By OIL Commissioner Justin C. Cliburn
The championship games are set. Semifinals week included upsets, blowouts, pillow fights, and nailbiters. Game-by-game analysis after the jump.
Green was a 10-point favorite coming into this matchup, and he won by the same margin. The difference in the game may very well have been Theo Riddick, who was inactive. Yet, Peacock started him and received a goose egg in his W/R flex position. To be fair, it was assumed Riddick would play all week, but that is why you always have to check the Sunday morning inactive reports. The Doughboys were led by Carson Palmer, LeSean McCoy, and Robby Anderson. They'll advance to their first Thunder Bowl. As for the Cocks, they finish their season 9-5 and will play for third place next week.
Zerger was the AFC favorite all season, setting an OIL record for most points in a season and earning the number-one seed in the process. He was favored here too, even though he was playing without RB Melvin Gordon, who was the sixth-highest scoring RB this season. But the truly great teams have the depth to overcome such obstacles, and the Redlegs did just that. Meanwhile, Brosh was dealing with injuries of his own and brought out the big guns to power his way into the Thunder Bowl: Adrian Peterson. But sometimes big guns misfire, and such was the case with Peterson. His 1.3 points doomed Brosh, and the Vultures finished the season 9-6. Zerger advances to face Green for the Killman Memorial Trophy. Neither team has won it before.
Semifinals weekend started out poorly for Finch, and it didn't get much better from there. On Thursday evening, just after the Thursday Night Football game began, Finch text Cobb and me to say he didn't mean to start Lance Kendricks:
But Cobb was at church and didn't see the message until the game was over . . . the next morning. For the record, Cobb proposed to allow Finch to replace Kendricks if Cobb could replace Jimmy Graham with Jason Witten. As the game had already ended, I nixed the idea. Cobb was stuck with Graham, but he got 27 points from the heart and soul himself (Bilal Powell) and 33 from Devonta Freeman en route to a 40-point victory. Cobb earned a second trip to the OIL Bowl, while Finch finishes the season 9-6.
Poor Pyle. He was the favorite all season and then:
What the hell happened in the PFC? Are their teams inferior or week 15 an abberation? No one broke 134 points, and two teams failed to break triple-digits. The first of those was Gray, who was a surprise championship contender at 10-4 heading into this game. But he was befallen by Tom Brady. As my Arrogant Americans found out last week, you live by the QB, you die by the QB. Brady failed to throw a TD, and no one else stepped up when Gray needed them the most.
Buehre's winning streak now stands at seven. His season really ramped up in week 10, when his Dirty Dogs traded a bunch of spare parts to the Vandals for Antonio Brown. Since that trade, Buehre is 5-0 and headed to the Patriot Bowl for the first time. The Great Plains Drifters end season 10-5.
Number-one seed Tadlock is the other squad finishing south of 100 points this week. Like Pyle, he was without Julio Jones, and it hurt him. But poor showings by TY Hilton, Devontae Booker, Mike Gillislee, the aforementioned fighting' Jordan Reed, and Sammy Watkins doomed his championships chances.
Meanwhile, defending champion Brake is headed back to the Patriot Bowl after Drew Brees racked up 41.25 points. Congratulations to the Boomtown Brawlers. Tadlock finishes the season 9-5.