Three UC Santa Barbara students — Schuyler Capita, Natalie Ries and Andy Knox — are representing the university in NBC’s Capital One College Bowl, a trivia competition for college students.
Second-year philosophy and political science double major Capita, second-year philosophy and sociology double major Ries and fourth-year political science and Chinese double major Knox will face off against Morehouse College this Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. If they win the episode — filmed last spring — they’ll stay another round.
All three students are officers of UCSB’s Ethics Bowl team — “a philosophy debate club,” as Knox dubbed it — a skill that didn’t directly transfer to the trivia questions during the event, according to Capita.
“We kind of were the dark horse candidate,” Capita said. “All the other teams did quizbowl. And we were the only one that was coming [not from a] conventional, academic league, quiz bowl type activity.”
What helped the three players during their time competing on the show wasn’t extensive practicing, but rather a sense of camaraderie and teamwork built from their time together on Ethics Bowl.
“Us three, we hang out a lot, we spend a lot of time together, whereas the other teams, a lot of them were just meeting their teammates,” Reis said. “I think that did really help us in the competition because it allowed us to face the pressure a little bit better, we were able to communicate in our breaks.”
Reis said that the group worked together well under the guidance of Knox, who led the team as captain.
“He did an absolutely fabulous job,” she said. “He answered a lot of the trivia questions, and me and Schuyler really just did our best to support him. Outside the show, in general, in life, Andy and Schuyler are definitely like our creative, energetic, exciting forces. And me and [Isabel, our alternate] kind of tie down the more organizational aspect of things.”
Knox concurred, demarcating their camaraderie as a valuable asset.
“No matter what, 100% we were all very much team players, and I think we really had a really strong team spirit, which was great,” he said.
The bowl is hosted by former football star Peyton Manning and his brother, Cooper Manning — a unique experience for the three UCSB students.
“I will say sadly, he declined my offer to throw a pigskin around in the parking lot with him, which I offered twice,” Knox joked. “But he did at least sign our pigskins that Schuyler and I brought, which was great.”
Reis said that working with the Manning brothers was a very positive experience.
“After we were done filming, he would take time to come up to every single person on the show and shake their hand and talk to them,” she said. “I really thought it was cool, the way that they made an effort to interact with every person who was on the show.”
Despite the stress of filming the show during finals week, the group said they viewed it as a worthwhile undertaking.
“It was really cool to get an inside look into how the show was actually filmed, behind the scenes and everything actually being involved in that whole process,” Knox said.
Capita reiterated that the group’s close friendship remained an asset throughout the trivia process.
“The fact that we actually knew each other going in meant that we really didn’t have any issues with chemistry,” he said. “We’re all comfortable deferring. If someone else knows [the answer], there’s not really any ego or pride going into it. And we really, we were just going in as a team.”
A version of this article appeared on p. 2 of the Sept. 22, 2022 print edition of the Daily Nexus.