The chances of making the playoffs has improved for Class 2A and 1A football teams around the state.
UIL 2010 State Championship Football Games
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington Class 5A Division I: 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 18 Division II: 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 18 Class 4A Division I: noon, Saturday, Dec. 18 Division II: 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 17 Class 3A Division I: 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 10 Division II: 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 17
Vernon Newsom Stadium, Mansfield (South of DFW) Class 2A Division I: 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 18 Division II: 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 18 Class 1A Division I: noon, Saturday, Dec. 18 Division II: 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 17
Shotwell Stadium, Abilene Six-Man Division I: 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11 Division II: 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 11
The University Interscholastic League announced Tuesday the number of teams advancing to postseason play in Class 2A and 1A will increase from two to three in the 2010 season.
The UIL also released the dates and sites for this season's state championship games.
Class 1A and 2A superintendents had voted to decrease the number of teams making the playoffs from three to two after agreeing to divide the football brackets into two divisions based on a school's enrollment.
But a number of coaches were unhappy with the decision, especially those placed in districts with six or more teams.
As a result, the superintendents voted to reverse their decision.
"I think it's the right thing to do in a district like ours where every week is a playoff game," said Edna athletic director and head football coach Mike Pierce.
Edna will play in Class 2A, District 14 Division I with Rice Consolidated, Hallettsville, Hempstead, Hitchcock, Van Vleck and Industrial.
Five of the seven teams in the district advanced to the playoffs last season.
"Even with three teams going in our district you're still going to have a couple of good teams sitting home," Pierce said.
Shiner athletic director and head football coach Steven Cerny feels the same way about Class 1A, District 28, Division I. The Comanches will compete against Ganado, Yorktown, Louise and Flatonia.
"We've got a five-team district, but it's not going to be a slouch," Cerny said. "For our sake, it's a good thing."
The coaches admit there will be some smaller districts where teams with losing records will advance to the postseason.
"In the long run, it averages out," Pierce said. "The good teams are going to win in the playoffs and the not-so-good teams are going to lose."
While reinstating a third team in the playoffs, the UIL changed the previous format, giving the district champion a first-round bye like it gets in sports other than football.
"I'd rather keep playing," said Cerny, whose Shiner team lost to Goldthwaite in the regional round last season after getting a bye in the bi-district round. "It's great to go watch people play that first week. I'll take a bye, but I want to play."
The state championship games of both divisions in Class 3A, 4A and 5A will be played Dec. 10, 17 and 18 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
The state championship games of both divisions in Class 1A and 2A will be played Dec. 17 and 18 at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield.
The six-man state championships games will be played Dec. 11 at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene.
With the exception of the two Class 5A divisions, the state championship games have been played at locations decided by the teams involved.
But the UIL's Legislative Council in December unanimously passed a measure to have the Class 1A to 4A state championship games played at pre-determined sites.
"I'll go anywhere," said Cerny, whose 2004 Shiner team won the Class 1A state championship in Wichita Falls. "I'm one of the guys who rolls with the flow and gets excited."
"If we're fortunate enough to get that far," Pierce added, "we'll play on a shell road."