Nikias On Committee

USC president Max Nikias, an avid football fan, is a member of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee that will select a model for the four-team seeded playoff. Here’s the full committee:

Scott Cowen – President, Tulane University
Rev. John Jenkins – President, University of Notre Dame
Bernie Machen – President, University of Florida
Max Nikias – President, University of Southern California
Duane Nellis – President, University of Idaho
Harvey Perlman – Chancellor, University of Nebraska
John G. Peters – President, Northern Illinois University
Bill Powers – President, University of Texas
James Ramsey – President, University of Louisville
Gary Ransdell – President, Western Kentucky University
Charles W. Steger (chair) – President, Virginia Tech
John Welty – President, Fresno State

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  • ftfo2009

    Western Kentucky? Idaho? Tulane?

  • BoscoH
  • NJ Trojan

    There is still a chance the univeristy presidents could say no or adopt the “plus-one” instead of the four-team playoff, but everyone seems to think the four-team playoff is a foregone conclusion.

    This is stupid. The premise is so that college football will determine its “national” champion on the field. But if you look at the end-of-season AP polls during the BCS era (1998-2011) you’ll see that the selection of four worthy teams would have been uncontroversial in only three out of 14 seasons! Take last year for example. LSU was clearly #1. Alabama also would have belonged in at #2 as did Oklahoma State, which appeared to be the best of the other conference champions. Then you had three teams that had tied for the Pac-12 championship: Stanford, USC, and Oregon. They were ranked in that order but USC was not eligible and Oregon won the conference!

    2010 was actually one of the three seasons, along with 2003 and 2000, where the selection would have been relatively uncontroversial. But there were five teams in 2009 that would have clamored to get in: #1 undefeated Alabama, #2 Texas with one loss, #3 Florida with one loss, #4 undefeated Boise State, and #5 Ohio State. In 2008, it was even worse. You had Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama ranked in the top four but you had one-loss conference champs USC & Penn State right behind them and an undefeated Utah right behind them.

    I would say there is an 80 percent chance that a four-team playoff would be universally criticized immediately, and a 100 percent chance that it will be universally criticized within two years by each and every talking head that demanded it in the first place.

    I wish they’d return to the traditional bowl system. If not, I’d prefer the plus-one. My third choice would be an eight-team playoff with automatic bids for the five major conference champions and three at-large births for the highest ranked teams not receiving automatic bids. The B10 champ could play the P12 champ in the Rose, the BXII champ could play an at-large team in the Cotton in Dallas Stadium (they don’t really belong in the Fiesta), the SEC champ could play an at-large team in the Sugar, and the ACC could play an at-large team in the Orange. You could then play the semi finals at the home stadiums of the two highest ranked teams and bid out the nat’l championship game.

  • oneillwatch

    Here, here NJ Trojan. The playoff system is a solution that will only serve to create another “controversy”. This whole non-controversy thing is only good for sports radio ratings and once “we” get a playoff system, somebody will be bitching about how the system is all wrong. Give us back our traditional bowl system followed by eight months of arguing about which team really is the best team – SC – in the country. After all, we need something to occupy ourselves between football seasons.

  • Jethro G. Sabbath


    First of all, your research and contributions are always solid. Thanks for that.
    I completely agree that the four team playoff would solve nothing. There will always be somebody left out and not happy about it. Right now, although it is not refered to as such, we have a two team playoff and we all know how it works.
    I don’t buy the plus one idea either because sometimes it is not needed but you don’t know that until all the games have been played. You could never have a site ready for the biggest game of the year and then tell them thanks but no thanks, we have one ubdefeated team so no need for another game this year. Go ahead and set up for next year and we’ll let you know.
    The old system was not perfect but it usually worked itself out and occasionally you had a split championship. It wasn’t the end of the world.


    First, the college presidents would not agree to an 8-team playoff, because it would mean an extra week of games

    Second, 4 teams is better than 2. There was always controversy with 2-teams, and there will be subjective complaining with the 4-team format. Every No. 5-8 team will believe it belongs in the Top-4.

    Still, I can live with the Top-4, and it is way better than the BCS system.

  • usc50ucla0

    I’m sure if there’s room for a 6-7 team, lil bear will give you their thumbs up šŸ˜‰

  • Obama is Great

    Lawyer John – “…the college presidents would not agree to an 8-team playoff, because it would mean an extra week of games”

    For who?! 8 out of 124 teams. Or just 6.45% of D1 schools. Doesn’t really seem like much of an impact to me.

  • JDStar

    So next week if I were the President of Tulane or Idaho or Northern Illinois or Louisville or Western Kentucky or Fresno, I’d text my AD and ask the following: “How many times in the past 30 years has our football team been ranked or finished in the top 4?” If their answer is NEVER, then my next question to my AD is: “So what’s in this playoff proposal for us?!”

    Looking like 6 yes votes and 6 no votes.

    Anybody care to try and give these 6 Presidents an answer that might get them to switch to “yes.”

  • NJ Trojan

    JDStar: They’d have a better chance with a “fair-minded” selection committee, no?

  • JDStar

    NJ Trojan, so would this yet to be defined selection committee, with yet to be defined selection criteria really be in position to ignore the polls (which will still exist since they are not under the control of either the BCS or NCAA).

    If say, NIU is undefeated and ranked #10 in the polls and a 1 loss Illinois is ranked #4, would this committee really pick NIU for the playoffs?

    Also, according to the Washington Post looks like the Nebraska President is against the 4 Team playoff model.

  • NJ Trojan

    JDStar, No way #10 NIU gets in ahead of #4 IL. But it would be possible for #5 undefeated Boise State to get in ahead of #4 one-loss AZ.

    I think the selection committee idea is stupid. I would favor a formula based on the AP & the Coaches’ Poll & strength of schedule (cummulative opponents record with a penalty for FCS teams). If only four slots & five major conferences, I don’t think you can factor in conference championship.