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.