Occasionally, just before the playoff starts, we get a playoff game.
Now, I’m not talking about a game that’s a part of the actual playoff bracket, being played a week early. That’s crazy talk.
Instead, I’m talking about the simplest of propositions facing a team in Week 8: Win and you’re in. Lose and you’re not.
So even though the regular-season finale on Friday for Green River and Star Valley isn’t a playoff game… it is. They face that winner-takes-a-spot, loser-takes-a-seat scenario, and they’ll do so together.
The game between the Wolves and Braves the only game in the state like that this week.
Of the 40 playoff spots available in Wyoming’s five classifications of football, 36 teams already have one of those postseason spots secured. That includes all eight teams in Class 4A and Class 2A, seven of eight in 3A and 1A nine-man and six of eight in 1A six-man.
In Class 1A six-man, three teams (Burlington, Snake River and Encampment) are going for the final two spots, and conveniently Burlington and Encampment play each other. That will help settle a lot of uncertainty. However, only Burlington is in a true win-and-in, lose-and-out spot; both Encampment and Snake River could lose and still get in.
And in Class 1A nine-man, in a weird twist, the eighth spot (the final spot from the West), going to either Greybull or Wind River, will be decided by a game played by Shoshoni and Riverside. If Shoshoni wins, Greybull makes the playoffs. If Riverside wins, Wind River is in. Wind River is off this week; if I’m the Cougars, I’m organizing a trip across Fremont County to Shoshoni to go root for the Rebels.
A bit different than Star Valley-Green River, isn’t it?
Even though the bulk of spots are sets, multiple questions still exist for seeding. Particularly in Class 4A, the scenarios are complicated, as four of the five games have an effect on who ends up where. While I’ll pay particular attention to 4A, every game has something interesting going on; here’s what I’m intrigued by the most this week:
Anyone else get the feeling that Sheridan might sneak up on Thunder Basin in a potential trap game for the ‘Bolts? Just me? OK. …
Can Rock Springs sweep the Cheyenne schools? The Tigers had a huge attention-getting victory last week against Central, and if they can do the same to East the week before the playoffs, Katie bar the door. …
I’m still not sure how Buffalo is 1-5 and not making the postseason. Buffalo is one of those teams that’s better than its record; the Bison’s five losses are by scores of 8-6, 14-6, 13-6, 27-23 and 20-17. It’s too bad their season will end this week. The Bison could give Lander a true challenge, even though the Tigers will be playing at home next week and the Bison will be watching from home. …
The 2A East’s top seed will be decided one way or another by the game between Big Horn and Upton-Sundance. Don’t let the Rams’ slow start fool you; they’re playing really well right now. And don’t let the previous sentence fool you, either; the Patriots are in great shape, and their only loss all season was on the road by 3 points. …
The Bridger Valley Bowl between Lyman and Mountain View means way more this season, as it will decide the top seed from the 2A West. Lyman’s defense has been its calling card all season long, so I’m curious to see how the Eagles will match up against a diverse Mountain View offense.
Picks. I make ’em. You read ’em. I bold ’em; you know it means that’s who I’m picking.
Cheyenne Central at Laramie
Cheyenne East at Rock Springs
Kelly Walsh at Campbell County
Natrona at Cheyenne South
Thunder Basin at Sheridan
Buffalo at Lander
Cody at Jackson
Green River at Star Valley
Powell at Evanston
Riverton at Rawlins
Worland at Douglas
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
Class 1A nine-man
Lingle at Greybull
Pine Bluffs at Moorcroft
Riverside at Shoshoni
Saratoga at Lusk
Southeast at Wright
Class 1A six-man
Hanna at Kaycee
NSI at Hulett
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Encampment
Dubois at Ten Sleep
Farson at Snake River
Guernsey-Sunrise at Midwest
Cody JV at Meeteetse
Open: Rocky Mountain, Wind River. The game between Torrington and Burns scheduled for this week was canceled.
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.
Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:
Last week: 28-3 (90 percent). This season: 183-55 (77 percent).
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