Technically, only one conference champion is guaranteed to be crowned this week.
Either Kaycee or Midwest will win the 1A six-man East Conference championship when the two programs face each other Friday night in beautiful downtown Midwest.
Oh, sure, four other programs can win their respective championships this week, too: Torrington in the 3A East, Glenrock in the 2A East, Mountain View in the 2A West, Cokeville in the 1A 11-man West. Also, Sheridan could win 4A’s top seed with a victory and a Cheyenne East loss to Rock Springs, while Star Valley would win the 3A West with a victory and a Green River loss to Jackson.
But it’s possible that every single one of those teams could lose on Friday. That’s why Kaycee-Midwest is so intriguing — unless it ends in a tie or is postponed or we see the destruction of the Earth between now and about 9:30 p.m. Friday, the top seed from the 1A six-man East Conference will be sewn up at the conclusion of this game.
Midwest has been a nice surprise this season. The Oilers have won four in a row since losing to Burlington 44-40 to open their season. Every game has been a little bit closer than the last one, though — from a 62-point victory against NSI to a 45-point victory against Guernsey-Sunrise to a 36-point victory against Lingle to a 13-point victory against Hulett.
Meanwhile, 32 miles to the north, top-ranked Kaycee has been perhaps the most dominant six-man team the state has ever seen.
The Buckaroos have won their past 25 games, but by far the 2017 season has been the most dominant. With first-year head coach Tony Rouse leading a deep senior class, Kaycee has outscored its opponents 370-26 this season, including its last three by 224-0.
Week 7 is always a little strange, because so many potential playoff scenarios exist. By my math, only three of the state’s 65 teams (Jackson, Wright, Wyoming Indian) have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs (see below for more on Wyoming Indian). And no matter what happens, two conferences (1A 11-man East and 1A six-man West) are guaranteed NOT to have a conference champion by the time Week 7 is done.
That’s why Friday’s game in Midwest is so interesting. It’s nice to have a little certainty in uncertain times.
Other stuff on my sonar for Week 7:
The Kelly Walsh-Thunder Basin game is the most intriguing game on the 4A schedule. Thunder Basin is stronger than it’s been all season thanks to the return of running back Austin Clemetson, who came back last week. A ‘Bolts victory gives them all the tiebreakers necessary for a home playoff game, and that’s super helpful. …
Greybull’s surprising loss to Lovell last week turned the 2A West into a big quagmire. Right there in the middle of the mess with Greybull are Lyman, Pinedale and Lovell. They’ll play on Friday (Greybull at Lyman, Pinedale at Lovell), and I honestly have no idea what to expect in either game. …
The only interclass game of the week is really interesting. It’s the two “Bigs” (Big Horn and Big Piney) meeting halfway in Riverton. And they’re both 5-1 coming into the game. Could be a hidden gem of a game on that neutral field on Friday. …
Evanston against Worland in the 3A West could be a really close game. Both teams need this victory to stay in the playoff race, and that may bring out the best in both squads. …
Wheatland has been resurgent of late and could steal a home playoff game if they can top Newcastle. …
I’m interested to see how much of a challenge one-loss Burlington can give undefeated Snake River in Burlington. …
On to this week’s picks. As usual, the predicted winners are in bold, because to change that tradition now would just be silly:
Cheyenne South at Gillette
Kelly Walsh at Thunder Basin
Natrona at Cheyenne Central
Rock Springs at Cheyenne East
Sheridan at Laramie
Evanston at Worland
Green River at Jackson
Lander at Douglas
Powell at Star Valley
Riverton at Buffalo
Torrington at Rawlins
Glenrock at Moorcroft
Greybull at Lyman
Kemmerer at Mountain View
Newcastle at Wheatland
Pinedale at Lovell
Thermopolis at Burns
Class 1A 11-man
Lusk at Wright
Rocky Mountain at Saratoga
Southeast at Pine Bluffs
Upton-Sundance at Tongue River
Wind River at Cokeville
Class 1A six-man
Hanna at NSI
Kaycee at Midwest
Riverside at Farson
Snake River at Burlington
Ten Sleep at Meeteetse
Big Horn vs. Big Piney (at Riverton)
Class 1A six-man
Lingle at Hulett
St. Stephens at Dubois
Open: Cody, Guernsey-Sunrise. Shoshoni has picked up a forfeit victory this week against Wyoming Indian.
For a full schedule including kickoff times, check out the 2017 schedule and results page.
My picks were made last week. By me. I made the picks. Most of them were right. Here’s how many:
Last week: 27-4 (87 percent). This season: 179-29 (86 percent).
Chiefs forfeit final two games: Wyoming Indian will forfeit its final two games of the year, as reported by Brady Oltmans of the Casper Star-Tribune on Twitter on Tuesday. The Chiefs were scheduled to play Shoshoni this week and Rocky Mountain in Week 8; they were 1-5 prior to ending the season early.
BREAKING: Wyoming Indian has forfeited its last two games of the football season. #wyovarsity
— spooky Brady Oltmans (@Brady_CST) October 10, 2017
With the playoffs a scant couple weeks away, what teams do you see as the ones ready to make a late-season run? Post a comment so we can dig deep into week 7!
Post updated 9:01 a.m. Oct. 12, 2017, to reflect Lingle’s playoff possibility.