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Iowa wins the Outback Bowl and delivers America free Coconut Shrimp

For only the second time in history, Team Bloomin’ Onion doesn’t come out on top in the Outback.

In a spirited Outback Bowl, Team Coconut Shrimp beat Team Bloomin’ Onion, 27-22, to restore the honor to the lesser New Year’s Day appetizer at Outback Steakhouses.

If you go to an Outback location on Wednesday and mention the bowl game, you will be entitled to a free Coconut Shrimp — one per table or check.

Shrimp (also known as Iowa of the Big Ten) used a 17-point second quarter and this well-timed late interception on a would-be go ahead score by Bloomin’ (Mississippi State of the SEC) to win the game:

That wasn’t even the weirdest bouncing of the ball on today’s menu. On a previous Shrimp kick return, the ball looked like it was coated in spicy signature bloom sauce without anyone’s knowledge.

Team Bloomin’ Onion entered the game as a 7-point favorite. The fighting fried alliums boast one of the best defenses on any menu, and have multiple players who will likely be picked in the NFL Draft. Instead of sitting out of the game, players like Montez Sweat and Jeffrey Simmons elected to play. And when you consider the prestigious nature of this culinary battle it’s easy to see why they would want to participate.

One school [the SEC participant] gets to be Team Bloomin’ Onion, while [the big Ten team] is Team Coconut Shrimp. The winning appetizer is free at Outback Steakhouse locations across the country the next day.

Bloomin’ Onion vs. Coconut Shrimp is the matchup of bowl season.

Two teams enter the deep fryer, but only one can emerge onto the plates of Americans for free the day after the game. When the Big Ten wins the Outback Bowl, it’s Shrimp time, and when the SEC wins, it’s Onion time. This game is about pride for the crustaceans as well, as the Big Ten relishes (food term) any victory over the SEC.

Team Bloomin’ Onion was 4-1 all-time coming into the game, and the only Shrimp win came by 3 points in overtime. Coconut Shrimp had history to erase here, and they did so with all the creole marmalade one could ask for.

To the victors, go the food.