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Kramer To Unveil New Bowl System

Roy Kramer has spent the last six months concocting a formula that will lead to an undisputed national champion. About six months from now, he'll find out just how well it worked.

The chairman of the Bowl Championship Series the new name for the old Bowl Alliance on Tuesday will detail the system he designed to determine which two teams play in college football's so-called title game.

As was the case with the previous system, the formula will involve a blend of The Associated Press media poll and the USA Today-ESPN coaches poll. But the new twist will include input from a supposedly objective power system that measures strength of schedule and strength of opponents' schedule, along with wins and losses.

How much weight each part of the formula will hold will be revealed Tuesday in a media conference call.

"It's been time consuming and difficult at times," Kramer's spokesman, Charles Bloom, said of the process. "But the mind-set has been to come up with the best formula possible."

With the Pac-10 and Big Ten champions being brought into the system along with the Rose Bowl, Kramer has inched closer to ensuring a meeting between No. 1 and No. 2. But even with the new system, there are weak points.

They include:

What to do if three or more teams finish undefeated.

What to do if nobody finishes undefeated, but several teams finish with one loss.

The status of Notre Dame, the lone remaining major independent. The Bowl Championship Series was negotiating with the Irish, and Notre Dame was reportedly fielding inquiries about joining the Big Ten, although that probably wouldn't happen this year.

Still, the new system could be better than the two former systems, which produced only two matchups of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in six seasons.

Last year, Nebraska and Michigan entered their bowls with no losses. Both won their bowl game Nebraska at the Bowl Alliance's top game, the Orange Bowl, and Michigan at the Rose Bowl, which wasn't yet part of the Alliance.

The teams split the national title, with the Wolverines voted No. 1 in The AP poll and the Cornhuskers atop the coaches' poll.

"No system is perfect," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "But I think we're all in the same boat. I know there's been tremendous thought and planning that has gone into it. I'm optimistic it will work well."

Next season, the eight slots in the Bowl Championship Series will go to champions of the Big Ten, Pac 10, Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East and Big 12. Two at-large berths will be awarded to fill it out. The rating formula will go toward deciding who gets the at-large spots.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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