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Maryland football playoffs could expand

January 16, 2002

Maryland football playoffs could expand



The Maryland State Football Committee unanimously approved a proposal this weekend to expand the playoff field to 16 teams in each class beginning with the 2003 season.

The approval by the football committee, however, is just one step in the process and not a guarantee that the 16-team playoff bracket will become a reality. The final decision on the proposal will be made by the state Board of Control at its meeting in April.

If the proposal passes, the regular-season schedule would be reduced to nine games, although a 10th game would be scheduled in advance based on results from the prior season.

For example, teams that do not make the playoffs in the 2002 season will be scheduled against each other for week 10 of the 2003 season. If one of those teams makes the playoffs in 2003, they would be replaced in their scheduled week 10 game by a 2002 playoff team that did not make the 2003 playoffs.

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Consideration for scheduling the 10th game will include state point average from the previous year, proximity of the school to the scheduled opponent and the current schedule. Attempts will be made to schedule teams with similar records who have not already played each other that season.

All gate receipts will be split between the two competing teams for all week 10 games, including the first-round playoff games, while the home team will keep all concession money.

- Mark Keller

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