Welcome to the Big 12 BasketBlog! Let me give a little background as to the reason for this blog. I am a huge college basketball fan, and over the last couple years, I’ve done some light writing and tweeting about the sport. I’ve contemplated going all-in and blogging about it, but that’s a big endeavor! There are 351 D-1 teams; there are 75 teams just in the Big Six basketball conferences. I came to the realization this past season that there was one conference I wanted to focus on in particular. If you haven’t realized it yet, that’s the Big 12 (I really hope you had already realized it; otherwise, you may be lost here).
The Big 12 is my favorite conference to watch. I understand the ACC or the Big Ten or the Big East may be more popular, but I legitimately think the Big 12 is the most enjoyable brand of basketball to watch in the country. It has been the best conference in the country for the last 4 seasons according to KenPom. There is a perfect balance of upperclassmen to incoming star freshmen and transfers. There are conflicting styles of play. Just last season, you could watch Iowa State play Oklahoma State in an all-out spread offense juggernaut followed by West Virginia play Baylor in a defensive struggle where both team crash the offensive glass with reckless abandonment.
There are tremendous coaches in this conference. You’ve got the legends in Bill Self, Bill Huggins, and Lon Kruger, the successful, proven guys in Jamie Dixon and Scott Drew, and there’s the young up-and-comers in Shaka Smart and Steve Prohm. And perhaps the most intriguing thing about the league is the gigantic elephant in the room that I’ve yet to mention, Kansas’s regular season conference title streak. Kansas has now won 13 straight regular season league titles. Every year, there is the question if this will be the year the streak finally ends. That provides so much intrigue and extra appeal heading into each season.
That’s why I’m running this blog. I live in Big 12 country, and I love Big 12 basketball. I think it deserves more of a national spotlight. I’m going to do my best here to do that and to write about the league as much as humanly possible.
We’re currently heading into the very long college basketball season. During that time, here’s what I’m planning for the site:
- In-depth team previews for each team. I will release these in my projected order of finish for next season, reversed going from 10-1. These previews will cover key players missing from last year’s squads, incoming freshmen and transfers, projected starting lineups, team strengths and weaknesses, and players I’m excited to watch.
- Updated Power Rankings for next season based on offseason happenings. There will be transfers. There will be new incoming recruits. There will be injuries. I will update my projections for the conference finish next season periodically through the summer.
- I’ll take a look at the best 10 to 15 players heading into next year. I will release my Big 12 1st, 2nd, 3rd teams at this point in time. I’ll also have my prediction for each of the major Big 12 individual awards.
- I’ll release a couple of bracketology projections for the 2018 NCAA Tournament. I think it’s important to understand where the Big 12 squads stack up nationally in the grand scheme of things.
- I’ll make sure to cover any big news regarding the conference, whether that’s newly announced transfers, recruiting news, or coaching information. That will all be covered.
Once the season starts in November 2017, I’m thinking these will be the key blog features:
- Weekly power rankings. These will include anything noteworthy about each team and how they’re performing statistically compared to the rest of the league. This will probably be the longest article I write each week. Each post will include some specific compelling information about each team.
- Game predictions with gambling picks. Each day there is a Big 12 game, there will be a post with a prediction for that game, a pick against the spread, and a blurb of some length (depending on how interesting that game is).
- Game recaps. I’ll always try to have a quick post up after each game with my thoughts. These will likely go up the night of each game or the following morning.
- Bracketology. I’ll have bracketology updates throughout the season as well. They’ll be pretty spotty until February or so. Around that time, they start to actually mean something, and you’ll see them more frequently.
- Random posting with my thoughts on teams/players. These will just be something I’ve noticed about a team or a player that I think would be worthwhile to write about. As of now, I don’t have much of a plan for posts like this. As we get closer to the start of next season, I’ll likely have more of a plan for what these will look like or how frequent they will be.
Those are the main features I currently have planned. This could obviously change a bit over the next few months as I think more about the blog. But, this is currently the plan. I’m excited to get started. I love Big 12 Basketball, I can’t wait to write about it. Let’s get going.