Three — A — West! (clap clap clap)
Is — the — Best! (clap clap clap)
3A West (clap) is the best (clap) come on people yell it! (clap clap)
Clapping yet? You should be.
Because the 3A West has been the best football conference in Wyoming in 2018.
Now, when I say “best,” I don’t necessarily mean the best football, although the top four teams in the conference have been playing exceptionally well this season (more to come on that).
Instead, I mean “best” as the most interesting, the most intriguing, the most watchable football Wyoming has to offer in 2018.
Two games this week will pair the four top teams in the conference, as Cody travels to Afton to play Star Valley and Evanston heads north to face Jackson. Right now, Star Valley’s at the top of the heap at 3-0 in conference play, with Cody, Jackson and Evanston all at 2-1, trying to figure out the best way to move forward.
Moreover, the four squads are a combined 21-6. Three of those losses came to Idaho programs. The other three came against each other.
Those three games between them so far have been, shall we say, weird? Cody beat Evanston 46-26; Jackson beat Cody 27-7; Star Valley beat Jackson 32-14. However, comparing scores in the 3A West is a dangerous game, friend-o. By comparing the scores of these three games, we’d think Star Valley has a distinct advantage.
Look deeper, though. Star Valley barely eked past Powell 14-7 two weeks ago; Evanston had to hold on like crazy to beat Green River 19-14 last week; Jackson got pushed by Green River 33-23; Cody struggled with Powell before surging late to win 22-10. Powell and Green River are both 0-3 in conference play.
In short, no one has the advantage they think they have.
So… what’s the difference between the 3A West and the 3A East, where the conference records are literally the same from top to bottom (3-0, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 0-3, 0-3)?
Well, there’s the fact that the 3A West is 10-4 in games against the 3A East this year. Also, Torrington has been crushing teams in the 3A East and has eliminated pretty much all drama about who will emerge with the top seed.
The 3A West has both uncertainty and quality, and that makes it really fun to watch. Especially this week. (clap clap clap)
Outside of the 3A West, this week’s schedule is honestly kind of meh. It seems like there’s a lack of interesting games; outside the 3A West, there’s only six games that pit teams with winning records against each other (Laramie vs. Sheridan, Buffalo vs. Big Piney, Lusk vs. Big Horn, Pine Bluffs vs. Upton-Sundance, Farson vs. Burlington, Kaycee vs. Hanna). The six-man games are the best of that bunch.
However, the way Farson and Hanna have been cruising through the season, their games against Burlington and Kaycee, respectively, may be little more than slightly more difficult challenges than usual on their way to conference championships. …
That leaves Pine Bluffs facing Upton-Sundance as the big game of the week. Even that game leaves something to be desired as it’s more or less for the No. 2 seed from the 1A 11-man East. Still, it should be an excellent matchup and one of the best games of the week. …
While the Lusk-Big Horn game also pits two teams with winning records in the 1A 11-man East, the real story out of the 1A 11-man East could be Wright. With winnable games against Southeast and Tongue River in the last two weeks, watch for the Panthers to make a run late in the season here, potentially stealing that No. 4 seed from Lusk thanks in part to their 13-6 victory against the Tigers last week. With that momentum, Wright could push push the team it faces in the first round of the playoffs. …
On a purely competitive standpoint, the game between one-win Riverside and one-win St. Stephens may be the most even game of Week 7. Legit excited to see how it turns out. …
The picks for the week are here. The team I think will win is in bold. But you play to win the game, not to be picked to win the game.
Natrona sophomores at Shoshoni
Cheyenne Central at Natrona
Cheyenne East at Rock Springs
Gillette at Cheyenne South
Laramie at Sheridan
Thunder Basin at Kelly Walsh
Cody at Star Valley
Evanston at Jackson
Lander at Douglas
Powell at Green River
Riverton at Rawlins
Torrington at Worland
Buffalo at Big Piney
Glenrock at Thermopolis
Greybull at Lyman
Kemmerer at Mountain View
Newcastle at Burns
Pinedale at Lovell
Wheatland at Moorcroft
Class 1A 11-man
Lusk at Big Horn
Pine Bluffs at Upton-Sundance
Wind River at Rocky Mountain
Wright at Southeast
Class 1A six-man
Farson at Burlington
Guernsey-Sunrise at Lingle
Meeteetse at Dubois
Class 1A 11-man
Wyoming Indian at Shoshoni JV
Class 1A six-man
Kaycee at Hanna
Midwest at Hulett
St. Stephens at Riverside
Evanston JV at Cokeville
Sheridan JV at Tongue River
Open: NSI, Saratoga, Snake River.
For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, click here. Click on “Week 7” 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: 27-5 (84 percent). This season: 156-50 (76 percent).
Comment if you want. You’ve got free will.