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The Overly Sweet 16

Cereal numbers game allows you to box out, pour it on the competition

Here’s a bracket you can sink your teeth into. All hail the Overly Sweet 16, a formidable collection of breakfast cereals, one of which has helped pad the coffers of dentists nationwide for more than half a century.

We consulted with three avowed cereal lovers to determine the winners of the 15 different matchups and the eventual champ.

Do your best mind-melding and fill out the bracket below based on which cereal you think got the nod from the judges based on taste, texture and staying power.

The top three grainiacs will win cookbooks from our impressive collection (perfect for gifting and regifting).

The winner will, of course, also receive a box of the cereal crowned the 2009 Overly Sweet National Champion.

Click on the thumbnail photo of the cereal box (the one on the right) for the online version of the bracket.




Conference: Kellogg’s

Record: 11-1 (each gram of sugar counts as a win; each gram of fiber as a loss)

Notes: Introduced as “Sugar Frosted Flakes” in 1952. A perennial powerhouse, the Flakes ranked No. 4 overall in the A.C. Nielsen’s 2008 listing of the 10 Most Popular Cereal Brands (Cheerios and Special K ranked Nos. 1 and 2, but are far too low in sugar and high in fiber for inclusion in the Overly Sweet 16).


Conference: Post

Record: 6-2

Notes: Introduced in 1989. Though its record is downright wimpy and borderline healthy, Post’s HBOO earned its No. 2 seed on the basis of a surprising No. 3 overall rating on the Nielsen listing (even higher than Frosted Flakes).


Conference: Kellogg’s

Record: 13-1

Notes: Sam Toucan’s electric color scheme, artificial fruit flavors and the resulting technicolor milk the rings produce have been an unorthodox crowd pleaser since Loops hit the market in 1963. Came in at No. 7 on the Nielsen 2008 listing.


Conference: General Mills

Record: 10 -1

Notes: First produced in 1984 and known as “Curiously Cinnamon” in the U.K., CTC overtook fellow GM conference member Lucky Charms in the 2008 Nielsen ratings, with CTC ranking eighth and Charms ranking ninth.



Fill out the bracket and use it as a reference to e-mail the results of each matchup (there are 15 in all) to me at tstauffer@tucsoncitizen.com (tstauffer@tucsoncitizen.com), or call in your results to 573-4620. If you’re feeling lucky about the extended life of the Citizen, you’re more than welcome to snail-mail your bracket to Tom Stauffer, Tucson Citizen, 4850 S. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85714. In the event of a tie, winners will be selected based on the order in which entries are received.

Deadline is Friday at noon.


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