Today, cuppycup released a glorious 68-restaurant bracket designed to crown the best restaurant in the Bryan / College Station area.
Look at it. It's beautiful.
But if you're anything like me, you can't look at this thing without trying to break it down. It has tough regions and it has easy regions. Tasty future match-ups and unfair snubs. Over-seeding, under-seeding, and proper-seeding. In general, a host of discussion points that make me want to drive back to B/CS and throw money at food for an indeterminate amount of time.
In short, I'm all in on this concept. And I don't think I'm alone.
So welcome, friends. Welcome to a critical analysis of a fictional food bracket. If this surprises you... then clearly you're new, I guess. And don't worry. It only gets worse from here.
[Layne's ownership nods sadly at 2013-2014 Wichita State]
Put simply, come strong in this region or get sent the hell home. It's easily the strongest region in the tournament, and Layne's fans could be forgiven for feeling hard done by.
Just look at these potential second-round matchups. I want to go to all of these places simultaneously and deal with the consequences later.
- 1 vs. 8 - Layne's vs. Potato Shack
- 4 vs. 5 - Torchy's vs. Chick Fil A
- 2 vs. 7 - Koppe Bridge vs. DoubleDave's
I mean... that's just not fair. If we see chalk for the first couple of rounds here (and I think we might), don't expect much from whoever happens to escape this region.
It's just too much, man.
Other South Region storylines of note:
- Cane's is in as the #9 seed. Yes, that means if they sneak by Potato Shack, we'll finally have an answer to the Layne's/Cane's debate from now until the end of time.
- Hullabaloo Diner might beat Jason's Deli by 100. I'm just saying. This could turn out like Space Jam if the Toons never made an inexplicable 40 point run.
- Nobody wanted Remnant Nawlins. Nobody. They are the feisty #13 seed that terrifies everybody who truly follows the game.
This region is a mish-mash of ridiculously different restaurant styles and I love it. It's like dropping the Kentucky, Princeton, Arizona State, and Montana fanbases into a pod for 48 hours and just telling them all to deal with it and get along.
A second round matchup of Christopher's World Grille and Wings' N More? Sure. Those places have buckets of common attendees. Whataburger and Veritas? Absolutely. It's like comparing apples with other apples that are expensive as shit and also aren't apples.
Oh, and don't forget the BBQ angle. We're headed for a C&J vs. Rudy's second round tilt that's going to light twitter on fire. But not in a good way. In an imperfectly cooked way.
Fans of this region should hold on for dear life, as anything is possible.
Other East Region storylines of note:
- The fact that one of Ozona and Chef Chao will end up in the second round is silly. It's a silly, silly thing.
- Smitty K's deserves props for playing along, but they did indeed get a pretty rough draw
- Carney's serves food?
@GBHunting Yikes! We drew Republic in round 1. Gonna have to channel our inner Florida Gulf Coast.— Smitty K's (@smitty_ks) April 15, 2015
Winter is coming. Because this region is cold, you see. It's mildly interesting, but ultimately devoid of true players. Sure, Fargo's is delicious. And yes, Grub is legit. But in a fan-based polling contest, this region's winner will be nothing more than cannon fodder for its fellow regional winners. This region bores me.
Other North Region storylines of note:
Ah, yes. The Northgate region. Which is called the West. Seems like something a food-based NCAA mock-up would do.
First.... Chicken Oil at #1? Are we sure we're comfortable with this? Is this going to be like the time we tossed St. Mary's a #1 because it kinda seemed like the right thing to do? Yes, probably.
Chicken Oil might escape their pod, but they won't survive beyond that.
The rest of the region is full of NG stalwarts. Antonios. Fuego. Blackwater. The Chicken. Freebirds. It's going to be brutal to escape, and even more so for the unfortunate few who sit just off NG on University Drive.
Other West Region storylines of note:
- Fuego will fight Antonio's in the second round, which will cause a generational "3am post-NG amazing drunk meal" battle that, quite frankly, none of us are ready for.
- Don't sleep on Cenare at the #9 seed. I mean, I wouldn't blame you if you did because their homemade Italian is heavy and amazing and causes naps. But don't.
- I once tried to go to the B/CS Applebee's during Nebraska football weekend and couldn't get a table because it was absolutely packed with Huskers. Not relevant, yet somehow entirely relevant.
So, there we go.
Who's the place to watch? Who's going to take it all? Who got snubbed?
It's time we treat this thing with all the seriousness it deserves.