I feel what happens here is becoming less and less relevant. There are so many earnest bracket projections out there, I am not sure that my brackets contribute much in the way of accuracy. But, I was making projections long before I started posting them on a blog, and I would do them for fun anyway. That is how TBB started eight years ago: I began emailing them to some friends and we had fun discussing them. Once the email list grew a bit longer, I stuck them up on Tripod as a central location. If I unplugged today, I would still draw them out in pencil on 8x14 paper just as I did in my youth long before the internet. So, in some ways, I am simply sharing one of my rituals that has been part of my life as a hoops fan for many, many years.
All that said, a few words about what will happen here in 2011-12.
1. No bracket projections until at least New Year's Day. I base projections on results in a given season and nothing else. Until nearly all of the non-conference games are in the books, projections are too much like the popularity polls. Results, regardless of budget or conference or pre-season prognostications or preseason accolades, are all that matter in meaningful projections. This goes for the Lockbox as well. The first one will happen after New Year's Day.
2. This does not mean nothing important happens before January. Quite the opposite. Non-conference games are like the opening chapters to novels, and these first words are vital to the ultimate stories (glorious, mundane, tragic or otherwise) of all members in Hoopdom. I write about those stories from time to time. Also, with two kids under the age five, readers will likely have to endure some daddy-rambling on occasion, but I promise to make those ramblings relevant to the college hoops experience. No posts consisting of a dozen pics of my kids hamming it up with Big Red. However, I do feel drawn to share more about what it means to be a fan of a non-BCS team (WKU Hilltoppers). As I get older, the realities of identity, belonging, community, history, and ritual in "being a fan" of a school become clearer and more important to me. I hope I can share some of that as we go along.
3. Extra attention will be paid to WKU and Sun Belt members, especially before January. Also, non-SEC southern conferences get special treatment (especially the SoCon). History shows that they do not get preferences in the bracket projections, just in the amount of verbiage on TBB.
4. No Kardashians. Crap, just broke that one.
That is enough to serve as a start.