We're finally here. 42 teams have been whittled down to six. Those six are: Zerger; Green; Cobb; Trovillo; Buehre; and Brake. Game-by-game analysis after the jump.
By OIL Commissioner Justin C. Cliburn
It's been quite the whirlwind season for Green. His Doughboys began the year 1-3 before reeling off six-straight wins. But, after heading into Week 10 at 7-3, they lost two of their last three to finish 8-5 and tumbled down the playoff seeding (ending up the five seed). They face the top-ranked Redlegs, who set an OIL record for most points scored in a season. Their number-one seed was well-deserved, and we expected them to be here competing for the Killman Memorial Trophy.
The two teams faced off in Week 12, where Zerger's Redlegs won a shootout: 164.95-159.55. A review of the rosters reveals two stellar teams. Although Green was only the five seed, the Doughboys and Redlegs are clearly the two best teams in the AFC (and probably the OIL, although Lucky Enuf would be in the conversation despite being upset in the semifinals). Green is favored, and it's not hard to see why. Imagine a team so good that:
By Arrogant Americans Manager Justin C. Cliburn
I said it in the semifinals recap, and I'll say it again: poor Pyle. He went 12-1 and was primed for a third championship. But then he had to play his first playoff game without Julio Jones and Melvin Gordon while watching helplessly as Dirty Hippies WR/RB Ty Montgomery scored over 30 points. The sixth-seeded Hippies have now knocked off the three seed and the one seed. In the OIL Bowl, they'll have to defeat the two seed in order to claim their second championship. Counting the playoffs, Trovillo is on a six-game winning streak and comes into the OIL Bowl 10-5.
On the other side of the bracket, Cobb routed Finch to reach his second OIL Bowl. The Dogs of War lost two of their last three in the regular season to finish 9-4 and earn a first-round bye. After the semifinals, they boast a 10-4 record. This championship game pits the 2013 champion (Cobb) against the 2014 champion (Trovillo).
Trovillo won the first matchup with Cobb in Week 11 by a score of 147.95-125.80, so Cobb is looking for revenge. The Dirty Hippies are led by Ben Roethlisberger, Doug Baldwin, newly-formidable Taylor Gabriel, and the amazing Le'Veon Bell. The Dogs of War have a two-headed QB attack featuring a rotation of Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr. Their dominant WR is Mike Evans, and they have strong TE play in Jimmy Graham and Jason Witten. At RB, Cobb boasts Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray . . . and the indominable Bilal Fucking Powell, who led the Dogs to the 2013 OIL title. He'll do the same this year, as he fills in for an injured Matt Forte while a backup QB plays the part of Captain Checkdown. Cobb wins his gold jersey. Prepare for non-stop bragging from now until a new champion is crowned a year from now.
By Team Tadlock Manager Derrick Tadlock
After an interesting (read: extremely low-scoring) semifinals round, the matchup for the second annual Patriot Bowl has been set. Last year's champion Boomtown Brawlers will face off against the hot hand of the Dirty Dogs. Last week the Dirty Dogs defeated the Great Plains Drifters 115.10-98.85. That was the Drifters lowest output of the season. They were let down by a poor showing by Tom Brady and an underwhelming performance by the running backs. Buhere was well below his scoring average as well, but still managed to keep his seven-game winning streak alive (five games since their trade for WR Antonio Brown).
The Boomtown Brawlers defeated my Team Tadlock 133.40 to 95.65. This was my lowest output of the season as well. We were hampered by multiple injuries and poor performances from most all other starters. Last year's champ Brake had a great game from Brees (who has elevated this team since being traded to the Brawlers from the Drifters) and Janikowski that led to an easy victory.
The Patriot Bowl is being projected to be a close one. I see it being that way as well. Neither team seems to separate themselves at any position. The Dogs will have Aaron Rodgers facing a tough Minnesota defense but the Brawlers will have the recently-hot Brees going against an equally stout Tampa Bay defense. Antonio Brown could be a difference maker for the Dirty Dogs, but he is facing Baltimore in a rivalry game so who knows how that will unfold. This is a game that I could see coming down to a low single-digit decision. I believe special teams and defense or the QB that has the better game against really good defenses will make the difference in the outcome. All in all I think this is a great matchup and I look forward to see who this year's champ will be. With that being said, I’m going to go with the hot hand here and pick the Dirty Dogs to win in a very close game. Good luck, gentlemen!