Vitek’s in the lead for College Eats Bracket Battle after polls close early

The Gut Pak is currently winning the Channel's Best College Eats bracket. Travis Taylor | Lariat Photographer
The Gut Pak is currently winning the Cooking Channel’s Best College Eats bracket.
Travis Taylor | Lariat Photographer
Linda Wilkins
City Editor

The polls for the Bracket Battle: Best College Eats championship, hosted by the Cooking Channel, appeared to close early Friday with Vitek’s BBQ Gut Pak leading by 1,000 votes.

The polls were scheduled to close at 4 p.m. Friday. Currently, the Gut Pak has 15,025 votes and its final opponent Marquette’s Real Chili’s The Marquette has 14,035 votes.

Vitek’s assistant manager Meme Bradford said the employees at Vitek’s were celebrating hesitantly.

“We’re kind of dancing in victory, but they might reopen the polls,” Bradford said. “We are trying to make sure we officially won.”

Bradford said the win would be finalized Saturday by an announcement on the Cooking Channel’s website.

“We worked hard to get all the votes we could,” Bradford said.

In order to get these votes, Vitek’s BBQ owner Julie Keith said in a previous Lariat article that social media was one avenue of spreading the word about the competition.

The online competition began in March and included 32 dishes from various college towns. The competition functioned like a March Madness bracket and the Gut Pak came head-to-head with The Marquette in the final round.

There was one other barbecue dish in the competition from the University of Memphis, but Vitek’s was the only barbecue restaurant to last.

As the Lariat previously reported, there is no physical reward for the winner of the competition.

In the Lariat article, Alison Sickelka, site manager for the Cooking Channel website, said, “There’s no prize other than pride.”