American Jesus Madness 2015 – The Bracket


The official 2015 American Jesus Madness bracket is here!!

As always, I owe a big word thanks to everyone who took the time to make nominations for the bracket, There were some hilarious suggestions and I couldn’t have done this without everyone’s help. So, for reals, thank you.

If you’re an American Jesus Madness veteran, you’ll probably notice that some perennial favorites didn’t make the field of play this year. There are definitely a few returning combatants, but I decided to shake things up this year and bring in some fresh faces. But frankly, a combination of academic probation, flagrant violations of the Logan Act, and a secret rapture rendered many of those traditional powerhouses ineligible for competition this year. However, he committee will reassess their eligibility next year.

Now, if you’re brand new to this, American Jesus Madness is my spin on March Madness (which begins next week), but instead of basketball teams, I use Christian pop culture. Obviously these people and things can’t “play” each other in any traditional way. So, the battles are settled by voting. Starting on Tuesday you’ll determine the winners of every match by voting in interactive polls. What are you voting on exactly?

Well, that’s up to you.

You could simply vote for which person or thing you like better, which you like less, which one is more entertaining, which one would win in a bar fight, which one is more sane, which one is more insane, which one is a bigger jerk, or you could get really judgmental and vote on which one you think is the better or worse Christian.

Whoever or whatever gets the most votes advances on to the next round.

Like I’ve done in years past, I am going to help you out. On Friday, I’ll post a 1st Round match by match breakdown that will help those of you not be familiar with everyone or everything in the tournament which will provide a brief description of every single match-up to help you out with your voting.

Here’s where real fun comes in…

Just like the NCAA tourney you can download the bracket, fill it out (i.e. predict the winners of every matchup all the way through the championship), and email it to (make sure to include your full name).

Why would you bother doing that?

Because there’s eternal glory involved for whoever wins the bracket challenge!!

Now, like I said, I’ve got my breakdown of the tournament coming on Friday, but until then, I want to hear from YOU. Do you consider yourself an American Christianity aficionado? If you do, post your analysis or breakdown of the tournament match ups on your own blog, send me the link, and I’ll link to it on my own breakdown tomorrow. There have been some awesome breakdowns in the past. So, I can’t wait to see what you all come up with this year!

If you do share your breakdown or anything else American Jesus Madness related or Twitter, make sure to use tag it with #AJM2015.

Anyway, that’s about it. If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section.

Oh yeah, and here are the all important rules and deadlines for submitting your bracket.



You MUST be a living, breathing human being to enter (sorry, no robots or zombies).

Only 1 entry per person.

In order you enter you must do one (or preferably all) of the following and let me know which one(s) you did when you submit your bracket

I don’t have an awesome digital entry system like ESPN so you will need to download the bracket, fill it in, save it/scan it/take a picture of it with your phone/whatever, and email it to (make sure to include your full name).

The deadline for submitting your bracket is Monday, March 16th @ 11:59am EST.

The tournament/voting will begin Tuesday, March 17th @ 8am EST, at which time the schedule for the following rounds will be announced.

Oh, and here’s the point breakdown for those filling out a bracket out. As you’ll notice, points increase with each round. Which means, it’s no big deal if you get a few 1st round matchups wrong. As long as your champion is still in the tournament, you probably still have a good chance at winning bracket challenge.


1st round – 1 point

2nd round – 5 points

3rd round – 10 points

4th round – 20 points

Championship – 40 points


Good luck!!



  • Kari
    March 12, 2015

    Great matchups. Love it. And I’m weirdly proud that my yoga pants suggestion made the tournament. I hope yoga pants bust the bracket just like they bust any and all efforts to keep a pure mind.

    • ZackHunt
      March 12, 2015

      It was a great suggestion! And they’ve got a good chance to go all the way, cause if they meet Pope Francis in the Final Four, I’m not sure even the Holy Father would stand up to that kind of temptation. 🙂

    • ZackHunt
      March 12, 2015

      It was a great suggestion! And I think there’s a real chance they could go all the way. I mean, even if they meet Pope Francis in the Final Four, when it comes to yoga pants I’m not sure even the Holy Father would be able to keep his mind pure enough to win. 🙂

  • Jeff Miller
    March 12, 2015

    Certainly, the Gospel itself has to be considered an early favorite. However, such a difficult path to the finals. The Gospel starts with a matchup against the Gospel Coalition, and could potentially face John Piper Tweets, Al Mohler, and American Patriotism on its road to the Championship Match, where it could face the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Each of these squads have given the Gospel trouble in the past, and each will be taking aim for a major upset.

    • Eric
      March 12, 2015

      Excellent pre-game analysis!

  • Ed_Cyzewski
    March 12, 2015

    I laughed out loud at Saving Christmas vs. God’s Not Dead.

    • Ray Anselmo
      March 13, 2015

      That matchup is like nuclear war – no winners, only survivors.

  • Joey
    March 12, 2015

    Great match ups. I am hoping that Pope Francis and the Liberals, Immigrants, et al. match up at the end. Although, I am surprised that Jesus is not matched up against anyone nor is one of the players. I am not so sure he’d win! I am aware that some may think he’d be the automatic winner, since most on the bracket somehow really believe that they are his mouthpiece / representative / agent here on earth. Perhaps next year he can be on it? After all, one of the priests interviewed in Bill Maher’s movie “Religulous” mentioned that Jesus was #6 on the list of saints prayed to in a time of crisis…priceless.

  • Emily Harding
    March 12, 2015

    I’m just going to put this out there: if I don’t see either Chaplin Randy Beckum or 50 Shades of Grey win this year, I’ll be abandoning the (regular) blogosphere entirely and will retreat to the realm of fanfiction and tumblr for the rest of my days.
    I am not kidding.
    Not even a little bit.

    p.s. I must say I’m pretty bummed not to see anything relating to the Tony Jones situation in any of the brackets. :-/

    • Dan from Georgia
      March 12, 2015

      Agreed. While I love all the matchups, and pretty much declared Christians on the Internet Vs. Christians in real life a veritable dead heat, would love to have seen something related to Tony Jones/RHE/Et al…but I guess it’s too soon!

  • Billie Parker
    March 12, 2015

    This is off topic re The Bracket – but do you intend to develop an American Jesus version of Cards Against Humanity?

  • Dan from Georgia
    March 12, 2015

    Great matchups! Love the equal-opportunity Christian Men/women everywhere matchups! Were you bound by the Title IX provision for athletics to include both sexes?

  • Karen
    March 12, 2015

    Nothing on Tony jones? You just lost all credibility in my book, only poking fun at the conservative wing. Not playing, won’t be back. Not bitter, just practicing my good boundaries.

    • Eric
      March 13, 2015

      I bet you are a lot of fun at church pot luck dinners.

  • Holly Vee Wigginton
    March 12, 2015

    The thought of Pat Robertson vs yoga pants just does not make a pleasing mental image at all…

  • mariescanlon
    March 13, 2015

    i know, everyone is a critic ….but there sure are a lot of white, males on there. the other half of the population is missing…..although they are just all lumped together as feminist and “christian woman”. So, i guess we got that going for us.

  • McKleana
    March 13, 2015

    Hi Zack. Newcomer to your site here. 20% of the suggested “vs” brackets were about Tony Jones: “Tony Jones’ ‘bat-shit crazy’ campaign vs. #ibelievejulie,” or related topics, such as “What Rachel Held Evans Says vs What Rachel Held Evans Does.”

    Also, Tony Jones was nominated 10 additional times without an opposing factor, for example, “Tj’s Psych Eval,” “Spiritual Wives,” or “Tony Jones could populate an entire bracket all on his own.”

    Tony Jones and related topics don’t appear in your brackets.

    Can you help me understand your reasoning for the omission?


    • Eric
      March 13, 2015

      Let. it. go.

      • KT Pridgen
        March 23, 2015

        Yeah, McKleana. Let it go. it’s just abuse, after all. Why does everyone think a man abusing his wife is such a big deal these days?

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