The players and teams will decide which is #1 in the post-season, but it's the coaches and the media who decide in the pre-season.

The 4A Champs and Runner-Ups from the past 2 seasons, are the top 2 teams in 2017. Even though they've undergone a coaching change, 3-time defending champ Sheridan is the unanimous #1 ranked team. #2 and 2-time runner-up Natrona lost their Gatorade Player of the Year to graduation, and open the season on the road vs. the 2 teams that didn't make last year's playoffs (Cheyenne South and Campbell County), before their home opener and big rematch with the Broncs. On the other side of Casper, #3 Kelly Walsh made the semi-finals last year, for the first time since 2009, and hope to continue their momentum into 2018. #4 Cheyenne East might be the team that needs to look out in their first game. The Thunderbirds travel to Campbell County, to take on a Camel team looking to return to their old winning ways, after going winless last year. On the other side of Gillette, the Thunder Basin Bolts carry the #5 ranking, heading into their first game.

3A should be very competitive as usual, but it's way too early to look ahead at the schedules. Defending champ Cody was the big surprise last year, as the Broncs got their act together late in the season to pull off post-season upset after upset. Now they have the target on their back. #2 and #3 was decided by 1 vote...state runner-up Star Valley gets the higher spot. #3 Torrington will have a lot of motivation from last year. The TrailBlazers seemed to be the favorite in last year's championship game, and in the end, it didn't pan out. They arguably have the best game in week 1, because it's 3A runner-up vs. 2A runner-up, when Torrington visits Glenrock. #4 Green River hopes to figure into the mix, although the Wolves may have the toughest road schedule, having to visit Torrington, Star Valley and Cody, along with Evanston, who beat GR, at GR last year. Douglas is #5 heading into the start of the season.

There's a new team in 2A this season, and the voters think they'll contend. Buffalo starts the season ranked #3, behind last year's champs and runner-ups #1 Mountain View and #2 Glenrock. The voters think something could happen in Wheatland, thus they are #4, while Greybull edges out Big Piney for #5. The Punchers will have a tough start to their conference schedule in week 2 and 3, when they visit MV and host Greybull in back-to-back games.

As usual, the 1A rankings are mostly dominated by the east. They have a new coach, but the voters think Big Horn is tops, while defending champ Pine Bluffs is #2, by 1 vote ahead of #3 Upton-Sundance. It will be very interesting, when those 3 teams battle it out. Cokeville is the lone west team ranked at #4, and they will have their hands full, when they start the season at home vs. #1 2A Mountain View. Figuring out #5 in 1A has usually been linked to pulling a name out of a hat. Wright gets the honors this year. The Panthers haven't made the playoffs since 2009, so maybe.

There could be a changing of the guard in 6-man football this season. Could this be the Farson-Eden finally gets the job done? The voters have the Pronghorns as an overwhelming #1 choice, but somehow they ended up with a 3-home 5-away schedule this season. They're not scheduled to face their toughest conference opponents until October, so they have to be careful not to get soft between now and then. #2 Burlington will get a good test to start the season. First they visit #4 and 3-time defending champ Kaycee, who have won 30 straight game, but might be vulnerable thanks to graduation. Afterwards the Huskies host #3 Little Snake River to start conference play. #5 H.E.M. could play a factor in the East.

Disclaimer: The rankings have no official say 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.