It's hard to believe but the playoffs for Class 11B and the 9-man schools begin this weekend. Here are the latest rankings heading into the postseason for those classes and the regular-season finale for the larger classes.

Heading into the postseason, the favorites in each of the smaller classes have separated themselves from the rest. That is except for 9A. For the first time, and possibly for the first time ever, in the South Dakota Prep Media Football Poll, there is a tied split vote for the #1 ranked team in a class. De Smet and Howard will enter the 9A playoffs as the favorites in the class. Winner (11B), Hanson (9AA), and Avon (9B) are unanimous favorites in their classes.

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The biggest game of the upcoming weekend slate will take place in 11AAA as Harrisburg (8-0) will travel over to Brandon Valley (8-0). The winner will take the #1 overall seed in the 11AAA playoffs and finish the regular season undefeated. Other notables from 11AAA include the Roosevelt Rough Riders racing back to third in the poll and Jefferson rounding out the top five.

Tea Area remains the top-ranked team in 11AA and will look to finish the regular season undefeated as they host West Central. Madison is the unanimous favorite in 11A after blowing out West Central 27-7 this past week.

Because of the start of the 11B and 9-man playoffs, these will be the final rankings for those classes for this season. Next week's poll will only feature 11AAA, 11AA, and 11A as they begin postseason play.

The South Dakota Prep Media football polls for the week of Oct. 18 are listed below, ranking the top-five teams in each class. First-place votes received are indicated in parentheses.

Class 11AAA

  1. Harrisburg (20) 8-0 108 1
  2. Brandon Valley (2) 8-0 90 2
  3. Roosevelt 4-4 59 5
  4. Lincoln 5-3 37 3
  5. Jefferson 4-4 22 4

Receiving votes: Washington 12, O’Gorman 2.

Class 11AA

  1. Tea Area (18) 8-0 106 1
  2. Pierre (4) 7-1 91 2
  3. Brookings 6-2 67 3
  4. Yankton 4-4 43 4
  5. Watertown 3-5 13 5

Receiving votes: Aberdeen Central 9, Mitchell 1.

Class 11A

  1. Madison (22) 8-0 110 1
  2. Canton 7-1 88 2
  3. Dell Rapids  5-3 46 5
  4. Vermillion 5-3 41 3
  5. West Central 4-4 19 4

Receiving votes: Tri-Valley 12, Lennox 8, Milbank 6.

Class 11B

  1. Winner (22) 8-0 110 1
  2. Sioux Valley 7-1 87 2
  3. Groton Area 7-1 52 3
  4. Elk Point-Jefferson 6-2 40 4
  5. Mount Vernon/Plankinton 7-1 19 RV

Receiving votes: McCook Central/Montrose 18, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan 3, Aberdeen Roncalli 1.

Class 9AA

  1. Hanson (22) 7-1 98 1
  2. Parkston 6-2 86 2
  3. Chester Area 6-2 62 3
  4. Florence/Henry 7-1 32 4
  5. Platte-Geddes 6-2 17 5

Receiving votes: Ipswich 16, Lyman 8, Timber Lake 8, Canistota/Freeman 3.

Class 9A

  1. T1. De Smet (12) 8-0 94 1
  2. T1. Howard (7) 8-0 94 2
  3. Herreid/Selby Area (2) 9-0 71 3
  4. Wall (1) 8-0 46 4
  5. Wolsey-Wessington 5-3 13 5

Receiving votes: Warner 12.

Class 9B

  1. Avon (22) 8-0 110 1
  2. Faulkton Area 6-2 83 3
  3. Potter County 7-2 65 4
  4. Gayville-Volin 5-2 40 2
  5. Hitchcock-Tulare 6-3 27 5

Receiving votes: Harding County/Bison 4, Dell Rapids St. Mary 1.

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