They're here! They're here! The 2019 championship jerseys arrived Thursday, January 23, 2020. The AFC's Rebel Alliance went with the home blue since it was their first championship. Likewise for the Vandals and their home black. Lucky Enuf just won their fourth championship, so their options were limited. They ultimately went with a "Salute to Service"-style jersey. You may view all 26 championship jerseys here.
SHAWNEE –– Four-time NFC champion Kevin Pyle laid claim to the Tenequer Memorial Trophy Sunday night, winning the OIL's Liberty Bowl for himself and the NFC. After coming into Week 17 down 25.7 points to the PFC's Vandals, Lucky Enuf surged ahead in the late afternoon games and clinched the victory Sunday night. Despite being down 62.1 points to the Vandals himself, Roe stormed back to finish in second place. Pyle is now eligible for another custom mini-helmet and will have his name engraved on the Tenequer Memorial Trophy.
Week 16 has come and gone, and only three teams remain: the AFC's Rebel Alliance; the NFC's Lucky Enuf; and the PFC's Vandals. Each champion will receive a custom team jersey, as is custom. But the Liberty Bowl remains, where the three conference champions' total scores over Weeks 16 and 17 determine the overall OIL champion. Out of 42, one will stand tall.
The Liberty Bowl champion will receive a custom-made team helmet and the title of overall OIL champion. The managers have until noon on Sunday to submit their lineups to the commissioner. Score will be kept in the below spreadsheet.
SHAWNEE –– They say the good ones make their own luck, and, after winning his fourth championship (and second in a row), it's safe to say Pyle is pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay good. It wasn't the dominance we saw in 2018, but it was enough for Pyle to secure a first-round bye and record-fourth OIL championship. Congratulations, Pyle.
After winning two out of the first three OIL Bowls, Lucky Enuf endured a six-season stretch where they averaged only six wins per year. That was followed by a three-year stretch where they averaged a whopping 10 wins per year . . . but failed to reach the OIL Bowl. But the last two seasons have each ended in a championship, bringing Pyle's career total to four. That breaks the three-way tie for most championships previously shared by Pyle, Bruesch, and Cliburn.
Bruesch did not bring home the Lawson Memorial Trophy, but he tied Cliburn with a record-fifth OIL Bowl appearance. SoonerJack is a perennial contender, and he'll be back next year.
Six teams. Four managers seeking their first championship. Three trophies. Two previous champions. Welcome to Championship Week 2019. Analysis after the jump.
As is custom, each 2018 conference champion is receiving a custom team-based jersey, manufactured by Hopco Sports. To view previous seasons' jerseys, click here.
Fourteen years have passed since we first sat at Snow Hall and learned that the 1st Battalion of the 158th Field Artillery regiment was being called up for service in Iraq. A lot has changed during that time, so let's take some time to catch up, beginning with NFC champion and Lucky Enuf manager Kevin D. Pyle.
Are you still in the 158? If, not when did you get out?
KEVIN PYLE: No, I am no longer in the military. I ETS'd in July 2007 with a total time served of 10 years.
What did you do post-deployment?
PYLE: I went back to work as a loan officer in Anadarko. I had gotten the job shortly before we learned we would deploy. It's my hometown, and I stayed there for the next 11 years.
Where do you live now?
PYLE: Shawnee. My family I moved here in August 2017 when I accepted a job as a loan officer for First United Bank.
What are your hobbies outside of FF?
PYLE: Among other things, playing golf and softball, shooting firearms, and flying drones.
The three conference champions will submit their Week 17 lineup to the Commissioner before the games begin. The conference champion with the highest combined score over Weeks 16-17 will be crowned OIL Champions, have their name engraved on the Tenequer Memorial Trophy, and receive a custom team mini-helmet.
SHAWNEE — What a way to finish off a championship season. After a star-studded season that included a 10-3 record, Kevin Pyle and Lucky Enuf rode rookie QB Sam Darnold and free-agent signing C.J. Anderson to a championship Sunday, beating the Whackers 163.95-154.30 for their third championship in 13 seasons. The matchup was a re-match of the very first OIL Bowl in 2006.
After winning the inaugural OIL Bowl in 2006, Pyle had to wait until 2012 before learning he'd been recognized as a co-champion for 2008. Lucky Enuf and SoonerJack famously tied in the 2008 OIL Bowl, but the passing yards tiebreaker gave the title to Bruesch. Four years later, a re-count using fractional scoring showed Pyle would have won. In the years since, Pyle has been cursed by that asterisk: ridiculed by fellow managers and snakebitten in the playoffs. But, as he put it on Twitter, he finally has that monkey off his back.
Lucky Enuf had seemed a cruel moniker in recent seasons, as this season marked the fourth in a row that he lost players to season-ending injuries during the playoffs. This year, Pyle lost QB Carson Wentz and RB Todd Gurley to injury and WR Josh Gordon to imminent suspension. But Pyle shrewdly started rookie QB Sam Darnold in relief of Wentz and off-the-street free-agent RB C.J. Anderson in place of Gurley. Lucky Enuf was rewarded with 35.45 points from Darnold and 23.30 points from Anderson. Rookie WR Robert Foster started in place of Gordon and posted a respectable 9.20 points.
The win brings Pyle's career record against Morgan to 9-5. He ends 2018 at 12-3, lifting his 13-year OIL record to 107-76, with three championships. But Pyle isn't forgetting the heartbreak of the past. "I'm genuinely about to jump out of my skin with excitement, but the previous three or four seasons are keeping me humble," he said.
We'll see how humble he feels when he sees his name engraved on the Lawson Memorial Trophy again.
Morgan, the 2007 champion, was in the title game for the third time. He has now lost the OIL Bowl to Pyle twice. The Whackers were led by 27.60 points from fill-in RB Jamaal Williams and 26.50 points from first-round RB Alvin Kamara.
When reached for comment, Morgan was not bitter. "I thought I had it, but that's why they play the games," he said. The Whackers end the season at 10-5, dropping their 13-year OIL record to 85-96-1 with one championship and two runner-up finishes.