Having been rejected by the defending national champion for the first time in its four-year history, the Kickoff Classic is leaning toward a game between Alabama and Ohio State, the Associated Press reported.
The pairing is expected to be announced this month following a conference call among the three-man selection committee--Vic Rowen of San Francisco State, president of the American Football Coaches Assn.; Boston College Athletic Director Bill Flynn, representing the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and Vincent dePaul Draddy, chairman of the board of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Those three organizations are the game's major beneficiaries.
Because of a rugged schedule that starts with UCLA, Minnesota and Miami, Fla., Oklahoma declined to appear in this year's game, expected to be played Aug. 28.
Alabama was ranked No. 13 and Ohio State No. 14 in the final 1985 Associated Press poll.