The weather is starting to cool off and become more football-like, but the action on this weekend's schedule is starting to heat up, and the latest coaches/media rankings should add some more fuel to the fire.

It's been the same 4 teams in the 4A State Playoff Semi-Finals, for 5 years in a row, and this weekend, they will battle each other as the top 4 ranked teams. Unanimous #1 Sheridan will have the home field and home crowd behind them, when they host #4 Cheyenne East. Elsewhere, Natrona and Gillette split all the 2nd and 3rd place votes, so both are ranked #2, heading into the undefeated clash vs. each other at Casper, in a state championship rematch. As for the #5 ranking, that will be decided this weekend. Central holds that spot, but Rock Springs has a better record. The 2 things going against the Tigers right now, is that Central has played a tougher schedule, and Rock Springs has 2 wins vs. winless teams. Whatever the case, the Indians and Tigers will settle the dispute vs. each other this weekend at RS. Central has won the last 7 straight and 11 of the last 12 in this rivalry.

The latest 3A Rankings got stirred up a little bit, with 4 of the top 5 coming from the west. Cody and Jackson retain the top 2 spots, while Powell moves up to #3. The Panthers are on the road to face last week's #3 and now unranked Riverton, who will be out for redemption. Torrington stays put at #4, and Star Valley cracks the top 5, taking the final spot.

2A action this week could be just as big as 4A action. The big game that will affect playoff positioning is #3 Newcastle at #1 Wheatland. The Bulldogs have had their eye on this one for awhile, considering they've dropped the last 4 vs. the Dogies. #2 Big Horn picked up some bad news, when they learned that senior QB Collin Powers was lost for the season, due to a foot injury. Now the Rams have to deal with a Glenrock team looking to take advantage for the situation. The Herders are in the tough part of their schedule, playing at BH and home vs. Wheatland, back-to-back. On the west side, Greybull is now ranked at #4 after beating then #3 Mountain View last week. Pinedale is still #5, but they are 2-0 for the first time since 2002. The Wranglers look to continue their momentum home vs. Lovell.

For the first time in a while, a match between 2 1A West teams (not 1A East) is getting most of the attention. Cokeville is back on top of the rankings, but #5 Shoshoni has been targeting the 2-time defending state champs, since practice started. The Wranglers haven't beaten the Panthers since 1997 (dropped 16 straight). Speaking of teams being targeted, #2 Upton-Sundance is on Tongue River's radar. The Eagles are 2-0, but are unranked. This is a statement game for both teams. Lingle-Ft. Laramie is down from #1 after cutting it a little too close last week vs. Pine Bluffs. The Doggers will head to Mitchell, Nebraska to hopefully fine tune a few things. #4 Southeast will host PB this weekend, and are well aware the Hornets could give them trouble if they're not careful.

After a big week last week, 6-man action will settle down some. There only change in the rankings was Kaycee taking the #3 spot away from Little Snake River, thus bumping the Rattlers down to #4. Guernsey-Sunrise, Meeteetse and Farson-Eden keep the #1, #2 and #5 rankings respectively, heading into various games vs. unranked opponents.

Disclaimer: The polls have no official say or use on post-season positioning, and are only to be used as a measuring stick on the regular season. Please don’t read too much into the rankings.