It's no surprise that the University of Minnesota was one of a dozen schools selected to do battle in "Capital One College Bowl," a new game show debuting Tuesday on NBC.

The Twin Cities squad has a rich history of doing well whenever the academic contest has been in the national spotlight.

When the competition aired on NBC radio in the 50s, the U of M dominated the program, appearing in 23 of the 68 matches. The school was named champion during a 1984 season that aired on NBC with Pat Sajak asking the questions, and a 1987 showdown on Disney Channel, hosted by Dick Cavett.

In this latest version, students are once again competing for scholarship money and bragging rights in a no-frills game show that rewards geeks who know more about European history than pop culture. The Gophers squad squares off against the University of Michigan in the premiere episode, which airs at 9 p.m. Tuesday on KARE, Ch. 11. Peyton Manning serves as the host, but it's his older brother, Cooper, serving as wisecracking sidekick, who ends up looking like an MVP.

Neal Justin • 612-673-7431