ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The BYU Cougars won the first event of the week’s festivities, bringing home the El Pinto Chile Bowl at the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. The bowl was received by head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who was a bit suprised with the win “considering who was doing the cooking.” The winning team was comprised of Brandon Bradley, Brandon Ogletree, Jason Speredon and Richard Wilson.

Each school made its chile at home, filming the process. A highlight reel of the cooking was aired to start the evening. UTEP’s portion went first, showing Trevor Vittatoe, Jonny Moore, Donald Buckram, Austin Contreras, Elijah Goldtrap, Rod Huntley and Joe Banyard having fun and joking about their chile that, “tastes like Cougar, tastes like a win.” BYU’s approach was more serious with Speredon showing the best way to chop a bell pepper.

The judging video immediately followed. The panel of judges was comprised of KKOB radio personality Scott Stiegler, Miss New Mexico Madison Tabet, and chile expert Dave DeWitt, who has 33 published books on chile.

Based on the video, it appeared that UTEP was going to win. DeWitt was wide-eyed on his first bite of Miner chile while Stiegler said, “That’s training camp in Soccorro. Major success for the Miners.” DeWitt had a laid-back reaction to the Cougar chile while Stiegler said, “Nice spice, BYU. You must have made a couple of trips to New Mexico before.”

The evening concluded with the players eating dinner and touring the balloon museum. A few players from each team also took part is a game of “True or False” with KOAT sports director John Salazar. He asked them each two questions about the state of New Mexico, but the results were split with each team getting one question right.

The bowl week festivities continue tomorrow with Survey Says and bowling at Santa Ana Star Casino.