The Way I See It, the Big 33 should drop Ohio. The Associated Press recently reported that Ohio wants to continue to be the opponent of the best Pennsylvania high school football players during the summer of 2007. That wouldn't have been a problem if the Buckeye State had agreed to send their best players to the annual classic, as was the usual practice. But Big 33 officials were informed that Ohio selects the best 44 players for their own North/South game prior to selecting who comes east. That change didn't sit well with the Pa officials.
This year the game, which is usually played in July, was moved to June 17 and ironically Ohio scheduled their North/South all-star classic on the same date.
As a result of what appears to be a lack of prominence - on behalf of Ohio - towards the Big 33, now the best players from Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and Michigan are being considered as worthy opponents in the future. Maryland provided the opposition for the Pennsylvania contingent from 1985 through 1992, but players from the western part of the commonwealth may not have as great an interest in participating if the state to the south is selected.
The players from the Pittsburgh region would probably be interested in opposing the big boys from Michigan or West Virginia. With so many eastern players choosing Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue as the university to continue their playing career following high school that shouldn't be a problem on this side of the Kittatinny mountain.
Personally, I'd like to see the Big 33 break tradition and offer several states the opportunity to send their best to the classic on a rotating basis, a classic that has had an alumni compete in every NFL Super Bowl ever played. Why not invite the best from Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan and Nebraska to face the best Pennsylvania has to offer. If Ohio decides that the classic, celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, deserves their best in the future, include them. Until that time, the Buckeyes can stay at home and entertain themselves.