Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Fans' take: The best Big 12 moment of 2012
By David Ubben
I dropped my most memorable Big 12 moments of 2012 on the blog earlier this week, but what about you? Here's the top five, but let's hear your vote:
Baylor's Big Upset/Finish
The Bears knocked off the nation's No. 1 team--Kansas State--at home in Waco to kick off a four-game winning streak to close the season. It also earned the Big 12 a big slice of respect when it knocked off No. 17 UCLA by 23 points as an underdog in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. Lache Seastrunk was the biggest reason for it, but an opportunistic defense helped out big time, too.
There were Big 12 title implications on the line, but the Sooners mounted comebacks in the first and second halves and scored on fourth down in the final seconds to win a shootout against rival Oklahoma State in Norman. The BellDozer rumbled in to force overtime, but Brennan Clay's beastly run kept the Sooners' title hopes alive.
The Actual Big 12 Championship Game
Oklahoma and Kansas State played a gritty game in September that few knew would actually serve as the Big 12 title game. It was the Big 12 opener for both teams, but Kansas State forced a pair of turnovers on each goal line, preventing one Sooner turnover with one and producing a K-State touchdown with the second. The Wildcats became the third Big 12 team to win in Norman under Bob Stoops and the first-ever ranked team to do so. In the process, they earned the Big 12 tiebreaker that sent them to the Fiesta Bowl.
Wild Times in West Virginia's Texas Trips
The road win at Texas was the crescendo of a five-game winning streak for the Mountaineers, who outgunned Texas and ascended to No. 5 in the polls, looking like the Big 12's best hope for a national title. Geno Smith hadn't thrown an interception yet, but racked up 20+ touchdown passes for the red-hot 'Eers. A week later, it got rocked by five touchdowns in Lubbock to key off a five-game losing streak and expose the Big 12 newbies as a league title pretender.
Dueling Big 12 Celebrations
Oklahoma didn't bother waiting to find out if its Big 12 title was shared or outright. It celebrated another Big 12 title -- the eighth under Stoops -- in Fort Worth. Later that night, K-State fans celebrated with the team on the field to commemorate their far more legitimate Big 12 title, even if the Big 12 rules technically disagreed. It was mostly memorable in that it was unlike anything we'd ever seen in this league.