Big 12: Boston College

Baylor's fumble ranks as Big 12's No. 25 moment

June, 8, 2009
6/08/09
4:03
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The announcement of my 25 most memorable moments has prompted unprecedented interest among the readers. This is a great way to get us all primed for the upcoming season by remember some of the greatest events in Big 12 history.

Without further adieu, my countdown of the most memorable moments in Big 12 history begins with one of the most notorious moments in Baylor's recent football history.

No. 25: So much for taking a knee

Date: Sept. 11, 1999

Place: Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas

Score: UNLV 27, Baylor 24

Baylor coach Kevin Steele was looking to build attitude for his program that had never won under him before.

The Bears were disappointed the week before this game when they dropped a 30-29 decision at Boston College, losing the game on a missed extra point in overtime.

That's why he opted to have Darrell Bush try to run the ball into the end zone while nursing a 24-20 lead against UNLV late in the fourth quarter. It wasn't a necessary score and Steele should have known better.

But instead, Bush fumbled near the end zone and Kevin Thomas returned the miscue 99 yards for a touchdown to provide the Rebels with an improbable 27-24 victory.

What they said: "It was a one-in-a-million deal. The reason that happened is we tried to create attitude. We should have milked the clock at the end, instead, we went for the extra points. We played with fire and got burned and it was an expensive mistake," Steele told reporters after the wild, improbable loss.

The upshot: Steele's coaching tenure never recovered as his team went 9-36 over the next four seasons before he was fired. The late turnaround has helped popularize "the victory formation" in college football -- no matter what the margin at the end of the game is.

UNLV, which opened the 1999 season 2-0 for the first time in seven seasons with the win at Baylor, won only one more game the rest of the season to finish 3-8.

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