When I posted last week that weekly rankings for Wyoming high school football back to 1984 had been researched and published, I knew I would have lots of different questions I could answer with the new information.
This post is answering some of those.
Below, I have outlined answers to four different questions I immediately had: (1) Which team has spent the most consecutive weeks ranked in the top five? (2) Which team has spent the most consecutive weeks ranked No. 1? (3) Which season/classification had the most teams ranked No. 1 during the year? (4) Which season/classification had the most stability in a single season?
While some questions were limited to answers since 1984 only, some answers could be tracked back to the mid-1950s, when statewide polls began. I hope to publish weekly rankings from the 1950s through 1983 as soon as I think it’s in a state worthy of sharing publicly. It’s not there yet. 🙂
As for answers? Well, here you go:
Cokeville had an amazing run of 194 consecutive polls in which they were ranked in the top five. That stretch ran for 23 years, from 1993 to 2015.
Sheridan had the second-longest run of consecutive polls ranked, with 114 in a row from 2009-20.
Since 1984, the top 10 streaks of being ranked somewhere in the top five are:
- Cokeville: 194 weeks (1993-2015)
- Sheridan: 114 weeks (2009-20)
- Campbell County: 87 weeks (1996-2007)
- Buffalo: 77 weeks (2003-11)
- Cokeville: 77 weeks (1984-92)
- Big Horn: 73 weeks (2012-20)
- Lusk: 73 weeks (1994-2003)
- Lovell: 70 weeks (1987-95)
- Campbell County: 68 weeks (2010-16)
- Lusk: 66 weeks (2008-15)
The longest active streak is Star Valley, which has been ranked in the last 63 polls back to 2015.
Meanwhile, Sheridan spent the most consecutive weeks at No. 1, going 23 polls between 1991 and 1993 ranked first.
The top 10 streaks of being ranked No. 1 since 1984 are:
- Sheridan: 23 weeks (1991-93)
- Cokeville: 21 weeks (2001-03)
- Powell: 21 weeks (2012-14)
- Meeteetse: 20 weeks (1989-91)
- Natrona: 20 weeks (2011-13)
- Douglas: 19 weeks (2009-11)
- Snake River: 19 weeks (2010-12)
- Big Horn: 18 weeks (2018-19)
- Glenrock: 18 weeks (2016-17)
- Cheyenne Central: 18 weeks (1989-90)
Most different teams ranked No. 1
The classification and season with the most variability was Class 3A in 1986. In that season, six different programs were ranked No. 1. While Evanston was the preseason No. 1 (and there was no poll prior to Week 2), Jackson was ranked first in Week 3, followed by Star Valley (Weeks 4-5), Glenrock (Week 6), Powell (Week 7), Torrington (Weeks 8-9) and Powell again (Week 10).
The fact that there was so much variability at the top in 3A that season was no surprise. In all, no team in 3A that season finished with fewer than three losses, but nine of the 12 programs in 3A finished with at least four victories. Jackson (6-4) beat Douglas (5-5, and never ranked No. 1) in the 3A title game that year.
No single classification in any other season has had six teams ranked No. 1, although six other seasons have had five teams ranked No. 1 in a single season. This happened most recently in 1996 in Class 4A. It also previously happened in Class AA (1966, both AP and UPI), Class A (1979, AP, and 1974, UPI) and Class B (1979, UPI).
As noted in my first post about rankings, going wire-to-wire as No. 1 is not uncommon — 60 teams have done so since 1984 alone.
However, in one season we saw the top four teams go unchanged all season long, and it wasn’t that long ago.
In 2020, Southeast, Rocky Mountain, Lusk and Shoshoni held down the top four spots in Class 1A nine-man all season long, in order, never changing their spots. It’s the only time in Wyoming history that I can find where the top four teams remained in the same four spots all season long.
In fact, only one other time did the top three teams in a classification stay that way all season. That came in 1995, when the top three teams in Class 1A-Division I went Rocky Mountain, Lusk, Moorcroft, in that order in every poll. Eight other seasons have had the same two teams go 1-2 in every poll, most recently in Class 4A in 2017 with Sheridan and Natrona.
Got anything else you’re curious about with the weekly polls? Leave a comment and I’ll see if I can answer it.