For those unfamiliar, Bracket Matrix is a site that compiles and averages a whole bunch of bracketology forecasts from all over the place. Right now they’re following 76 brackets, and that will likely increase as we get closer to March. That many brackets in the database tends to eliminate outliers and gives a view of how people see a team (especially OUR team). Yes, some of the brackets they follow are done by Joe Blow in his basement. But they also follow Jerry Palm, Joe Lunardi, SI, Fox Sports and others who are actually paid to do this stuff.
So right now, they have us as the best 11 seed. Range of forecasts is from a 7 seed (some guy named Drew in Minnesota) to four or five 12s. We’re named on 71 of the 76 brackets at this point.
(Drew actually bumped us back to a 9 seed today, but the Matrix hasn’t updated him yet.)
I looked at one of the five sites that doesn’t list us, SB Nation. They did list us last week, then moved us into Last Four Out on Tuesday (replacing us with Marquette) despite the win against Mizzou (Tuesday morning update means the A&M game hadn’t happened yet). Presumably if we beat LSU we’ll move back in. Another site that was listed as leaving us out actually put us in Monday as a 10 seed, so that hasn’t been updated either.
Pretty much. I think most people think we’ll wind up somewhere around 22-9, 23-8, which would make us bubblicious.
Speaking of expected records, I’ve mentioned RPI Forecast in the past. It projects us at 22-9 with a 45 RPI after the regular season. But it also does game by game predictions. There are only three games left on our schedule that we have less than a 50% chance of winning (Okie Lite, SoCar and Florida), and only two others where the chance is between 50% and 60% in our favor (Vandy and Auburn). Evidently, then, even though we have a 58% chance of winning at Auburn, they still think we’ll lose there. But if you go in there and stipulate that we win at Nashville and at Allbarn, the projected record only improves to 23-8. Huh?
Tuesday afternoon update: We’re still the top 10 seed, listed on 75 of 79 brackets. Range is still 7 to 12 on the sites that list us (and no, the 7 is not Drew any more).
As for UTA, they have to win the Sun Belt to get in. There will be no at-large bids for that league, even with UTA’s strong non-conference play. UTA is in second in the SBC at 5-2; Georgia Southern is 7-0, hasn’t played UTA yet and only gets the Mavs once (at home). GSC is #86 RPI to #54 for UTA, but UTA’s RPI will only go down as conference play continues. The only other SBC team in the top 100 is ASWho at #79 (ASU also only plays UTA once, at Arlington).
My point being, for the one-bid leagues, what the matrix picks is useless. They’ll get their tourney champs in, and that’s it. AAC will get more than one bid, but Houston’s RPI is going south unless they turn things around in February. So I suspect Houston will have to win that tournament to get in as well.
The thing I’ve noticed once you get to this point in the season is that it takes something for you to make a big move up or down–usually a Top 50 road win or a loss to a team outside the Top 150.
Really, Bama is the next big opportunity. Most of the games after that are fairly predictable.
I’m not saying that we will definitely win at LSU and MO or lose at Usce and Fla but those are likely outcomes.
If we take care of business and get to 23, with out computer numbers, I think we are safe. If we have 24 wins heading into would be a lock.
Yes, Usce was left out last year with 24 but they’re the only P5 team in the modern era to be left out with 24 and their computer numbers were much worse than ours (and road record was too if memory serves).
Vandy was 19-14, 11-7 last year and received an at large bid. I believe they played a monster schedule and arguably received too much credit for that.
There are those that think the only way we can feel safe going into the SECT is to beat either UF or SoCar; a high-quality win being the major deficiency on our resume. Jerry Palm is of that opinion. Saturday certainly did nothing to dissuade those of that opinion. Palm thinks 24-7, with the two remaining losses at Gainesville and Columbia, will not be enough; we’d have to do at least a little damage in the SECT. If we’re 22-9, it might require a fairly deep run in Nashville.
Vandy and Tennessee helped us out in the big 12 challenge as much as we hurt our self in the rpi game, and in the conference chase we are sitting pretty still.
We are going to have opportunities to get a big win still, and it is too early to say for sure it will be at sc or at Florida… maybe Vandy twice and Tennessee are our best wins. Maybe auburn climbs in rpi before our game there. At Columbia and Gainesville will be big, but not necessarily our only opportunity. Maybe we can finish winning a threeway tiebreaker for the sec tourney 2 seed…
That’s why they play the games. We have to beat bama.