The state football committee yesterday voted 8-1 for a plan that would double the current playoff field to 64 teams and extend the season another week, meaning that each of the eight state finalists would play 14 games.
The committee eliminated a proposal that would have expanded from four to six the number of classifications or divisions and reduced the regular season from 10 games to nine.
If the proposal is approved by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association's Board of Control in April, it would go into effect for the 2003 season, said Ned Sparks, executive director of the MPSSAA.
"That's the plan they endorsed and that's the plan that they're going to try and get passed by the board of control and the superintendents of schools," said Sparks. "No matter what plan you come up with, people are going to try and shoot it down."
For the first time, football teams would have a regional playoff to determine the four state semifinalists. The top four teams in each classification's four regions would be seeded based on the present point system. Then regional semifinal and championship rounds would be played to crown four regional champs. The combined 16 region titlists would advance to state semifinals to determine the eight finalists for the state title games.