Sheridan County High School Football Playoff Scenarios 2021

Kevin Koile - Sheridan Media

With 1 game remaining in the 2021 regular season, one Sheridan County High School Football is already in the post-season, one needs either win or some help, and the other can’t make it due to tie-breakers.

Sheridan:

There’s a 3-way tie for first in 4A, with Sheridan, Rock Springs and Cheyenne East. Sheridan plays at Thunder Basin while Rock Springs goes to East.

Other 4A games have Campbell County at Kelly Walsh, Laramie at Cheyenne Central and Cheyenne South at Natrona.

The Campbell County-Kelly Walsh winner will be the #6 seed, while the loser is #7.

The Laramie-Cheyenne Central winner will be the #8, while the loser will miss the post-season.

Let’s analyze scenarios for Sheridan.

We’re going to assume that Natrona will beat Cheyenne South in all scenarios.

Sheridan beats Thunder Basin, and Rock Springs beats Cheyenne East: Sheridan (8-1) and RS (8-1) would be tied for first, but the Broncs hold the head-to-head tie-breaker for the #1 seed. Sheridan would host the Laramie-Cheyenne Central winner (2-7) in the first round. Natrona (6-3) and Thunder Basin (6-3) would be tied for #4 and #5, but Natrona won the head-to-head matchups, so TB would travel to NC. Assuming Sheridan wins vs. either Laramie or Cheyenne Central, the Broncs would then be home vs. the TB-NC winner in the semi-finals. The other side of the bracket would have the Campbell County/Kelly Walsh loser (3-6) at Rock Springs(7-2), and the Campbell County/Kelly Walsh winner (4-5) at Cheyenne East (7-2).

Sheridan beats Thunder Basin, and Cheyenne East beats Rock Springs: Sheridan (8-1) and Cheyenne East (8-1) would be tied for first, but the Thunderbirds hold the head-to-head tie-breaker for the #1 seed, thus the Broncs would be #2 and would host the Campbell County/Kelly Walsh loser (3-6) in the first round. If Sheridan wins that game, then they would host the winner of Campbell County/Kelly Walsh winner (4-5) vs. Rock Springs (7-2) in the semi-finals. The other side of the bracket would have the Laramie/Cheyenne Central winner (2-7) at Cheyenne East, while Natrona (6-3) would host Thunder Basin (6-3). NC and TB would be tied for #4 and #5, but NC won the head-to-head matchup, that’s why the game would be played in Casper.

Thunder Basin beats Sheridan, and Cheyenne East beats Rock Springs: Cheyenne East (8-1) would have first place all to themselves and would host the Laramie/Cheyenne Central winner (2-7). Thunder Basin, Sheridan and Rock Springs would be in a 3-way tie for the #2, #3 , and #4 seeds, with a record of 7-2 each. Since TB beat Sheridan, and Sheridan beat RS, and RS beat TB, the head-to-head tie-breaker doesn’t work. The next tie-breaker would be head-to-head record vs. highest team in 4A not involved in the tie (or next highest, next highest, etc…). That team would be Cheyenne East. Thunder Basin has a win vs. Cheyenne East, whereas Sheridan and Rock Springs don’t. TB would get the #2 seed and host the Campbell County/Kelly Walsh loser (2-7). Sheridan would get the #3 seed over Rock Springs, due to head-to-head win, and would host the Campbell County/Kelly Walsh winner in the first round. RS would get the #4 seed and host #5 Natrona (6-3). Assuming Sheridan wins their first round game, then they would either host Campbell County/Kelly Walsh in the semi-finals OR travel to Thunder Basin again.

Thunder Basin beats Sheridan, and Rock Springs beats Cheyenne East: Rock Springs (8-1) would have first place all to themselves and would host the Laramie/Cheyenne Central winner (2-7). Thunder Basin, Cheyenne East and Sheridan would be in a 3-way tie for the #2, #3, and #4 seeds, with a record of 7-2 each. Since Thunder Basin would have victories vs. both Cheyenne East and Sheridan, the Bolts would get the #2 seed and would host the Campbell County/Kelly Walsh loser (3-6). Since Cheyenne East has the head-to-head win vs. Sheridan, the Thunderbirds would get the #3 seed and host the Campbell County/Kelly Walsh winner (4-5). Sheridan would be the #4 seed and host Natrona (6-3) in the first round. The winner of that game would then travel to Rock Springs for the semi-finals, OR host the Laramie/Cheyenne Central winner, should the Tigers lose in the first round.

2A East:

After examining every scenario possible, the ONLY way for Tongue River to make the playoffs is to win at Glenrock, AND have Upton-Sundance beat Big Horn AND have Newcastle beat Wheatland, AND have Burns beat Torrington, AND win a 3-way coin clip vs. Big Horn and Newcastle. There would be a 4-way tie for the final playoff spot, between BH, TR, Newcastle and Burns, but Burns would be out due to losing to BH AND TR AND Newcastle. BH, TR and Newcastle would have to settle things via a 3-way coin flip (WHSAA rule 7.4.8 step 2). The Eagles would need Newcastle to have the odd flip of the coin. This would eliminate the Dogies, and then TR would make the playoffs over Big Horn, due to head-to-head win, and travel to Lyman in the first round. If anyone of these 5 conditions does not happen, Tongue River is eliminated.

A Big Horn win at home vs. Upton-Sundance would get the Rams into the playoffs, and they would be the #3 East seed. This would get the Rams a road trip to either Lovell, Big Piney or Cokeville. U-S would then drop to East #4 and travel to Lyman, and Wheatland would be East #2. U-S can get the East #2 seed with a win at Big Horn AND if Wheatland loses to Newcastle. This would bump Wheatland down to East #3. U-S is in the playoffs regardless, and will either be East #2, #3 or #4 seed.

If Big Horn loses, the Rams can still make the playoffs and would be the East #4 seed (and go to Lyman) provided Wheatland beats Newcastle AND either Torrington beats Burns OR Glenrock beats Tongue River. If all 3 of those situations don’t happen, then Big Horn would be in a 4-way tie with TR, Newcastle and Burns, but Burns would be out due to losing to BH, TR and Newcastle, and the remaining 3 will be involved in a 3-way coin flip (WHSAA rule 7.4.8 step 2). BH would need TR to have the odd flip of the coin, which would eliminate the Eagles, and then the Rams get the East #4 seed over Newcastle, and a trip to Lyman, due to head-to-head win vs. the Dogies. In summary, if BH loses vs. US, the only 2 ways the Rams miss the playoffs is either Newcastle wins or BH loses the 3-way coin flip.

There are 2 ways for Newcastle to make the playoffs. The easy way is win at home vs. Wheatland AND US beats BH. The Dogies can get in with a loss, but they also need US to beat BH AND Burns to beat Torrington AND Tongue River to beat Glenrock. Newcastle would be in a 4-way tie with BH, TR and Burns, but Burns would be out due to losing to BH, TR and Newcastle, who would be involved in a 3-way coin flip (WHSAA rule 7.4.8 step 2). The Dogies would then need BH to get the odd flip of the coin. This would eliminate the Rams, and Newcastle would get the east #4 seed due to their head-to-head win vs. TR. Any other scenario eliminates the Dogies, including a 4-way tie with Wheatland, BH and U-S.

Burns is out. Even if the Broncs beat Torrington, every tie-breaker scenario works against them, because every team they would be tied with, they lost to head-to-head.

Glenrock is out. The Herders will finish in last place in the 2A East regardless if they beat TR or not.

Torrington has the East #1 seed no matter what happens in their game at home vs. Burns.

Big Horn beats Upton-Sundance and Wheatland beats Newcastle: BH and Upton-Sundance would be tied for the East #3 and East #4 seeds with a 4-3 conference record, but BH has the head-to-head tie-breaker, and would be East #3. The Rams would then travel to West #2, which appears to be Lovell, but should the Bulldogs lose at Cokeville, that could change things, and we would have to wait to see what happens with Big Piney’s game at Kemmerer. The potential for a Lovell-Cokeville-Big Piney 3-way tie could happen. If Cokeville wins and BP loses to Kemmerer, BH would go to Cokeville in the first round, because the Panthers would have head-to-head tie-breaker vs. Lovell for west #2 and west #3 seeds. Newcastle, Burns and Tongue River would all be eliminated from post-season contention. Newcastle eliminated for losing, while the games involving Burns and TR would become irrelevant.

Big Horn beats Upton-Sundance and Newcastle beats Wheatland: This would create a 4-way tie for the East #2, East #3 and East #4 seeds, with Big Horn, Newcastle, Upton-Sundance, and Wheatland with each team having a 4-3 conference record. Checking head-to-head record of the 4 teams vs. each other, Wheatland and Big Horn would have 2-1 records vs. the group, while Upton-Sundance and Newcastle would be 1-2 vs. the group. Wheatland gets East #2 seed over Big Horn due to head-to-head win, meaning Big Horn would be East #3 seed. The Rams would travel to West #2, which appears to be Lovell, but should the Bulldogs lose at Cokeville, that could change things, and we would have to wait to see what happens with Big Piney’s game at Kemmerer. The potential for a Lovell-Cokeville-Big Piney 3-way tie could happen. If Cokeville wins and BP loses to Kemmerer, BH would go to Cokeville in the first round, because the Panthers would have head-to-head tie-breaker vs. Lovell for west #2 and west #3 seeds. Meanwhile Upton-Sundance would get the East #4 seed due to head-to-head win vs. Newcastle, meaning the Patriots would travel to Lyman who is the West #1 seed. Newcastle, Burns and Tongue River would be eliminated. Newcastle would be eliminated for losing tie-breaker with Upton-Sundance, while the games involving Burns and TR would become irrelevant.

Upton-Sundance beats Big Horn and Newcastle beats Wheatland: Upton-Sundance would the East #2 seed with a 5-2 conference record. Wheatland and Newcastle would be tied for East #3 and East #4 seeds with a 4-3 conference record each, with Wheatland having the head-to-head tie-breaker, thus getting the East #3 seed, thus Newcastle would be East #4 and travel to Lyman who is the West #1 seed. Big Horn would be eliminated from playoff contention because the Rams would have a 3-4 conference record, which puts them 1 game behind both Wheatland and Newcastle (the loss to TR would come back to haunt). The games involving Burns and TR would become irrelevant, thus both are eliminated.

Upton-Sundance beats Big Horn, Wheatland beats Newcastle and Burns and Tongue River both lose: Wheatland and Upton-Sundance would be tied for the East #2 and East #3 seeds, with 5-2 conference records, but Wheatland has the head-to-head tie-breaker meaning the Bulldogs are East #2 and the Patriots are East #3. Big Horn and Newcastle would be tied for East #4 with a 3-4 conference record, but BH has the head-to-head tie-breaker, meaning the Rams get the East #4 seed and would travel to West #1 seed Lyman in the first round. Newcastle would be eliminated for losing head-to-head vs. Big Horn, while Burns and Tongue River are eliminated, because their conference record would be 2-5 and thus are 1 game behind Big Horn in the standings.

Upton-Sundance beats Big Horn, Wheatland beats Newcastle, Burns beats Torrington, Glenrock beats Tongue River: Wheatland and Upton-Sundance would be tied for the East #2 and East #3 seeds, with 5-2 conference records, but Wheatland has the head-to-head tie-breaker meaning the Bulldogs are East #2 and the Patriots are East #3. Big Horn, Newcastle and Burns would be in a 3-way tie for the East #4 seed with 3-4 conference records, but because BH beat both Newcastle and Burns, the Rams get the East #4 seed and will travel to West #1 seed Lyman in the first round of the playoffs. Newcastle and Burns would be eliminated due to losing head-to-head tie-breakers vs. Big Horn, and Tongue River would be eliminated because their conference record would be 2-5, thus the Eagles would be 1 game behind Big Horn.

Upton-Sundance beats Big Horn, Wheatland beats Newcastle, Torrington beats Burns, Tongue River beats Glenrock: Wheatland and Upton-Sundance would be tied for the East #2 and East #3 seeds, with 5-2 conference records, but Wheatland has the head-to-head tie-breaker meaning the Bulldogs are East #2 and the Patriots are East #3. Big Horn, Newcastle and Tongue River would be in a 3-way tie for the East #4 seed with 3-4 conference records. All lost to Torrington, Wheatland and Upton-Sundance, and all beat Burns and Glenrock. Checking score differential tie-breaker for BH, Newcastle and TR vs. each other (maximum 12 points), BH would win the tie-breaker with a differential of +11, where as TR’s differential is -2, and Newcastle’s in -9. The Rams would travel to West #1 seed Lyman in the first round. TR and Newcastle would be eliminated for losing point-differential tie-breaker vs. BH, and Burns would be eliminated because their conference record would be 2-5, thus 1 game behind BH.

Upton-Sundance beats Big Horn, Wheatland beats Newcastle, Burns beats Torrington and Tongue River beats Glenrock: Wheatland and Upton-Sundance would be tied for the East #2 and East #3 seeds, with 5-2 conference records, but Wheatland has the head-to-head tie-breaker meaning the Bulldogs are East #2 and the Patriots are East #3. Big Horn, Newcastle, Burns and Tongue River would be in a 4-way tie for the East #4 seed with 3-4 conference records. Since Burns lost head-to-head vs. BH, Newcastle and TR, the Broncs are eliminated. WHSAA rule 7.4.8 step 2 says the next tie-breaker rule is a 3-way coin flip. The team that gets the odd flip of the coin is out, and the East #4 seed would go to which-ever of the 2 remaining teams won head-to-head vs. the other. If TR gets the odd flip, the Eagles are eliminated and BH gets the playoff spot, due to head-to-head win vs. Newcastle. If Newcastle gets the odd flip, the Dogies are eliminated and TR gets the playoff spot, due to head-to-head win vs. BH. If BH gets the odd flip, the Rams are eliminated, and Newcastle gets the playoff spot, due to head-to-head win vs. TR.



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