Pre-Season Top 5 Football Poll 2012
Practice is underway in all classes, the votes have been tallied, and now it's time to unveil who the coaches and media think are the top 5 teams in each class, going into the 2012 season.
Natrona starts off at #1 by getting 12 of the 16 first place votes. Behind them is Sheridan...the winners of two of the last three 4A titles got the other four top ballots. Gillette ranks third, with East and Central checking in at 4 and 5. Central hosts Sheridan on the new turf of Riske field next Friday. Other zero week games have the top ranked Mustangs visiting Cheyenne South, who will have their first ever senior class this season. Gillette makes the long road trip to Evanston, while East is at home vs. Kelly Walsh.
Then on August 31st, it's #1 Natrona at #2 Sheridan, if you’re looking ahead on the schedule. NC might have the easiest schedule after that game, because they play 6 of their last 7 games in Casper. The only other road games they have to contend with, is Kelly Walsh and Laramie.
Defending champion Powell takes the top spot in 3A, with 14 of 18 #1 votes. The Panthers will have a new turf field, which they will get to test out in week 2 vs. #4 Buffalo. Until that time, Powell will open up at Riverton, who missed out on the top 5. Get ready for a big one in week 1, because it will be #3 Green River at #2 Douglas. Star Valley starts the season in the #5 spot.
Powell may have the schedule, because they get GR, Buffalo and SV all at home this season. The Wolves may have the hardest schedule with Douglas, Buffalo and Powell all on the road, although Buffalo could lay claim to that toughest schedule nod, as the Bison have to go to Powell, Douglas and Riverton.
Just like 3A, the top 2 teams in 2A are the top 2 teams at the end of last season. Lovell checks in at #1,with all but 1 first place vote, and Lyman is at #2. Week 3 is the target date in Bridger Valley for these 2 teams. Then it's last year's semi-finalists at #3 and #4...Glenrock (got the other 1st place vote) and Newcastle. Finally it's Thermopolis at #5 and the Bobcats open the season at Glenrock.
Aside from the usual teams at the top, 1A could be the most unpredictable. Defending champ Cokeville is the unanimous #1, followed by Southeast, and Lusk. Riverside is at #4 and is out to prove that last year was no fluke. The Rebels get their chance in week 2 when they play Cokeville at home. The U.S. Patriots will try to prove that uniting was the best move as they start the season, ranked at #5. The first week of the season has no matchups of ranked team vs. ranked team.
A 22-game win streak means Little Snake River is still the unanimous #1 ranked team in 6-Man. The Rattlers will have a good test right out of the gate, as they will travel to a hopefully much improved Ten Sleep team ranked #5. Dubois is ranked number 2, and they will have their hands full, with back-to-back road tests at #4 Midwest, and at #1 Little Snake River. The Rams also have to go to #3 Kaycee later in the season.