Three students from the University of Mississippi will be appearing on NBC’s “Capital One College Bowl” – a quiz bowl show hosted by brothers Peyton and Cooper Manning – as one of 12 teams competing for $1 million in scholarships, on Tuesday night.
The three students that comprise the team are Alyssa Langlois, a rising junior international studies and French major, Joshua Mannery, a recent political science and English graduate and Nathan Lancaster, a recent civil engineering graduate.
Langlois, whose mother and maternal grandmother have both appeared on “Wheel of Fortune,” has a history of being involved in trivia herself, including watching Jeopardy since she was five years old, doing quiz bowl since seventh grade and participating in the Oakes Knowledge Bowl Society at Ole Miss.
“I definitely was ready for this,” Langlois said.
Similar to Langlois, Lancaster has a trivia background as well, having watched Jeopardy for as long as he can remember, competing in high school and also being a member of the Oakes Society at Ole Miss.
“I (also like) just doing trivia night,” Lancaster said. “Blind Pig, Moe’s, places like that in Oxford have been kind of helpful recently.”
Unlike Langlois and Lancaster, Mannery said he had no trivia background and still doesn’t know why casting directors reached out to him to compete on the show.
“I’m grateful to have been on the show, I think I was our team’s wildcard. They had all of the knowledge elsewhere,” Mannery said. “But if they needed a pop culture answer, I have an uncanny capacity for anything cinema or television related. So that’s where I stepped up and made my mark.”
The three students said they didn’t know who their teammates would be until the interview and selection process was complete, which was a few days before they flew out to film in Los Angeles. Once they found out, Langlois said that right off the bat, everyone got along very well.
“We drove to the airport together, so we were traveling all day together. If you didn’t know someone as well, we got to know each other then,” Langlois said. “We were just having fun together until we got there, and they gave us team bonding time every day for 30 minutes out on a balcony. So we got to hang out then too, and that was fun.”
Mannery said that because they were all unaware of who made the College Bowl team until a few days before flying out, there was a lot of individual preparation for each member. Once they all figured out who was on the team, however, they started having study sessions via Zoom to review and build team chemistry.
A highlight for the three is when they met Peyton Manning and Cooper Manning. Lancaster, who said Peyton Manning is his favorite athlete of all time, said it felt like a dream come true meeting him, and also appreciated Cooper Manning’s presence.
“Cooper graduated from Ole Miss,” Lancaster said. “So we also have another person cheering for us on stage. That was nice.”
Langlois said that she appreciated the camaraderie between Peyton Manning and Cooper Manning while on set.
“They were joking with each other, on and off. If you saw the first episode, they made a lot of jokes on screen,” Langlois said. “That’s just how it was the whole time, whether the cameras are on or off.”
Langlois, Mannery and Lancaster said they’re all excited for the Ole Miss community to see them in the College Bowl. Mannery said that while he knows the three of them will make the university and community proud, he hopes they’ll give him, Langlois and Lancaster grace and support.
“We’re excited to see the reactions on social media, especially from Ole Miss communities, because we are so passionate about stuff like that,” Lancaster said. “I know we’re gonna make them proud.”