Big surprise in Big 33: Maryland will replace Ohio in all-star football game

It's known as the "Super Bowl of high school football," though the format has changed so many times (nine, in total) it's hard for most to keep track.

There has been an all Pennsylvania East-West format, national all-star teams, all-star teams from Texas, Ohio and Maryland.

Most recently, it has been the best prep all-stars of Pennsylvania facing the best from Ohio. Not anymore.

Beginning in 2013 -- the program's 57th year -- the Big 33 Football Classic will change again. Big 33 officials have signed five-year contract for Pennsylvania to play Maryland. Since 1993, Pennsylvania has played Ohio in the Big 33 game. 

The announcement was made Wednesday morning. Peculiar timing, as No. 9 Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) travels to Penn State (5-2, 3-0) on Saturday for first place in the Leaders Division -- one of the most highly-anticipated Big Ten games this year. 

Maryland has long been a football powerhouse, and it's only on the rise. In 2012, the state had a record 76 Division 1 scholarship players including ten 4-star and twenty-six 3-star recruits with the Class of 2013.

An issue for the Big 33 game in recent years has been participation. Some of the top Pennsylvania players have elected not to play in the game.

-Emily Kaplan