Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bracket - December 29

The newest bracket was actually posted yesterday so you can look at those by clicking on the usual links.

The biggest mover was Minnesota. In just a little more than a year, Tubby Smith has his team contending in an unusually strong Big 11. However, their season-to-date hasn't yielded a quality road win so far so don't crown them yet (the Louisville win was on a neutral court). Home dates against Michigan State and Ohio State await this week.

Stanford jumps in this week as they are the only undefeated team in the Pac-10 and they just beat Texas Tech by 45 at home. But with only this and a Northwestern win, poor performances against the Arizona schools this weekend will kick them out.

The matrix gets updated on a (mostly) daily basis starting Monday. Also, brackets can only be at most one week old to stay in the matrix on a particular day.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Special Christmas Eve Update

There was a spike in traffic yesterday and that could mean only one thing...Joe Lunardi updated his bracket. So that plus an update to the best bracket site of the past few years, Bracketology 101, prompted me to update the matrix earlier than the scheduled Monday update.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bracket - December 15

I've added a new page to the Bracket Project. The tracker will track a team's progress in the matrix over the course of the season.

Ohio State must have had arguably the best 3-game stretch of the season so far. Wins over Miami (FLA), Notre Dame, and Butler have vaulted them up my bracket to a 4 seed. Other teams making a move up are Arizona (with its upset win over Gonzaga. However, it'll take a bit more to get that disastrous UAB ending out of my end), Michigan (giant-killer), and Missouri (convincing wins over USC and Cal).

On the flip side, Kansas and Florida are looking a little weak so far this year after two losses for both teams (Kansas to UMass and Syracuse and Florida to Syracuse and Florida State) and they also share only one quality win over Washington. In addition, Wazzu just lost two straight at home, albeit to Baylor and Gonzaga. For now, they're out of the bracket.


Monday, December 8, 2008

BCS Again

A short detour to the BCS...last year, I described what I'd want to see in a playoff system in college football. While a playoff will happen at some point in our lives, the BCS is here to stay for the foreseeable future. So for my second alternative...a baby step toward a playoff: the plus-one.

Steps that should be taken:

1. Keep the 10-team format, but upgrade an existing bowl to BCS status. The Cotton Bowl, once a premier game, has faded in recent years. The move to the new Cowboys Stadium should kick-start excitement about the game and allow it to be a prime candidate to become a BCS game.

2. The highest non-BCS conference champion should qualify for the BCS system provided it is ranked higher than at least one BCS conference champion. If a BCS conference champion is ranked outside the BCS top 25, then the non-BCS qualifier need only to be ranked in the top 25.

3. Abolish the two-team maximum per conference. Last year, I said it was okay but after seeing Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma tie for the top spot in the Big 12, all three were deserving to be part of the system.

4. After the conference champions have been selected, choose the highest ranked teams remaining to fill the remaining spots.

5. Extract the Big Ten/Pac 10 teams to play in the Rose Bowl. The top 4 remaining teams will play each other (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3). The bottom 4 teams will also play each other (5 vs. 6, 7 vs. 8). Determine the matchups first and then they will be assigned to the bowl with the highest ranked team's conference tie-in.

6. After the BCS games have been played, run the polls and computers one more time and determine two teams to play for the national championship.

How would this work?

This year, you have 6 conference champions (Oklahoma, Florida, USC, Penn State, Cincinnati, and Virginia Tech). Utah qualifies as the highest non-BCS qualifier. The remaining teams that qualify are Texas, Alabama and Texas Tech.

These matchups would be produced:
Rose: USC vs. Penn State
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Alabama
Sugar: Florida vs. Texas
Orange: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Cotton: Utah vs. Texas Tech

After you play the games, run the system again and produce a national championship matchup. This year, as a result, Texas would have gotten a chance to play for a national championship and Texas Tech would get to play in a big-money game.

Okay, back to basketball. A new bracket and matrix update comes December 15.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bracket - December 1

A few weeks have passed in the regular season so it's time for another bracket. Losses by Louisville (to Western Kentucky) and UCLA (to Michigan) knock them out of the top line and replaced by Pittsburgh and Duke.

Gonzaga is a pleasant surprise for the first month of the season but its challenging schedule is far from over with games against Indiana, Arizona, Connecticut, and a rematch with Tennnessee still upcoming. Syracuse also looks pretty good with wins over Florida and Kansas. Two Big 10 teams made their way into the bracket as well with Michigan posting the big upset of UCLA and Illinois with good wins at Vanderbilt and against Kent State and Tulsa.

I knocked UNLV out of the bracket. Losing two at home to middle-of-the-road competition (Cal and Cincinnati) is a recipe for disaster. Without a road win at Louisville later this month, it'll be an uphill climb to earn an at-large bid. St. Mary's is also out, saddled by a loss to UTEP and a weak schedule all around. Wins against Kent State (away), San Diego State (neutral), Oregon (away), and of course Gonzaga will help its cause.