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.
SHAWNEE — Drew Brees wasn't the one making history Monday night. After 173 games, 13 seasons, seven playoff berths, and two championships, Lucky Enuf clinched their 100th victory at the close of Monday Night Football. They are the second OIL franchise to reach the milestone. Congratulations to Lucky Enuf manager and original OILer Kevin Pyle, who also moved to 5-0 and first place with the victory.
In the run-up to the 12th season of the OIL, we'll be posting OIL facts every day between now and draft day. Today's fact: With 85 career victories, Lucky Enuf manager Kevin Pyle will earn his 100th victory if he completes an historic 15-0 season in 2017.
Not to be outdone by Pyle, Cliburn has created a custom Arrogant Americans team cooler. Your move, Duffy.
ANADARKO — Enuf! One week after tying the OIL record for most consecutive wins to begin a season, Pyle's Lucky Enuf was upset by cellar-dwellar Henderson. The DARC NARCS benefitted from an injury to Lucky Enuf RB Tevin Coleman, a bye week for WR Jarvis Landry, and RB Mark Ingram posting a negative stat line in the matchup. Now 7-1, Pyle remains number one in the NFC standings. Cliburn's 12-1 regular season record is still within grasp for Lucky Enuf, who face the Whackers in week nine.