Engineering Maroon, Letters and Sciences advance to semifinals

Tuesday night’s final opening rounds of the ASU Academic Bowl saw some surprising developments. When two teams voluntarily dropped out of the running in both the first and second half, only six teams were left to battle it out. And in the end, it was the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Maroon team and the School of Letters and Sciences who came out on top.

The two teams will be joining the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the final four. The semi-final and final rounds will be played Thursday night in the Eight, Arizona PBS studio on the Downtown Phoenix campus. 

The CLAS Gold team came into the first match against Teachers College with a bang, blazing through the first five toss-up questions, covering everything from science to literature, for an astonishing 175-point lead. It wasn’t until they hit a road block by incorrectly answering an economics question that Teachers College was able to swoop in and steal the points with the correct answer: inflation. Though Teachers College managed to break the 100 point mark, CLAS was the clear winner, with a final score of 330-110.

The second match between Teachers College and the Engineering Maroon team kicked off with Engineering taking the initial toss-up question and all three bonus questions about Karl Marx. It was a case of déjà-vu when they accomplished the same feat with the second toss-up question, but they lost some steam with an incorrect answer about a government agency, which Teachers College was able to steal. Neither team was able to recall the name of the famous composer of “Peter and the Wolf”: Sergei Prokofiev. With a final score of 300-90, Engineering took the match.

CLAS Gold was ready to get back at it for the third match against Engineering Maroon. The first toss-up question went to Engineering, who once again answered all three bonus questions about the elements right. However, they missed the second toss-up question about the masculine form of the word “fiancé,” giving CLAS a chance to chase their 75 point lead. Engineering quickly regained their footing and finished up the match by displaying their knowledge of different types of construction materials, bringing the score to a final 280-135, Engineering.

CLAS Gold and Engineering once again faced off for the fourth match; CLAS with one win and one loss, and Engineering with two wins. The air was tense as the first toss-up question was read, with Engineering cutting through it when they buzzed in with the correct musical instrument answer: flute. CLAS didn’t let them get far, though, showing they knew a thing or two about history with the second toss-up question about the Dead Rabbits gang, who ruled the Five Points in New York City during the 1800s. When all was said and done, it was Engineering who cleaned up with a final correct answer regarding the Dred Scott case of 1857, shutting it down at 325-190.

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of ASU Gammage, served as the moderator for the first and second half of the night's opening rounds.


Come out to the Academic Bowl to support your college and for a chance to win door prizes! Can't make it? Follow the action here:

• follow the action on Twitter: @asunews_insider will be live tweeting, hashtag #ASUacbowl

• watch the competition live on ASUtv and ASUtv Ustream

• live web stream, Twitter updates, videos, photos and articles at


The College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) took on the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Gold team in the first match of the night's second half. Lebanon's capital city, bodies of water around Pennsylvania, and Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick" helped Engineering to an early lead over CTI. Science-fiction writers gave them an additional 30 points. With a series of questions about rivers in Africa, the easy, breezy Engineering team was off and running – leading by 100 points and having a good time doing it. Impressionist painter Degas widened the lead to 200 points. CTI grabbed a few points with their knowledge of U.S. presidents and Broadway shows. In the end, Engineering Gold emerged the victor with a final score of 250-70.

In the second match the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences faced off against the School of Letters and Sciences, who got off to a strong start with a series of anatomy questions. And they kept the train a-rollin' – correctly answering questions of the literary, scientific, mathematic and pop cultural nature. With a sense of humor, Letters and Sciences failed to correctly answer all three questions pertaining to musical notes – they said "G" when it was "B" and vice-versa. Still, in the end, they won by a landslide 280-10. 

The third match of the night featured the School of Letters and Sciences and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Gold team. In typical fashion Letters and Sciences picked up a quick 60 points before their opponent had a chance to even buzz in. Engineering Gold found their moment though with a Civil War question and slapped 10 points on the board. Engineering managed to catch up – identifying types of flowers from British poetry – but Letters and Sciences kept a good lead with Spanish geography. Questions about Albert Einstein and his scientific work added 50 points to Engineering's score, bringing them close to Letters and Sciences, but it wasn't enough to pull out a win. The School of Letters and Sciences won the match with a final score of 180 to 140. 

The New College competed against CTI in the fourth match. The match started slowly as both teams stared blankly for the first couple minutes. CTI was first on the board leading 35-0. Electrons and U.S. history helped the team rack up another 35 points. New College came alive on the board by way of a pop culture question about the infamous rapper who interrupted Taylor Swift during her MTV award speech.  It would be the only points they garnered for the match, losing to CTI 170-10.

In the fifth match CTI faced Engineering Gold for the second time. The two teams appeared evenly matched – going point for point – dueling over toss-up questions and taking turns winning bonus questions. Engineering pulled ahead, however, with knowledge of Seattle and writer Tennessee Williams, and they held the lead to clinch the match 250-105. 

In what the School of Letters and Sciences hoped would be the final match of the night, the team went up against the Engineering Gold team. Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" gave Letters and Sciences 10 points. Despite getting tripped up by the title of the Thomas Hardy novel about a stone mason, Letters & Sciences kept their lead over Engineering. They also proved to be weather-wise, acing a series of bonus questions regarding The Weather Channel. Engineering Gold came alive with questions on Native American history, but Letters and Sciences was too far ahead to catch. They won the match 330-65 and are on their way to the semifinals. 

The semi-final and final rounds of the ASU Academic Bowl are set to take place from 7-9 p.m., Thursday, in the Eight, Arizona PBS studio on the Downtown Phoenix campus. The event will be televised before a live audience. 

For more information on the Academic Bowl, including event details, visit