Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

The #2 spot in college football this year was not the place for a team to be. In the last 7 weeks of the season, #2 was 2-5.

We're about two months into the new season and college basketball is potentially looking at the same thing with no team wanting to keep the last #1 seed locked. Three #1's have been occupied by North Carolina, Memphis, and Kansas all season. The last #1 seed in my bracket have been officially held by UCLA and Texas, but Georgetown, Pittsburgh, and Duke have taken turns at that spot only to lose in between bracket releases.

In this week's bracket posted on the main site, Washington State gets the edge over UCLA, which had a surprising struggle against Michigan a week ago. Things will become a lot clearer when these two teams meet in a couple of weeks.

Pittsburgh flirted with the #1 seed before falling to Dayton and losing two starters in the process.

For those who would like to see an actual bracket:

A quick note to the bracketologists out there: With conference play commencing, starting January 7, brackets will need to be updated on a weekly basis to stay in the matrix.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. As a reminder, the next bracket will be posted on The Bracket Project main site on December 31 and will be the start of brackets being posted on a weekly basis.

I'll be taking a break from actively updating the matrix for a few days so if you update your bracket or if you see a site update with a new bracket, just email and I'll update the matrix when I can spare some time.

Until then...

Monday, December 17, 2007

The newest bracket is updated on the main site: For those who like to look at an actual bracket:

While working on this week's bracket, I noticed that even if Georgetown is a very high seed, they could still be screwed when it comes to what site they will go to for the first and second rounds. Georgetown hosts a site this year, meaning they can't go to Washington, DC. The closest site would then be Raleigh, meaning they'd have to finish ahead of either UNC or Duke. If that doesn't happen, the closest opening round site would be in Birmingham, Alabama. Ouch.

The thing to notice about the bracket is the resurgence of the Atlantic 10 Conference. 4 teams made it into the bracket as Rhode Island (wins over Providence and Syracuse), Massachusetts (wins over Syracuse and BC), and Dayton (wins at Louisville, at Miami (OH), and at Holy Cross) are all off to great starts. Off to a not-so-auspicious start are the Missouri Valley (one team in though Southern Illinois is on the bubble) and the WAC, also with one team in. Which team? Right now, I have Nevada, but it's anybody's guess.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The new bracket is posted on the main website and at

UCLA dropped to a #2 seed and Texas moved up to a #1 seed as a result of the Longhorns' victory over the Bruins. The other three #1 seeds remained the same.

Other notes about the bracket:

Ohio State was the last team out. Since the bracket is a snapshot in time, three losses at this point in the season doesn't make a team tourney-worthy, even if it is against Texas A&M, North Carolina, and Butler.

Southern Illinois was the last team in. While the losses they have were against quality teams, a 25-point loss to USC and a home loss to Indiana isn't something to brag about.

Among the surprises in the bracket are Baylor, with only a close loss to Wazzu, California, with wins over Nevada, SDSU, and Missouri, and St. Mary's with wins over Seton Hall and Oregon, however all of these wins were at home.

In the matrix, all the preseason brackets have been taken out. From now on, brackets need to be refreshed at least every two weeks to stay in.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A slight digression to college football: that's a fine mess they have over there. Playoff proponents every year say, "well, if you have a 8 (or 16 or 32 or 64) team playoff, we wouldn't have this controversy. Teams would be playing for the championship on the field."

While I do agree with that sentiment, I love the bowls. Each one has its own character and tradition and it allows half the teams playing to go out winners.

What I don't understand is why can't college football just add a playoff system to the BCS? There are 4 Saturdays between now and January 1. Isn't that enough time to get the playing field from 8 to 2 to determine who gets to play for the national championship on January 7?

Here's how I'd like to see it. Since we have a 10 team BCS system now, first start with the 6 conference champions and then select the 4 best at-large teams remaining as determined by their BCS ranking. I would have no problem to see provisions that limited conferences to two teams maximum or that allowed a mid-major team to be an at-large selection if it was ranked higher than a BCS conference champion and ranked in the top 12.

Now put all ten teams in order of BCS ranking. For the bottom 2, their reward is a BCS bowl, but they'll have to wait until the other games are done to determine who they are playing. The other 8 get to play in a playoff to be played on the Saturday after the regular season ends. The 4 losers of these games will get to a BCS bowl, and the 4 winners will play each other on the next Saturday. The winners of these games will play for the national championship, then the other BCS matchups are determined, and then finally, the matchups for the other bowls can be made.

Downsides? It's finals time at schools. Students need to study! Yeah, well, how about getting rid of that 12th game you added. No? Ok, then you can afford 8 teams to miss at least one more week of school. Most bowls may not know who is playing until the third Saturday of December which may hurt ticket sales and hotel reservations, but it's a small price to pay to see a champion determined on the field.

So how would it work this year?

You've got your 6 conference champions: Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, USC, West Virginia, LSU, and Ohio State.

Hawaii gets in as a mid-major team in the top 12.

The last 3 spots go to the 3 highest teams remaining: Georgia, Missouri, and Arizona State. Kansas is skipped because of the two teams per conference rule.

For the playoff, the bottom two teams (Hawaii and Arizona State) won't participate but they will be placed in a BCS bowl (not necessarily against each other) with all the glory and money that goes with it.

This Saturday, you would have these matchups:
West Virginia at Ohio State
Missouri at Virginia Tech
Georgia at Oklahoma

Hypothetically, let's say Ohio State, USC, VaTech, and Oklahoma advance. WVU, USC, Missouri, and Georgia join Hawaii and Arizona State in the waiting game. For Saturday the 15th, highest seed plays lowest seed, so:

USC at Ohio State
Oklahoma at Virginia Tech

Let's say Ohio State and Oklahoma win. They'll play January 7 at the BCS championship game. The remaining teams will be placed in the 4 BCS bowls.

Rose: USC vs. Georgia
Fiesta: Missouri vs. Arizona State
Sugar: LSU vs. Hawaii
Orange: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia

Complaints? Ok, that's my football rant. Back to college basketball. A new bracket gets posted Monday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just a reminder that the next bracket will be posted next Monday, December 3. The matrix now includes two sites that have updated with their first brackets of the year: Bracketography and Bracket Predictions.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The matrix has been updated for this week. Just a quick note that the pre-season brackets will stay in the matrix until December 3 and then they will be removed unless an update has been made to that bracket.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The beginning of the college basketball season is always pretty slow so don't expect too much in terms of updates. The matrix will be updated again on Monday the 19th. It would've been last Monday but the combination of work and a trip to Hawaii have made my schedule pretty full.

As you know, the main players in the post-season scene are the NCAA tournament and the NIT. But my newspaper is reporting that a third tournament is in the works to allow 16 more teams into postseason play. I honestly didn't know there was that much of a need to find the 98th best team in the land but the people behind the College Basketball Invitational feel there is. Quite simply, teams need to earn their way into the postseason so if you're not good enough to get into the top 97, I'm not sure they deserve to be in any tournament.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Welcome to the new season. Regular readers will know I don't like doing pre-season brackets. You gotta have some foundation to what you're forecasting. It's exactly why they play the games. But what's posted on the main site (link on right or pdf below) will be the starting point, representing a strengthening Pac-10, a weakening Big Ten and 9 teams from the Big East.

Next update for the bracket is in December while the matrix will be updated as needed/when I have time.
Are you a bracketologist and would like to be a part of The Bracket Matrix this season? Please read the following:

1. You need to set up a web site to place your bracket that will be consistent throughout the season. A blog will do. A web site will most definitely do. A bracket posted on a message board will not do. The link will change frequently and will get lost in various discussions, making it difficult for the average reader to find it.

2. You have to tell me where your site is. I don't have a sixth sense when it comes to finding these things. I rely on you and readers like you to tell me what kind of sites to add to this page.

3. The NCAA sets up procedures and principles for building a bracket. Read them! A seriously flawed bracket won't be posted. However, if your seedings are out of the norm, I'll still most likely post it provided that the principles are followed and you have an explanation as to why you've built the bracket like you did. I reserve the right to not post a bracket with something like a winless team as a #1 seed.

4. Please date-stamp your bracket. Brackets of a certain age will be removed from the list, and if there's no date-stamp, obviously I can't tell when your bracket was updated.

5. To make it easier on me, please format your bracket so that at least half of it can be seen on the screen at any one time. You can make it even easier for me by publishing a seed list of your 65 teams. Only brackets that seed at least 48 teams will be listed in the matrix.

6. No new sites will be added to the 2008 page after March 1 unless you have appeared in the 2006 or 2007 versions of this page, in which case, you will be grandfathered in. In addition, no bracket will be accepted to the final matrix of the season after the beginning of the Selection Sunday show.

7. I'm only one guy. If this could pay me what I get at my regular job, I'd update this site 24/7. That simply is not the case. If someone else can do this better, I'll gladly step aside, but from the looks of it, I'm the only (crazy) one. So if you don't see your site on here, an update hasn't been done for a while or I don't respond to you, I hope you'll understand why.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm writing this to distract me from the embarrassing loss by Cal in tonite's football game against Oregon State. Yeah, Kevin Riley was playing in his first collegiate start, but honestly, who would run the ball with 15 seconds left on the clock? Seriously.

Anyway, if things go the way I plan for the next 6 months, bracket updates will be as follows:

November 5
December 3, 17, 31
January 7, 14, 21, 28
February 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29
March 3, 7, 10, 14, 15, 16

The Bracket Matrix will be updated once a week in November and December and then on an "as needed" basis from then on.

See you in a few weeks.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Whether it's 6 months before the season starts or 6 minutes, I'm always wary of pre-season brackets. Generally, they're a waste of time. How much do I care? My own pre-season bracket in early November just runs down the teams in the pre-season polls. That's it.

That's why with Joe Lunardi's second bracket of the offseason released yesterday, I don't have a major opinion about it. Joe admits it's probably unnecessary and highly inaccurate, but that he did get the top seeds from his first pre-season bracket last year correct. Well, good for him. And that's the extent to which I care when I read early brackets. Do I need to figure out who's fighting for the bubble right now? No.

Two minor qualms I might have about Joe's bracket. Until we see the performances on the court, I'm not convinced we'll see a conference send nine teams to the dance. And the fact that UNC has earned the overall seed based on this unknown Lunardi formula is pretty laughable.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Welcome to the new blog for The Bracket Project, one of a host of websites aimed at predicting what the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket will look like come mid-March. The 2007-08 season will mark the 4th year I'll be creating not only a bracket, but also a table that shows team seedings from other fellow bracketologists both in the media world and in the blogosphere.

Who am I? I'm Brian and call San Jose, CA my home. I work as a business analyst by day and I'm a Cal alum (Go Bears!) but I'll be impartial as long as Ben Braun keeps on coaching the basketball team. I'll still root for them but that team ain't going nowhere. The beauty of my job is the flexible work hours I get to do other things like this, but first and foremost, my job and the rest of my life come first, so if an update doesn't occur as scheduled, I hope you'll understand why instead of shooting off a hundred emails to my account.

There were a number of reasons why I wanted to create a blog. Using a different server will allow me to communicate with you just in case my regular webhost goes down (like it did for a few days last year). User interaction I hope will go up, unlike my two previous attempts to do such a thing. And an archive will be produced documenting what I say so that I can bite my tongue later for what I said.

If you want to contribute to the site this year by adding a bracket site to track, please click on the Bracket Matrix link to the right and read the guidelines over there. In the meantime, enjoy your summer and come right back here in November when the season begins.