Those Big 12 villains you love to hate

August, 17, 2009
8/17/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It's the player, school or coach that "done you wrong" once upon a time -- or maybe even repeatedly.

These figures resonate through the years for rival schools, providing an enemy that serves as a unifying element for hatred from fans of a rival school.

Here's a list of Big 12 villains over the years, both historic and present. Take a good look at the grouping and see if you have any recommendations of players or coaches I might have missed.

I'd be curious to see if any coaches or players spark greater antagonism than the ones I've selected.

Baylor Bears

Current villain: Texas coach Mack Brown, who's gone 11-0 against them with no signs of stopping.

All-time villain: Former Baylor coach Kevin Steele. His decision to try to ram in a statement touchdown against UNLV in 1999 blew up in his face like an exploding cigar when Darrell Bush fumbled and Kevin Thomas raced 99 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the game. That play snatched a sure victory from the Bears, making Steele and the Bears the laughingstock of college football. His program never recovered from that moment.

Colorado Buffaloes

Current villain: Wyoming coach Dave Christensen, who piled up 106 straight points against the Buffaloes in the last two seasons while offensive coordinator at Missouri, beating them by a combined 113-10 margin. The Buffaloes will have a chance for payback this season when Christensen brings a less-talented Wyoming team to Boulder.

All-time villain: Nebraska coach Tom Osborne directed the Cornhuskers to a career record of 21-3-1 against the Buffaloes during his coaching stint from 1973-97.

Iowa State Cyclones

Current villain: Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing has thrown seven career TDs against the Cyclones and beaten them twice, including last season's dramatic 35-33 comeback victory.

All-time villain: Iowa coach Hayden Fry, whose homespun witticisms weren't that funny for Cyclone fans when he was winning 15 straight against them from 1983-97.

Kansas Jayhawks

Current villain: Nebraska DT/FB Ndamukong Suh who beat the Jayhawks with a memorable offensive and defensive performance last season and is back for more in 2009.

All-time villain: Kansas State coach Bill Snyder beat the Jayhawks 12 of his last 13 seasons in his first coaching run, including a nine-season streak where he rolled up 41, 38, 48, 54, 50, 52, 40, 64 and 42 points in consecutive blowout victories.

Kansas State Wildcats

Current villain: Kansas running back Jake Sharp grew up only 61 miles from Manhattan in nearby Salina, but has abused them since arriving at college. He's tormented them with five career touchdowns, including four last season.

All-time villain: Texas A&M running back Sirr Parker, whose dramatic game-winning touchdown in overtime snuffed out the Wildcats' national-title hopes in 1998.

Missouri Tigers

Current villain: Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford has beaten the Tigers in the Big 12 title game each of the last two seasons, ruining their hopes for a first Big 12 title.

All-time villain: Colorado coach and former Missouri grad and assistant Bill McCartney should have been magnanimous after getting a gift victory over the Tigers en route to a shared 1990 national title. Instead, he sparked hostility among his old friends by ripping Faurot Field's "treacherous" playing field.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Current villain: Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel talked a lot of smack and then backed it up by beating the Cornhuskers in each of the last two seasons. And after orchestrating a 52-17 victory in Lincoln last season, he raised the hackles of Cornhusker fans by complaining about Nebraska players spitting on him. He'll be gone this season, but definitely not forgotten among Cornhusker fans.

All-time villain: Oklahoma. Even though the rivalry was marked by immense respect on both sides -- imagine Barry Switzer doing Nebraska television commercials and endorsing Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Tom Osborne -- the Sooners' domination was a constant source of irritation for the Cornhuskers. Oklahoma claimed 16 straight from 1943-59 and beat Osborne in eight of his first nine games against them.

Oklahoma Sooners

Current villain: Those pesky BCS bowls. The Sooners have lost five-straight BCS games, stripping coach Bob Stoops of much of his national stature that should have been gleaned from an unprecedented three-straight Big 12 titles.

All-time villain: Darrell Royal represented the ultimate turncoat to Sooner fans after starring at the school from 1946-49 as a record-setting quarterback and defensive back. His 12-7-1 career record against the Sooners included eight straight victories and 12 of his 14 games against them that made his old friends despise him.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Current villain: Texas coach Mack Brown, who has run off an 11-0 record against them. Worse, four of those victories were by four points or less, including the last two games.

All-time villain: Oklahoma. The cross-state rivals have turned the "Bedlam Series" into a one-sided affair with a 74-16-7 edge. Since Josh Fields orchestrated back-to-back upsets in 2001-02, Stoops hasn't called off the dogs in six-straight victories, exploding for 52, 38, 42, 27, 49 and 61 points.

Texas Longhorns

Current villain: The Big 12's tiebreaker rules. Texas fans are still lamenting the national-title shot that got away last season, despite beating Big 12 title game participants Oklahoma and Missouri.

All-time villain: Jackie Sherrill. He beat them regularly at Texas A&M and continued his success at Mississippi State. Even worse, he fired up his team before that 1991 victory by castrating a bull and then crowed about it after his Texas-taming success. Even more than Barry Switzer, Longhorn fans hate Sherrill.

Texas A&M Aggies

Current villain: Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. He's beaten them seven of nine games, including four straight. And he's gigged them by mocking their traditions, their coaching, their quarterbacks, everything but "The Dixie Chicken."

All-time villain: Texas. All things burnt orange set off Aggie fans -- with good reason. Their team has been dominated by the Longhorns in the school's longest rivalry. And how much of a Texas fixation do the Aggies have? The second verse of the Aggie War Hymn is essentially all about Texas.

Texas Tech

Current villain: Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. Nobody in the conference does a better job of rolling up points or handcuffing Tech's offense than his Tigers, who have averaged 47 points and won by an average of 26.3 points per game during recent three-game winning streak in the series.

All-time villain: Texas A&M. Aggie fans chap Red Raider followers by claiming the game isn't a rivalry. Mike Leach has made it seem one-sided in recent seasons. But look closely enough and you'll find it's not unusual to see the A&M logo a
dorning urinals in several bars in Lubbock. Isn't that the best sign of antipathy there is?

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