NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Is there an idea that has been reinvented more often than the college bowl system?
Again, the rhyme and reason of the postseason football games is being debated this week. Yesterday, there were two more attempts to get it right.
On the opening day of the 85th National Collegiate Athletic Association convention, it was announced that the a subcommittee of the postseason football committee has been formed to consider matching schools and bowl games in a draft.
The improbable system could work in a number of ways, including these two:
* Bowls would be ranked according to the payoffs they make, from richest on down. The bowl with the biggest payoff would draft first, the second richest would pick second and so on. Bowls with conference tie-ins, the Rose Bowl, for example, would be excluded.
* Allow the schools to, in effect, draft the bowl games of their choice, beginning with the top-ranked team and working down.
Members of the subcommittee considering the unlikely ideas are Tom Hansen, Pacific-10 commissioner; Glen Tuckett, Brigham Young University athletic director; and Fred Jacoby, Southwest Conference commissioner.
Also from the believe-it-or-not bowl file: After a meeting of bowl executives from all postseason games, except the Copper Bowl, the executives announced a new system they hope will discourage bowls from acting earlier and earlier in extending invitations.
Steve Hatchell, chairman of the Orange Bowl, said that, starting next season, the bowls have agreed to impose a $250,000 penalty and to publicly censure any bowl that contacted a school before Nov. 17. Last year's NCAA deadline, Nov. 24, was widely ignored, resulting in the attempt at self-regulation.
Both the efforts of the NCAA and the bowl executives produced interest among convention-goers, but seemed unlikely to result in significant changes in the bowl system.
Hansen, the Pac-10 commissioner, said: "It's just like with laws. You don't want to have NCAA rules that everyone violates."
* Representative Tom McMillen is not here, but the democrat from Maryland's Fourth District and former University of Maryland basketball star was mentioned in a way.
In his state-of-the-college-game speech, NCAA executive director Dick Schultz alluded to McMillen's occasional remarks that have hinted at government solutions to the NCAA's problems.
". . . We need to be more aggressive and proactive in changing our model because there are others less qualified waiting in the wings to do it for us," Schultz said.