We have eliminations, upsets, and surges!
Half of the National Championship teams now sit back and watch. Vote? Yes, please continue voting. We have entered the Round of 32.
First, the upsets.
It's not often in sports that a #16 Seed beats a #1 Seed but that's just what happened in the first round of Helmet Bowl III. In fact, it happened twice.
Both of these #16 Seeds may have taken advantage of a momentum boost from the two-week play-in round in November.
In the North Region, the William Paterson Pioneers emerged the New Jersey Athletic Conference Champions after battling the New Jersey Lions for the title. The amount of conference voting pushed them to the number 1 Seed, but the Lions didn't follow their conference cohorts with any sort of voting. The Idaho State Bengals took advantage and won by nearly 100 votes.
Now they face veteran Helmet Bowl voters from the Lake Erie Storm who pushed their team out front early in Round 2.
It wasn't that close in the South Region where the St. Thomas Bobcats nearly tripled up the Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders. The Cru did a number on the American Southwest Conference, but didn't pull those voters with them either for the national contest. Now the Bobcats battle the Blazers of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Round 2. Great match-up.
Helmet Bowl includes every Division, every Conference, every team, every helmet. This makes Helmet Bowl unique. We don't tell you what helmets are the best. You tell us.
Helmet Bowl is the Greatest College Football Helmet Contest Ever!
Teams qualify for the National Championship bracket one of two ways. First, win your Conference Championship and be one of the top 60 conferences in voting and you are in. Second, be selected for one of four playoff contests and win two rounds in your contest to secure a #16 Seed.
Here's how many teams from each Division made it into Round 1, and how many advanced to Round 2.
D1 – FBS – 10 teams in Round 1, 8 teams to Round 2 – 80 percent advance
D1 – FCS – 14 teams in Round 1, 6 teams to Round 2 – 43 percent advance
DII – 15 teams in Round 1, 10 teams to Round 2 – 67 percent advance
DIII – 20 teams in Round 1, 5 teams to Round 2 – 25 percent advance
NAIA – 4 teams in Round 1, 3 teams to Round 2 – 75 percent advance
Independent – The Thomas More Saints were defeated in Round 1
Round 2 – A Look
Sixteen match-ups will determine the Spectacular Sixteen in The Helmet Bowl III National Championship. Voting concludes at noon Monday, December 16 CST.
The first team to 100 votes early Monday afternoon was the reigning Helmet Bowl Champions Dickinson Red Devils. They face a simple but attractive helmet from Salve Regina. The Seahawks are the #10 Seed and could pull off an upset if they can get the student body to break from studying for finals and vote daily.
The East Region is strong, very strong. Three of the top four vote-getters from Round 1 are East Region teams.
One of those is the Maryland Terrapins, who face a strong and surging West Virginia State Yellow Jackets. This is a great match-up and should provide a back and forth kinda week for us all to enjoy.
The other top team is the Navy Midshipmen. With the retired and current servicemen and women, this helmet could sail right to the championship. First though, they must defeat the Saint Augustine Falcons.
The other match-up features the surprisingly powerful Alvernia Golden Wolves vs the Fitchburg State Falcons
We've told you above about the amazing upset the Idaho State Bengals performed last week.
Also in the North, the #5 Seed Louisville Cardinals and the #14 Seed Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats are a good match. They both swept aside their opponent in Round 1 and both put forth a decent and mildly attractive lid.
The other two match-ups, the Toledo Rockets vs Ashland Eagles, and the Saint Olaf Oles vs the Indiana State Sycamores will have to provide unexpected fireworks to challenge either emerging opponent in Round 3.
Can the upstart St. Thomas Bobcats be beat in this region? They upset the #1 Seed and have the most votes in Round 1 in this region, by far. However, if there is a team to challenge in Round 2, it is the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers. The Blazers, as of this writing, trail by just 20 votes.
Now the South is packed FULL. Look here: The Austin Peay Governors – great helmet. Samford Bulldogs voters – fire! Richmond Spiders – such an attractive helmet. The Limestone Saints – coming off a great win with momentum.
And we haven't even mentioned the Gallaudet Bison – Helmet Bowl I National Champions. These guys prove they are legit every week. But Champions are always in the crosshairs and this week it is Ole Miss who is currently locked up with the Bison. Wow. So fun.
The Clarmont-Mudd-Scripps Stags caught our attention more than a year ago and it's taken those dozen months or so for the Stags fans to notice us. Now, the votes are piling up. They face HB2 National Quarterfinalist Southeastern Oklahoma Savage Storm.
Meanwhile, the Kansas State Wildcats – EMAW – face the upstart Texas State Bobcats. Could be an epic finish.
Now, voters, pay attention here. The story in the West Region is the Nebraska Kearney Lopers. Great helmet. Votes in the high atmosphere. The Lopers have the second highest vote totals in Round 2 in the entire contest so far. Watch out West. Watch out, HB3. The Dakota Wesleyan Tigers will have to, ah, we don't know. They will have to do something new and dramatic to challenge.
Lastly, we present a couple of superb helmets – two of the most eye-catching lids in the contest. The Colorado School of Mines Orediggers have a loaded down burro clutching a stick of dynamite in its teeth. They face the very cool UT Permian Basin Falcons. Voters cannot be disappointed, regardless of the outcome of this match-up.