Brad’s 2016 College Football Preview- Sun Belt Predictions

Every summer since 2007 I have created an intricate set of college football predictions for each upcoming season.  This year is no exception, as I will be using my blog over the next few weeks to publish my 10th annual college football preview guide.  Without further ado, here are my predictions for the Sun Belt Conference.  Note: the records below reflect each team’s predicted regular season overall record followed by their conference record and excludes conference title games and bowl games which will be previewed later on in separate columns on this blog.

Sun Belt
1 Arkansas State (9-3, 8-0)
2 Georgia Southern (8-4, 7-1)
3 Appalachian State (8-4, 7-1)
4 UL-Lafayette (7-5, 5-3)
5 Troy (6-6, 4-4)
6 Idaho (5-7, 4-4)
7 UL-Monroe (4-8, 3-5)
8 Georgia State (4-8, 2-6)
9 South Alabama (3-9, 2-6)
10 New Mexico State (1-11, 1-7)
11 Texas State (2-10, 1-7)

CFRA Announcement

For those of you who are regular followers of my blog, you will know that I am the current coordinator of the NCAA-recognized College Football Researchers Association Poll.

The College Football Researchers Association was originally founded by the late Anthony Cusher of Reeder, North Dakota in 1982. It was an organization modeled after the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) consisting of college football fans and writers dedicated to researching and analyzing the history of the game. The CFRA retrospectively elected national champions from the years of 1919-1981 based on a poll created by Harry Carson Frye and also voted on present-day national champions during the years of 1982-1992. They published their results in a monthly bulletin produced by Robert Kirlin of Spokane, Washington until after the ’92 season when the association ceased operations and several successor organizations, operating under different names, were created.

In fall of 2009, under the coordination of myself and others and with the involvement of past members, the College Football Researchers Association was reorganized, and a group of both new and original CFRA voters was assembled to recreate this influential poll. Basically, the CFRA poll has functioned like any other college football poll with each of its voters submitting a top 25 ballot after each Saturday’s games. The polls have then posted each Monday morning on our organization’s website: www.cfrapoll.com.  This year the poll is being re-formatted to build more drama throughout the season.  Only four CFRA Polls will be published in 2016: a preseason poll, a midseason poll (tabulated after week 7), an end of regular season poll (tabulated after week 14), and a final poll after the playoff is completed.

Also this season, we are looking to further expand the poll by adding other avid college football fans who would like to participate. If you would like to become a CFRA voter, please e-mail me at bmatthews85@gmail.com and I will get you put on our mailing list and give you information on how to submit your weekly poll.It would also be great if you could provide me with your name, location, and brief description of your college football interests and involvement so that I know a little bit about each of the voters. We will probably allow for new voters to join throughout the first few weeks of the season, but there will be a deadline about when additional participants can be added.

Brad’s 2016 Mock NBA Draft

Round 1

Pick # Team Player
1 Philadelphia Ben Simmons (SF- LSU)
2 LA Lakers Brandon Ingram (SF- Duke)
3 Boston Dragan Bender (PF- Israel)
4 Phoenix Jaylen Brown (SF- California)
5 Minnesota Marquese Chriss (PF- Washington)
6 New Orleans Kris Dunn (PG- Providence)
7 Denver Jamal Murray (SG- Kentucky)
8 Sacramento Buddy Hield (SG- Oklahoma)
9 Toronto Deyonta Davis (PF- Michigan State)
10 Milwaukee Henry Ellenson (PF- Marquette)
11 Orlando Skai Labissiere (PF- Kentucky)
12 Utah Jakob Poeltl (C- Utah)
13 Phoenix Brice Johnson (PF- North Carolina)
14 Chicago Domantas Sabonis (PF- Gonzaga)
15 Denver Juan Hernangomez (PF- Spain)
16 Boston Ante Zizic (C- Croatia)
17 Memphis Denzel Valentine (SG- Michigan State)
18 Detroit Timothe Luwau (SG- France)
19 Denver Taurean Prince (SF- Baylor)
20 Indiana Ivica Zubac (C- Croatia)
21 Atlanta Diamond Stone (C- Maryland)
22 Charlotte Wade Baldwin (SG- Vanderbilt)
23 Boston Furkan Korkmaz (SG- Turkey)
24 Philadelphia Paul Zipser (SF- Germany)
25 LA Clippers DeAndre Bembry (SF- St. Joseph’s)
26 Philadelphia Malik Beasley (SG- Florida State)
27 Toronto Guerschon Yabusele (PF- France)
28 Phoenix Thon Maker (C- Australia)
29 San Antonio Tyler Ulis (PG- Kentucky)
30 Golden State Zhou Qi (C- China)

Round 2

Pick # Team Player
1 Boston Demetrius Jackson (PG- Notre Dame)
2 LA Lakers Stephen Zimmerman (C- UNLV)
3 LA Clippers A.J. Hammonds (C- Purdue)
4 Phoenix Dejounte Murray (PG- Washington)
5 Boston Cheick Diallo (PF- Kansas)
6 Milwaukee Malcolm Brogdon (SG- Virginia)
7 Houston Damian Jones (C- Vanderbilt)
8 Milwaukee Kay Felder (PG- Oakland)
9 New Orleans Malachi Richardson (SG- Syracuse)
10 New Orleans Justin Jackson (SF- North Carolina)
11 Orlando Chinanu Onuaku (C- Louisville)
12 Utah Ben Bentil (PF- Providence)
13 Houston Rade Zagorac (SF- Serbia)
14 Atlanta Patrick McCaw (SG- UNLV)
15 Boston Jared Uthoff (SF- Iowa)
16 Dallas Petr Cornelle (PF- France)
17 Orlando Caris LeVert (SG- Michigan)
18 Chicago Cat Barber (PG- NC State)
19 Detroit Isaiah Whitehead (SG- Seton Hall)
20 Indiana Fred VanVleet (PG- Wichita State)
21 Boston Georgio Papagiannis (C- Greece)
22 Utah Isaia Coirdiner (SG- France)
23 Denver Pascal Siakam (PF- New Mexico State)
24 Atlanta Dorian Finney-Smith (SF- Florida)
25 Brooklyn Michael Gbinije (SG- Syracuse)
26 Denver Gary Payton II (PG- Oregon State)
27 Memphis Georges Niang (SF- Iowa State)
28 Boston Sheldon McClellan (SG- MIami-FL)
29 Sacramento Tyrone Wallace (PG- California)
30 Utah Wayne Selden (SG- Kansas)

Brad-ketology: Final NIT Bracket

If you would like to see this in bracket form, let me know and I’ll send you an excel copy of the bracket. The regional final four pairings are Region 1 vs. Region 2 and Region 3 vs. Region 4.

Region 1

(1) Temple vs. (8) Wagner

(4) Washington vs. (5) LSU

(3) Georgia vs. (6) Hofstra

(2) Georgia Tech vs. (7) Belmont

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Region 2

(1) Florida vs. (8) Texas Southern

(4) Akron vs. (5) Princeton

(3) Florida State vs. (6) Stanford

(2) Tulsa vs. (7) New Mexico State

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Region 3

(1) Monmouth vs. (8) Bucknell

(4) Houston vs. (5) Davidson

(3) Alabama vs. (6) UAB

(2) Valpo vs. (7) North Florida

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Region 4

(1) South Carolina vs. (8) High Point

(4) Ohio State vs. (5) Virginia Tech

(3) George Washington vs. (6) Brigham Young

(2) Syracuse vs. (7) IPFW

Brad-ketology: Final NCAA Bracket

If you would like to see this in bracket form, let me know and I’ll send you an excel copy of the bracket. My regional final four pairings are Midwest vs. West and East vs. South.

Midwest Regional- Chicago, IL (March 25, 27)

(1) Kansas vs. (16) Florida Gulf Coast/Fairleigh Dickinson-Thursday March 17 (Des Moines, IA)

(8) Oregon State vs. (9) UConn-Thursday March 17 (Des Moines, IA)

(5) Maryland vs. (12) Arkansas-Little Rock-Friday March 18 (Oklahoma City, OK)

(4) Texas A & M vs. (13) Stephen F. Austin– Friday March 18 (Oklahoma City, OK)

(6) Texas vs. (11) Gonzaga– Thursday March 17 (Denver, CO)

(3) Miami-FL vs. (14) Middle Tennessee-Thursday March 17 (Denver, CO)

(7) Texas Tech vs. (10) St. Bonaventure-Friday March 18 (Brooklyn, NY)

(2) Villanova vs. (15) Buffalo-Friday March 18 (Brooklyn, NY)

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West Regional- Anaheim, CA (March 24, 26)

(1) Oregon vs. (16) Hampton-Friday March 18 (Spokane, WA)

(8) Wisconsin vs. (9) Cincinnati-Friday March 18 (Spokane, WA)

(5) Seton Hall vs. (12) Yale-Thursday March 17 (Providence, RI)

(4) Duke vs. (13) UNC-Wilmington-Thursday March 17 (Providence, RI)

(6) Arizona vs. (11) Northern Iowa– Thursday March 17 (Des Moines, IA)

(3) Purdue vs. (14) Green Bay-Thursday March 17 (Des Moines, IA)

(7) Dayton vs. (10) Pittsburgh-Friday March 18 (Oklahoma City, OK)

(2) Oklahoma vs. (15) Cal-State Bakersfield-Friday March 18 (Oklahoma City, OK)

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South Regional- Louisville, KY (March 24, 26)

(1) North Carolina vs. (16) Austin Peay– Thursday March 17 (Raleigh, NC)

(8) Providence vs. (9) Southern California-Thursday March 17 (Raleigh, NC)

(5) California vs. (12) South Dakota State- Friday March 18 (Spokane, WA)

(4) Indiana vs. (13) Fresno State– Friday March 18 (Spokane, WA)

(6) Iowa vs. (11) St. Mary’s/Vanderbilt-Friday March 18 (St. Louis, MO)

(3) Xavier vs. (14) Stony Brook-Friday March 18 (St. Louis, MO)

(7) Notre Dame vs. (10) Wichita State-Friday March 18 (Brooklyn, NY)

(2) West Virginia vs. (15) Weber State-Friday March 18 (Brooklyn, WV)

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East Regional- Philadelphia, PA (March 25, 27)

(1) Michigan State vs. (16) Southern/Holy Cross- Friday March 18 (St. Louis, MO)

(8) Colorado vs. (9) VCU-Friday March 18 (St. Louis, MO)

(5) Iowa State vs. (12) Chattanooga-Thursday March 17 (Providence, RI)

(4) Kentucky vs. (13) Iona-Thursday March 17 (Providence, RI)

(6) Baylor vs. (11) San Diego State/Michigan– Thursday March 17 (Denver, CO)

(3) Utah vs. (14) Hawaii-Thursday March 17 (Denver, CO)

(7) St. Joe’s vs. (10) Butler-Thursday March 17 (Raleigh, NC)

(2) Virginia vs. (15) UNC-Asheville-Thursday March 17 (Raleigh, NC)

Brad-ketology: 2016 Final Seed List

I will send out final brackets in a few minutes, but here is the final seed list for both my NCAA and NIT Bracket Projections.  The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the dance.  Teams in bold have already earend automatic bids to this year’s NCAA or NIT tournament by virtue of either winning their respective conference tournaments (NCAA auto bids) or conference regular season (NIT auto bids).  Feel free to comment or debate.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan State, Oregon

2-seeds: Villanova, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia

3-seeds: Xavier, Miami-FL, Utah, Purdue

4-seeds: Kentucky, Texas A & M, Duke, Indiana

5-seeds: Maryland, California, Iowa State, Seton Hall

6-seeds: Arizona, Baylor, Texas, Iowa

7-seeds: Notre Dame, Dayton, St. Joe’s, Texas Tech

8-seeds: Colorado, Oregon State, Wisconsin, Providence

9-seeds: Southern California, UConn, VCU, Cincinnati

10-seeds: Butler, Pittsburgh, St. Bonaventure, Wichita State

11-seeds: Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, Michigan, Vanderbilt, Northern Iowa

12-seeds: Arkansas-Little Rock, Chattanooga, Yale, South Dakota State

13-seeds: UNC-Wilmington, Fresno State, Iona, Stephen F. Austin

14-seeds: Stony Brook, Hawaii, Middle Tennessee, Green Bay

15-seeds: Buffalo, Weber State, UNC-Asheville, Cal State-Bakersfield

16-seeds: Hampton, Austin Peay, Southern, Florida Gulf Coast, Fairleigh Dickinson, Holy Cross

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Temple, Monmouth, South Carolina, Florida

2-seeds: Tulsa, Syracuse, ValpoGeorgia Tech

3-seeds: Georgia, Alabama, Florida State, George Washington

4-seeds: Akron, Washington, Ohio State, Houston

5-seeds: Davidson, Princeton, Virginia Tech, LSU

6-seeds: Stanford, Brigham Young, Hofstra, UAB

7-seeds: IPFW, Belmont, New Mexico State, North Florida

8-seeds: High Point, Wagner, Bucknell, Texas Southern

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Kansas State, Ole Miss, Creighton, UC-Irvine, Evansvillle, Marquette, Northwestern

Brad-ketology: March 11th Edition

The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line.  The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the dance, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT.  For the conferences who currently have NCAA tourney teams, it is assumed that one of those teams will win their conference tourney.  If not, then a stolen bid would result, and the number of at-large bids would drop.

Also, just to clarify, my bracket projection is intended to project the NCAA Tournament field if it was chosen today.  Unlike some bracketologists, I am not trying to predict how each team will finish the season and then seed the teams based on that.  There is one slight exception to this rule, however, and that is that I have always chosen to award the projected automatic bid for each conference to my projected best team in that conference, and not the team who is currently leading the conference standings.   Given how unbalanced conference schedules are, it just seems like common sense to project that the best team in a conference will win the league championship, not the squad currently in first place.

Brad-ketology columns will be published at least twice a week (typically on Mondays and Fridays).  This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Thursday March 11th.  This will be my last update before the final bracket projections are posted on Selection Sunday.

NCAA Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Kansas, Villanova, Virginia, Oklahoma

2-seeds:   Oregon, Michigan State, North Carolina, Xavier

3-seeds: Utah, West Virginia, Miami-FL, Maryland

4-seeds: Texas A & M, Kentucky, Indiana, Purdue

5-seeds: Duke, California, Arizona, Iowa State

6-seeds: Baylor, Texas, Dayton, Notre Dame

7-seeds: Iowa, Colorado, Seton Hall, Wisconsin

8-seeds: Texas Tech, Oregon State, Providence, St. Bonaventure

9-seeds: Butler,  St. Joe’s, Southern California, South Carolina

10-seeds: Cincinnati, VCU, Pittsburgh, Tulsa

11-seeds: Wichita State, St. Mary’s, Vanderbilt, Monmouth, Gonzaga, Arkansas-Little Rock, 

12-seeds: San Diego State, Akron, Chattanooga, Yale

13-seeds: South Dakota State, Northern Iowa, UNC-Wilmington, Iona

14-seeds: Stony Brook, Middle Tennessee, Stephen F. Austin, Hawaii

15-seeds: New Mexico State, Green Bay, Weber State, UNC-Asheville

16-seeds: Hampton, Austin Peay, Texas Southern, Florida Gulf Coast, Fairleigh Dickinson, Holy Cross

NIT Tourney Field:

1-seeds: Temple, UConn,  Florida, Michigan

2-seeds: Syracuse, ValpoGeorge Washington, Arkansas-Little Rock

3-seeds: Alabama, San Diego State, Georgia, Florida State

4-seeds: Houston, Akron, Georgia Tech, LSU

5-seeds: Ohio State, Princeton, Davidson, Washington

6-seeds: Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Brigham Young, Stanford

7-seeds: Hofstra, UAB, IPFW, Belmont

8-seeds: North Florida, High Point, Wagner, Bucknell

Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Stony Brook, Stephen F. Austin, UC-Irvine, Fresno State, Ole Miss, Creighton, William & Mary, Evansville, Boise State, Hawaii, Marquette, Northwestern