky Mountain; vs. Wyoming Indian; vs. Wind River; at Greybull; vs. Moorcroft; at Shoshoni.
Rocky Mountain: vs. Wright; at Shoshoni; vs. Riverside; at Greybull; vs. Wyoming Indian; at Lusk; vs. Wind River; at St. Stephens. 
Shoshoni: at Southeast; vs. Rocky Mountain; at St. Stephens; at Wind River; vs. Pine Bluffs; at Wyoming Indian; vs. Greybull; vs. Riverside. 
St. Stephens: vs. Lusk; at Riverside; vs. Shoshoni; at Saratoga; vs. Greybull; at Wind River; at Wyoming Indian; vs. Rocky Mountain. 
Wind River: at Lingle; at Greybull; vs. Southeast; vs. Shoshoni; at Riverside; vs. St. Stephens; at Rocky Mountain; vs. Wyoming Indian. 
Wyoming Indian: vs. Saratoga; at Wright; vs. Greybull; at Riverside; at Rocky Mountain; vs. Shoshoni; vs. St. Stephens; at Wind River. 

Class 1A six-man East (no Zero Week scheduled)
Guernsey-Sunrise
: at Farson; Open; Open; vs. Hanna; at Hulett; vs. Kaycee; vs. NSI; at Midwest.
Hanna: vs. Snake River; Open; Open; at Guernsey-Sunrise; vs. Midwest; at NSI; vs. Hulett; at Kaycee. 
Hulett: vs. Burlington; Open; Open; at Kaycee; vs. Guernsey-Sunrise; at Midwest; at Hanna; vs. NSI.
Kaycee: at Dubois; at NSI; Open; vs. Hulett; vs. Farson; at Guernsey-Sunrise; vs. Midwest; vs. Hanna.
Midwest: at Encampment; vs. Dubois; Open; vs. NSI; at Hanna; vs. Hulett; at Kaycee; vs. Guernsey-Sunrise. 
NSI: vs. Meeteetse; vs. Kaycee; at Ten Sleep; at Midwest; Open; vs. Hanna; at Guernsey-Sunrise; at Hulett.
Class 1A six-man West (no Zero Week scheduled)
Burlington
: at Hulett; vs. Farson; at Snake River; at Meeteetse; vs. Dubois; Open; vs. Ten Sleep; at Encampment.
Dubois: vs. Kaycee; at Midwest; vs. Meeteetse; vs. Snake River; at Burlington; at Farson; vs. Encampment; at Ten Sleep.
Encampment: vs. Midwest; vs. Snake River; at Farson; Open; vs. Meeteetse; at Ten Sleep; at Dubois; vs. Burlington. 
Farson: vs. Guernsey-Sunrise; at Burlington; vs. Encampment; at Ten Sleep; at Kaycee; vs. Dubois; vs. Meeteetse; at Snake River.
Meeteetse: at NSI; vs. Ten Sleep; at Dubois; vs. Burlington; at Encampment; vs. Snake River; at Farson; Open. 
Snake River: at Hanna; at Encampment; vs. Burlington; at Dubois; vs. Ten Sleep; at Meeteetse; Open; vs. Farson.
Ten Sleep: Open; at Meeteetse; vs. NSI; vs. Farson; at Snake River; vs. Encampment; at Burlington; vs. Dubois.

This post was updated at 7:37 p.m. MDT Oct. 31 to reflect a new game in Week 5 between Kaycee and Farson and the moving of the Kaycee-NSI game from Week 5 to Week 2.

–patrick

Class 3A could see a shift in its football conference alignments for 2020 and 2021, with Powell and Cody switching places with Rawlins and Lander.

Such a move would lower overall travel but would put Fremont County rivals Riverton and Lander in separate conferences.

The proposed conference alignment would have Rawlins and Lander join Jackson, Star Valley, Evanston and Green River in a modified West Conference, while Powell and Cody would join Worland, Buffalo, Riverton and Douglas in a modified East Conference.

The proposal was confirmed in separate emails from four current Class 3A coaches to wyoming-football.com. However, their understandings of the proposal ranged from “nothing super concrete” to “a done deal.”

One coach said the new proposal would help eliminate overnight travel for conference games for all teams. The necessity to travel through Yellowstone Park for conference games would also be reduced.

The potential move is precipitated in part by reclassification, which brings Buffalo’s return to 3A and Torrington’s move to Class 2A for both 2020 and 2021.

Below is a table of the mileage between 3A high schools, showing only the distances between schools that could be in the same conference in 2020. One-way distances here are calculated “through the park,” where teams take shorter trips going through Yellowstone when possible.

JacEvaSVGRCodPowLanRawRivDouWorBuf
Jacx19067190179205162283
Eva190x12493367389207212
SV67124x171245271228290
GR19093171x293315133127
Cod179367245293x2616526114026689177
Pow20538927131526x18828316228888157
Lan162207228133165188x12629198115205
Raw283212290127261283126x125170211227
Riv14016229125x17290180
Dou266288198170172x215163
Wor898811521190215x91
Buf17715720522718016391x

Total conference travel distances for respective teams would change with new conferences, with equal teams seeing more and less travel but with overall travel reduced.

With the old alignment, with Buffalo replacing Torrington in the East Conference and no other changes, teams would have averaged a total of 907 miles to their conference destinations; with the new alignment, teams would average a total of 818 miles to their conference foes, a reduction about 91 miles per school.

Schools with more travel would include:
Jackson: Old alignment, 831 miles; new alignment, 892 miles.
Star Valley: Old alignment, 878 miles; new alignment, 880 miles.
Rawlins: Old alignment, 859 miles; new alignment, 1,038 miles.
Riverton: Old alignment, 596 miles; new alignment, 744 miles.
Douglas: Old alignment, 918 miles; new alignment, 1,104 miles.
Lander: Old alignment, 673 miles; new alignment, 856 mies.

Schools with less travel would include:
Evanston: Old alignment, 1,163 miles; new alignment, 826 miles.
Green River: Old alignment, 1,062 miles; new alignment, 714 miles.
Cody: Old alignment, 1,110 miles; new alignment, 698 miles.
Powell: Old alignment, 1,206 miles; new alignment, 721 miles.
Worland: Old alignment, 722 miles; new alignment, 573 miles.
Buffalo: Old alignment, 866 miles; new alignment, 768 miles.

The WHSAA will release the conference portion of the 2020 football schedule at the statewide scheduling meeting Nov. 19-20 in Casper.

–patrick

Here are the projected quarterfinal playoff matchups for 2019. Official brackets will be released later by the Wyoming High School Activities Association, including game dates and kickoff times.

The top overall seeds are the West Conference champions (3A, 1A six-man) and the East Conference champions (2A, 1A 11-man).

Nov. 1-2
Class 4A
(8) Gillette at (1) Thunder Basin
(5) Natrona at (4) Cheyenne East
(7) Kelly Walsh at (2) Sheridan
(6) Rock Springs at (3) Cheyenne Central
Class 3A
(4E) Douglas at (1W) Star Valley
(3W) Jackson at (2E) Riverton
(4W) Powell at (1E) Lander
(3E) Worland at (2W) Cody
Class 2A
(4W) Lovell at (1E) Buffalo
(3E) Thermopolis at (2W) Lyman
(4E) Wheatland at (1W) Mountain View
(3W) Big Piney at (2E) Burns
Class 1A 11-man
(4W) Wind River at (1E) Big Horn
(3E) Southeast at (2W) Shoshoni
(4E) Wright at (1W) Cokeville
(3W) Rocky Mountain at (2E) Upton-Sundance
Class 1A six-man
(4E) Kaycee at (1W) Snake River
(3W) Farson at (2E) Hulett
(4W) Meeteetse at (1E) Hanna
(3E) Lingle at (2W) Burlington

Post updated 4:17 p.m. MDT Oct. 26 to reflect Saturday’s game and seedings in the 1A six-man bracket.

–patrick

In all, 19 of the 30 games on the schedule this week have an effect on playoff seeding.

Of Wyoming’s five football classifications, though, only one class has a schedule where every game matters to playoff seeding — Class 4A.

Like usual, Class 4A has two distinct strata: the top teams, and the not-so-top teams. But one game, Central’s 32-19 victory against Natrona last week, suddenly increased the ranks of the top tier by one — and Rock Springs is right there, too, being consistently competitive against top teams.

When we look at this week’s 4A schedule, that’s the dividing line. The top tier teams are trying to figure out seeds one through six, while the not-so-top tier is trying to figure out the last two teams in.

There are 32 different scenarios with these games — leading to a ton of potentially different playoff brackets. The only thing certain is that Thunder Basin will be the top seed.

After that? Chaos, but neatly aligned chaos split directly between seeds Nos. 6 and 7.

Sheridan could be seed 2 or 3; Cheyenne East could finish anywhere from 2 to 5; Cheyenne Central could finish third, fourth or fifth; Natrona could be third, sixth or anywhere in between; Rock Springs will be on the road in the first round but could be either fifth or sixth.

Games between Cheyenne East and Sheridan and between Natrona and Rock Springs will help sort the top tier.

Then we get our straddle games: Cheyenne Central facing Cheyenne South and Thunder Basin facing Laramie.

Most likely, Central and Thunder Basin win those games. But if they don’t, that’s when the scenarios on the bottom tier get, um, weird.

If Kelly Walsh beats Gillette and South and Laramie simultaneously pull two of the biggest upsets in 4A history, then we’ll finish with a four-way tie for the final two playoff spots.

The anarchist in me wants to see this happen.

Remember how the WHSAA put into place the scoring differential tiebreaker this year — an effort to curb the use of coin flips to decide playoff seeding? It doesn’t apply to four-way ties. Dimes and thumbs are how four-way ties are broken in cases like this where one team hasn’t beaten, or lost, to all of the other three.

But that’s the least likely of the 32 scenarios.

Even a three-way tie would require a monumental upset by either South or Laramie. (Although… any chance Thunder Basin rests its starters and gives up an undefeated season to avoid risking injuries to key guys before the playoffs? Probably not, but it’s a thought.)

That leaves one key game to discuss: Kelly Walsh hosting Gillette. The Camels have the advantage with the better record, but KW has home field and urgency… because the three-way tie that’s most likely is KW, Laramie and South tying for the eighth and final playoff spot, all with 1-8 records.

And in that situation… Laramie is in, with Laramie +6, KW +5 and South -11.

In a weird way, scoring differential has created more clarity entering the final week. Now, KW knows it has to win to be in.

In a 4A week where every game matters, that kind of certainty is rare.

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Other Week 8 games? Well, 14 of them have playoff implications. Here’s a quick look at some of them:

Don’t overlook the Lander-Worland game in the 3A East. The Tigers have been rolling, but the Warriors have been resurgent and are still in the mix for a conference championship themselves — and this game is in Washakie County. By the same token, Riverton at Douglas in the 3A East could also be one of the best games in the state this week, and just as much is on the line there. …

One of the games I’ve been waiting for all season finally happens Friday with Thermopolis traveling to Burns. The winner gains home field for the first round of the 2A playoffs, and to be honest both teams have proven themselves both capable and worthy of that honor. Really interested to see how it goes. …

The 1A 11-man East championship will either be a Big Horn runaway or a three-way tie; if Southeast can somehow give the Rams their first loss of the season, in Yoder, then the 1A title chase goes from predictable to chaotic. …

The best game on the six-man schedule is the regional rivalry between Burlington and Riverside in Basin — a game we won’t see next year or into the foreseeable future as the Rebels make the jump to nine-man. Last week’s Lingle-Guernsey game was played under similar circumstances. It’ll be sad to see some of those rivalries go, but new ones will emerge — like Riverside-Greybull, which will be rekindled as a conference game next year. …

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On to some picks for Week 8, the final week of the regular season and the end to the careers of about a third of Wyoming’s high school football seniors:

Thursday
Class 2A

Big Piney at Lyman
Friday
Class 4A
Cheyenne East at Sheridan
Cheyenne South at Cheyenne Central
Gillette at Kelly Walsh
Rock Springs at Natrona
Thunder Basin at Laramie
Class 3A
Cody at Green River
Evanston at Star Valley
Lander at Worland
Powell at Jackson
Rawlins at Torrington
Riverton at Douglas
Class 2A
Buffalo at Newcastle
Glenrock at Moorcroft
Greybull at Mountain View
Kemmerer at Lovell
Thermopolis at Burns
Wheatland at Pinedale
Class 1A 11-man
Big Horn at Southeast
Shoshoni vs. Upton-Sundance (at Casper)
Pine Bluffs at Lusk
Wind River at Cokeville
Wright at Tongue River
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Riverside
Dubois at Snake River
Hanna at Guernsey-Sunrise
NSI at Kaycee
St. Stephens at Farson
Saturday
Class 1A six-man

Lingle at Hulett
Encampment’s game Wednesday was canceled; Meeteetse has an open week; in a pair of forfeits, Rocky Mountain defeated Wyoming Indian and Saratoga beat Midwest.

For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Week 8” on the top of the page for this week’s schedule.

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Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:

Last week: 29-3 (91 percent). This season: 195-48 (80 percent). 

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Do you like the score differential tiebreaker? Leave a comment here, or hit me up on the Facebook page or on Twitter.

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–patrick

Here’s a quick look at the playoff scenarios for Wyoming high school football teams entering Week 8 of the 2019 season:

Class 4A
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Cheyenne East at Sheridan; Cheyenne South at Cheyenne Central; Gillette at Kelly Walsh; Rock Springs at Natrona; Thunder Basin at Laramie.
Thunder Basin: In. No. 1 seed.
Sheridan: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Cheyenne East: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Natrona loss. No. 4 seed (score differential to break) with loss, Central victory and Natrona victory (East is second in differential tiebreaker in this scenario). No. 4 seed with loss, South victory and Natrona victory.
Natrona: In. No. 3 seed with victory, Sheridan victory and South victory. No. 4 seed with victory and East victory. No. 5 seed (score differential to break) with victory, Sheridan victory and Central victory (Natrona is third in differential tiebreaker in this scenario). No. 6 seed with loss.
Cheyenne Central: In. No. 3 seed (score differential to break) with victory, Natrona victory and Sheridan victory (Central wins in differential tiebreaker in this scenario). No. 4 seed with victory, Rock Springs victory and Sheridan victory. No. 4 seed with victory and East victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Rock Springs victory. No. 5 seed with loss and Natrona victory.
Rock Springs: In. No. 5 seed with victory. No. 6 seed with loss.
Gillette: Neither in nor out. No. 7 seed with victory. No. 8 seed with loss and Thunder Basin victory. Tie for 7-8-out-out seeding (four-way tiebreaker to break, likely a coin flip) with loss, South victory and Laramie victory. Out (via highest-ranked three-way tiebreaker) with loss, Central victory and Laramie victory.
Cheyenne South: Neither in nor out. No. 8 seed with victory and Gillette victory. Tie for 7-8-out-out seeding (four-way tiebreaker to break, likely a coin flip) with victory, Kelly Walsh victory and Laramie victory. Out with victory, Kelly Walsh victory and Thunder Basin victory. Out with loss. (Laramie wins score differential tiebreaker with South loss, Gillette victory and Thunder Basin victory.)
Kelly Walsh: Neither in nor out. No. 7 seed with victory and Thunder Basin victory. Tie for 7-8-out-out seeding (four-way tiebreaker to break, likely a coin flip) with victory, South victory and Laramie victory. No. 8 seed (via highest-ranked three-way tiebreaker) with victory, Central victory and Laramie victory. Out with loss and either South or Laramie victory. Tie for 8-out-out seeding (score differential to break) with loss, Central victory and Thunder Basin victory.
Laramie: Neither in nor out. No. 7 seed (via highest-ranked three-way tiebreaker) with victory, Kelly Walsh victory and Central victory. No. 8 seed with victory, Gillette victory and Central victory. Tie for 7-8-out-out seeding (four-way tiebreaker to break, likely a coin flip) with victory, Kelly Walsh victory and South victory. Out with victory, Gillette victory and South victory. No. 8 seed with loss, Gillette victory and Central victory (Laramie wins score differential tiebreaker in this scenario). Out with loss, Gillette victory and South victory. Out with loss and Kelly Walsh victory.

Class 3A East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Lander at Worland; Riverton at Douglas.
Lander: In. No. 1 seed with victory. Tie for 1-2-3 seeds (score differential to break) with loss and Riverton victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Riverton +8, Lander +2, Worland -10). No. 2 seed with loss and Douglas victory.
Worland: In. No. 1 seed with victory and Douglas victory. Tie for 1-2-3 seeds (score differential to break) with victory and Riverton victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Riverton +8, Lander +2, Worland -10). Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (score differential to break) with loss and Douglas victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Riverton +10, Worland +2, Douglas -12). No. 3 seed with loss and Riverton victory.
Douglas: In. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (score differential to break) with victory and Lander victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Riverton +10, Worland +2, Douglas -12). No. 3 seed with victory and Worland victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Riverton: In. Tie for 1-2-3 seeds (score differential to break) with victory and Worland victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Riverton +8, Lander +2, Worland -10). No. 2 seed with victory and Lander victory. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (score differential to break) with loss and Lander victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Riverton +10, Worland +2, Douglas -12). No. 4 seed with loss and Worland victory.
Rawlins, Torrington: Out.

Class 3A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Powell at Jackson.
Star Valley: In. No. 1 seed.
Cody: In. No. 2 seed.
Jackson, Powell: In. No. 3 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss.
Evanston, Green River: Out.

Class 2A East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Thermopolis at Burns.
Buffalo: In. No. 1 seed.
Burns, Thermopolis: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Wheatland: In. No. 4 seed.
Glenrock, Moorcroft, Newcastle: Out.

Class 2A West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Big Piney at Lyman; Kemmerer at Lovell.
Mountain View: In. No. 1 seed.
Big Piney: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss and Kemmerer victory. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (score differential to break) with loss and Lovell victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Big Piney +6, Lyman -2, Lovell -4).
Lovell: In. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (score differential to break) with victory and Lyman victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Big Piney +6, Lyman -2, Lovell -4). No. 3 seed with Big Piney victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Lyman victory.
Lyman: In. No. 2 seed with victory and Kemmerer victory. Tie for 2-3-4 seeds (score differential to break) with victory and Lovell victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Big Piney +6, Lyman -2, Lovell -4). No. 4 seed with loss.
Pinedale, Greybull, Kemmerer: Out.

Class 1A 11-man East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Big Horn at Southeast.
Big Horn: In. No. 1 seed with victory. Tie for 1-2-3 seeds (score differential to break) with loss (entering week, tiebreaker is Big Horn +12, Upton-Sundance 0, Southeast -12).
Upton-Sundance: In. No. 2 seed with Big Horn victory. Tie for 1-2-3 seeds (score differential to break) with Southeast victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Big Horn +12, Upton-Sundance 0, Southeast -12).
Southeast: In. Tie for 1-2-3 seeds (score differential to break) with Southeast victory (entering week, tiebreaker is Big Horn +12, Upton-Sundance 0, Southeast -12). No. 3 seed with loss.
Wright: In. No. 4 seed
Lusk, Pine Bluffs, Tongue River: Out.

Class 1A 11-man West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: none.
Cokeville: In. No. 1 seed.
Shoshoni: In. No. 2 seed.
Rocky Mountain: In. No. 3 seed.
Wind River: In. No. 4 seed.
Wyoming Indian: Out.

Class 1A six-man East
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Hanna at Guernsey; NSI at Kaycee; Lingle at Hulett.
Hanna: In. No. 1 seed.
Hulett, Lingle: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed with loss.
Kaycee: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory. No. 4 seed with loss and Hanna victory. Out with loss and Guernsey victory.
Guernsey: Neither in nor out. No. 4 seed with victory and NSI victory. Out with victory and Kaycee victory. Out with loss.
Midwest, NSI: Out.
Saratoga: Ineligible for playoffs.

Class 1A six-man West
Week 8 games affecting playoff seeding: Burlington at Riverside; St. Stephens at Farson.
Snake River: In. No. 1 seed.
Farson: In. No. 2 seed with victory and Riverside victory. No. 2 seed (score differential to break) with loss and Riverside victory (Farson wins score differential tiebreaker and/or highest ranking victory tiebreaker in this scenario). No. 3 seed with Burlington victory.
Burlington: In. No. 2 seed with victory. No. 3 seed (score differential to break) with loss and St. Stephens victory (Burlington is second in differential tiebreaker in this scenario). No. 4 seed with loss and Farson victory.
Meeteetse: In. No. 3 seed with Riverside victory and Farson victory. No. 4 seed (score differential to break) with Riverside victory and St. Stephens victory (Meeteetse is third in differential tiebreaker in this scenario). No. 4 seed with Burlington victory.
St. Stephens, Dubois: Out.
Riverside: Ineligible for playoffs.

Post updated 6:56 p.m. MDT Oct. 21 to reflect Rocky Mountain’s forfeit victory against Wyoming Indian in Week 8.
Post updated 12:09 p.m. MDT Oct. 20 to reflect winners and current tiebreaker scores for potential three-way ties affected by scoring differential. Post updated 10:34 p.m. MDT Oct. 19 to reflect updated scenarios in 2A West, 1A six-man East and 1A six-man West.

–patrick

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