With the new football alignment cutoffs coming into play in 2014, new schedules will have to be constructed by the WHSAA, as well.

The 2013 schedule was little more than a one-year stopgap in the three-year hiatus on reclassification — a hiatus that didn’t apply to football. That means the 2014 schedule is likely to be quite a bit different from the 2013 schedule, which was quite a bit different from the 2012 schedule.

And, with all due respect to the WHSAA, I want to take a crack at designing it.

First of all, a couple assumptions: I build this schedule with the assumptions that current enrollment ADMs will hold (meaning Tongue River and Big Horn drop down to 1A, prompting one school (I’m saying Thermopolis) to move to the 2A East Conference), that Cokeville and Burlington will opt up to 11-man in Class 1A (because the new enrollment cutoffs will have both schools in six-man), that Saratoga and Wyoming Indian will opt to move into 11-man after a year in six-man (because that’s where the enrollment numbers will put them), and that Upton and Sundance will break up their co-op.

I also didn’t design 4A or 1A six-man schedules; those classifications have no out-of-class action, save a random JV game that occasionally pops up in six-man play.

With these assumptions, in 2014, 3A schools, with six teams per conference, will get three nonconference games; 2A schools, with seven teams per conference, get two nonconference games; and 1A 11-man schools, with eight teams per conference, get one nonconference game.

Keep in mind that the WHSAA has proven in building schedules that geography and distance are not the lone considerations. Competitive balance is also a big factor in schedule design.

Nevertheless, I tried to have some fun in developing this schedule. I paired together some teams that haven’t played each other in a while (or have never played before) and I increased out-of-state play (easier said than done). I also tried to bring back natural regional rivalries, so games like Douglas-Glenrock, Sundance-Moorcroft, Greybull-Riverside, Wheatland-Torrington and Burns-Pine Bluffs were keys — and starting points — on my schedule.

Of course, several changes could have been made here. The last game I finalized (and, therefore, the game I like the least) is the Week 2 game between Newcastle and Big Piney. The second-to-last game I finalized was the Week 2 game between Glenrock and Lyman. Aside from those two games, I think the rest of the schedule is pretty reasonable, given the WHSAA’s past schedules and the desire for both geographically close and competitively equal games:

(Note: Game weeks are in parentheses.)

3A East
Buffalo: (W1) Worland, (W2) Powell and (W3) Cody
Douglas: (W1) Glenrock, (W2) Green River and (W3) Powell
Lander: (W1) Cody, (W2) Star Valley and (W3) Worland
Rawlins: (W1) Wheatland, (W2) Wright and (W3) Jackson
Riverton: (W1) Green River, (W2) Cody and (W3) Star Valley
Torrington: (W1) Somebody in Nebraska, (W2) Wheatland and (W3) Green River

3A West
Cody: (W1) Lander, (W2) Riverton and (W3) Buffalo
Green River: (W1) Riverton, (W2) Douglas and (W3) Torrington
Jackson: (W1) Teton, Idaho, (W2) Pinedale and (W3) Rawlins
Powell: (W1) Somebody in Montana, (W2) Buffalo and (W3) Douglas
Star Valley: (W1) Snake River, Idaho, (W2) Lander and (W3) Riverton
Worland: (W1) Buffalo, (W2) Lovell and (W3) Lander

2A East
Burns: (W1) Pine Bluffs and (W2) Somebody in Nebraska
Glenrock: (W1) Douglas and (W2) Lyman
Moorcroft: (W1) Sundance and (W2) Greybull
Newcastle: (W1) Southeast and (W2) Big Piney
Thermopolis: (W1) Lovell and (W2) Kemmerer
Wheatland: (W1) Rawlins and (W2) Torrington
Wright: (W1) Big Horn and (W2) Rawlins

2A West
Big Piney: (W1) Rocky Mountain and (W2) Newcastle
Greybull: (W1) Riverside and (W2) Moorcroft
Kemmerer: (W1) Wind River and (W2) Thermopolis
Lovell: (W1) Thermopolis and (W2) Worland
Lyman: (W1) Somebody in Utah and (W2) Glenrock
Mountain View: (W1) Cokeville and (W2) Somebody in Utah
Pinedale: (W1) Saratoga and (W2) Jackson

1A 11-man East
Big Horn: Wright
Lingle: Somebody in Nebraska
Lusk: Shoshoni
Pine Bluffs: Burns
Southeast: Newcastle
Sundance: Moorcroft
Tongue River: Burlington
Upton: Wyoming Indian

1A 11-man West
Burlington: Tongue River
Cokeville: Mountain View
Riverside: Greybull
Rocky Mountain: Big Piney
Saratoga: Pinedale
Shoshoni: Lusk
Wind River: Kemmerer
Wyoming Indian: Upton

In an alternate Week 1 schedule where out-of-state games were tough to get, I had Lingle-Shoshoni, Lusk-Newcastle, Southeast-Wheatland and Rawlins-Lyman. Ultimately, though, I figured if Lyman could find a Utah game and Lingle a Nebraska game, that would work better for all eight schools; if that alternative didn’t work, this all-in-state option would suffice.

No matter how the 2014 schedule comes together, I’d consider trying to go through this same exercise yourself. Post your designs below. Going through this process helps you feel a lot of empathy for the process the WHSAA has to go through every year to make a schedule that works for as many programs as possible. It’s tough.


11 Thoughts on “A modest (2014 nonconference schedule) proposal

  1. Steve Core on May 21, 2013 at 9:07 am said:

    Rawlins or Lander needs to step up and play Green River. Playing Torrington non conference makes no sense travel wise. When you have two 3a schools as close as Rawlins and Lander, Green River should play them non-conference. I like the work you have done, however, feel Green River-Lander, Green River-Rawlins makes much more sense. Thanks Patrick, love the fact you don’t live in Wyoming but still care about football in the Cowboy state.

  2. Patrick on May 21, 2013 at 10:59 am said:

    (Also posted on Facebook) True, Steve. Just curious, then, how you would reshuffle the entire schedule to accommodate that… That’s always the trick. That Week 3 in 3A, where you pretty much have to play East vs. West, makes for some tricky games. If you go GR-Rawlins, then you have Torrington-Jackson. If you go GR-Lander, you have Torrington-Worland, which isn’t so bad but adds a ton of miles for Lander and Worland. But I get a kick out of seeing how others would make the schedule work.

    Any other thoughts from other readers? Any changes you see as feasible?


  3. Patrick on May 21, 2013 at 11:07 am said:

    GR-Torrington is not a “new” series, but they’ve never played in the regular season and haven’t played in the playoffs since 1954. …

    Rawlins-Wright would be a new series, as would be Upton-Wyoming Indian. …

    Jackson and Pinedale haven’t played each other since 1982, but have actually played each other quite a few times. …

    Moorcroft and Greybull played each other in 1993 and 1994, both times meeting halfway in Buffalo, and also played in the 1995 playoffs — but that’s it. …

    Lusk and Shoshoni have never played each other in the regular season. …

    Of the 2A schools, I asked two (Wright and Pinedale) to play both a 1A school and a 3A school. …



  4. Dahl Erickson on May 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm said:

    I like the addition of Riverton to Star Valley’s non-conference. Douglas is a quality program obviously and I like the competition, but 8 hours each way for a non-conference is a bit long and I’ve been hoping that it could be modified. SV has teams close, but they are either 4A (Evanston) or 2A (Kemmerer ). I heard through the grapevine there are schools in Idaho and Utah that would like to get on the Braves’ schedule, Preston being the primary one. Not sure how that affects the ripples in the schedule. I think this is a great effort, somebody will probably steal it and put it in a proposal…..

  5. Dahl, Your comment ” but 8 hours each way for a non-conference is a bit long” is dead on! Why can’t the schools go back to scheduling at least the first 3 games and maybe even have a bye week if they chose to play zero week instead of say week 3.

  6. There is no doubt in my mind that Evanston and Star Valley fans miss their rivalry terribly, due to the 9-game regular season in 4A, with nary a free week, but that same scenario, which has resulted in Green River and Rock Springs no longer facing one another continues to flabbergast me. I have likely only included the word “flabbergast” in one other sentence in my entire lifetime, if that, so you know I find it difficult to fathom. Barring either a sustained period of slow, yet steady growth, in industries which drive the Evanston area economy, or some sort of mini-boom, which could impact a number of Southwest Wyoming communities and schools, but appears highly unlikely, I believe Evanston will renew their rivalries with the Wolves and Braves.

    Extremely difficult to compete in a classification where teams have almost as many seniors and/or returning starters, as what you show for your entire roster. I realize I may harp on/whine about this much more than what people want to hear, but football is a numbers game to a much greater degree than any other sport, in my opinion. Two or three key injuries will hurt any team, granted, but when it’s three or four of your twelve seniors, on your roster of 42 total players, the effects can be devastating.

    **Chimes** “The More You Know…”

  7. Stacey Bluemel on May 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm said:

    Just a small change here. Kemmerer needs to add Rich County Utah back to their schedule. The close proximity make this rivalry a no brainer. Leave either Thermopolis or Wind River to play Lyman to round out the missed game in state.

  8. Dahl Erickson on May 26, 2013 at 12:59 pm said:

    Just echoing Mark, I know Star Valley fans loved having Evanston on the football schedule. When I was growing up, our traditional non-conference games were with the Devils (that was a conference game when my brothers played) and Rock Springs. With the round-robin style 4A, that’s obviously not possible. As an outsider, I’m amazed that concept is still chugging along. Evanston and Gillette? Really?

  9. Sisco Molina on June 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm said:

    Why not bring back the Worland-Thermopolis rivalry game? They haven’t played since 2008, when I was a junior in Worland. Week 1 have Worland and Thermopolis play and have Lovell play Buffalo in a non-conference game? Buffalo and Lovell haven’t met since 2004, either.

  10. Patrick on June 5, 2013 at 10:21 am said:

    I like that idea a lot, Sisco. That has potential.


  11. Pingback: WHSFB HQ — The Wyoming high school football blog » Blog Archive » NEW dream Wyoming high school football schedule for 2014

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