Forecasting multi-bid conferences

Rick Barnes' Texas team competes in arguably the nation's best college basketball conference. Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With the nonconference portion of the season pretty much in the books, we have a fairly solid idea of how the various conferences are going to shake out in terms of NCAA tournament bids. This has become more interesting in recent years given the many membership changes which have taken place.

What follows is the annual league-by-league forecast. We'll update it again at the beginning of February, but you'll see then that the aggregate bid estimates don't change a whole lot after conference play begins. In other words, for 2015, what you see now -- pending a disproportionate number of conference tournament upsets -- is what you're going to get on Selection Sunday.

The Big Boys

Big 12

Bids today: 6 of 10 (60.0 percent)
2014 bids: 7 of 10 (70.0 percent)
Five-year history: 30 of 54 (55.5 percent)

From a basketball perspective, we've said all along that the Big 12 is perfectly positioned to maximize its NCAA participation rate in the era of realignment. And this season it has an outside shot at a single-season record of 80 percent (eight bids).

2015 over/under: 6.5 bids
Joe's forecast: OVER (Baylor, Texas, WVU, Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa State; either Oklahoma State or TCU)