Best and worst of 2012: West Virginia

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
2:30
PM ET
We'll start a new series today breaking down the best and worst moments of the season for each team in the Big 12. First up: The new guys from out east.

Worst moment: The 55-14 loss to Kansas State

Some of you might point to the crushing 49-14 loss to Texas Tech that featured an ankle injury to Stedman Bailey and a fall from grace as the nation's No. 5 team. Nope. I'm going with K-State here. There was reason to believe that Tech loss was an inexplicable blip on the way to a league title, just like that Friday-night loss to Syracuse last year. The K-State game, complete with a hyped home atmosphere, confirmed a sad truth for even the most optimistic of West Virginia fans: This was not a team good enough to contend for a Big 12 title. Geno Smith threw his first interception of the season and Kansas State dominated from start to finish on both sides of the ball. It was only the second loss in what would eventually be a five-game losing streak, but it was pretty solid proof that the Mountaineers' first season in the Big 12 would be a rocky one.

Best moment: The 48-45 win over Texas

It was fool's gold in retrospect, sure, but this was a special win for West Virginia. Just one week removed from a 70-63 track meet against Baylor, the Mountaineers went on the road and beat the nation's No. 11 team in a prime-time game that made Geno Smith the unquestioned leader in the Heisman race. The six weeks that followed made this game a distant memory, but the fact the Mountaineers went into the biggest stadium against the biggest brand in their new league and won can't be taken away from West Virginia.

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