Dallas Colleges: best/worst 2012
Worst moment: Will the Bears ever win a game?
Baylor had high hopes for 2011, but losing to an average Iowa State team by two touchdowns (and scoring 21 points in that loss) was rock bottom for the Bears, who fell to 0-4 in Big 12 play with lopsided losses to TCU and the Cyclones and close losses to West Virginia and Texas. The four-game losing streak assured that any hope of duplicating last year's 10-3 campaign after reaching the Top 25 early in the season was over, but at 3-4 with three more games against ranked teams on the schedule, Baylor had legitimate reason to worry if they'd even make a bowl game. Going a month without winning a game is a tough experience, but the Bears had to stomach it, and the worst loss of the bunch was the 14-pointer to a team that ended the season below .500.
Best moment: Baylor makes history, shakes up the BCS
Nov. 17 has a whole different meaning for the guys in green and gold than it does for K-State, which came to Waco with a 10-0 record and had blown out its fair share of Big 12 teams with a stronger résumé than the 4-5 Bears. That earned the Wildcats the nod as the BCS' No. 1 team for the first time in school history, two games away from a berth in the national title game. Baylor didn't seem to care, dominating the game from start to finish and beating the nation's No. 1 team for the first time in school history, doing so emphatically, 52-24. Fans stormed the field after the game and the win looked even better in hindsight. It set in motion a four-game winning streak to close the season, giving them an 8-5 record. Lache Seastrunk had his first breakout game of the season with 185 yards, highlighted by a game-clinching 80-yard run in the final minute of the third quarter. It was a night Baylor will never forget, and launched the Bears into what could be a very promising 2013 campaign.
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Worst moment: Belldozer and Brennan Clay prove to be a pain
Bedlam was one of the most fun games of the year, but Blake Bell scored in the final seconds on fourth down to force overtime, and facing a three-point deficit in overtime, Brennan Clay bowled over Oklahoma State's defense for an 18-yard, game-winning touchdown that set off one of the biggest celebrations ever at Owen Field. The Pokes rushed the field to celebrate a Big 12 title against the Sooners last season, and OU gave the Pokes a little taste of that this time around, though the fans didn't storm the field. The team did, and in the process, Oklahoma State was eliminated from BCS contention and Big 12 title contention, despite leading by 14 points early and 11 points late in the third quarter. It was a great game from the standpoint of a college football fan, but a painful, painful loss for the OSU faithful.
Best moment: Oklahoma State's rout party continues
The Cowboys lost to both Big 12 title winners this season and narrowly escaped one-win KU in Lawrence, but against the teams in the middle of the standings? Oklahoma State was simply dominant. The Cowboys rolled to a 38-point win against Texas Tech, highlighted by three long touchdown catches by Isaiah Anderson in the second quarter on the way to a 35-7 lead in the eventual 59-21 rout. OSU beat TCU, Iowa State and West Virginia by at least three touchdowns, and sandwiched around a tough loss to K-State, those wins made it very easy to believe that Oklahoma State could make a run at a Big 12 title in the season's final two games.
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Time to continue our series on the best and worst moments of 2012 for each team in the Big 12. Next up: TCU.
Worst moment: Starting quarterback Casey Pachall says goodbye after costly mistake
TCU was riding high at 4-0 and ranked in the top 15 when word leaked out the morning of Thursday, Oct. 4, that Pachall had been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He was in the prison until that afternoon, but after failing a drug test earlier in the year and admitting his use to police, Pachall knew there was a problem. He left school and enrolled in a treatment facility, but coach Gary Patterson made it clear that the door would still be open for Pachall to return if he fixed the problems that cost him a whole lot."I don't think one game, three games would have made a difference," Patterson said of the idea of suspending his quarterback. "You try to change people's lives. That's what this is all about." It was an ugly incident for Pachall, but it's a bright moment in Patterson's career, who did good by a kid who had cost him and his team plenty in their first season in the Big 12. Pachall has reportedly submitted paperwork to re-enroll. It was a rough day for TCU, and made it obvious that any hopes of a Big 12 title were done.
Best moment: Frogs win Battle of the Big 12 Newbies
TCU had lost three of four games since losing Pachall and its only Big 12 win had been over Baylor, who began Big 12 play at 0-4. Quarterback Trevone Boykin unbelievably found Josh Boyce for a 94-yard score to tie the game, and a trick play put TCU in the end zone against West Virginia in the second overtime. Patterson elected to go for two, and Boyce made a big play again, scooping a low throw before it hit the turf and clinched the win. It set off a big celebration and officially made TCU bowl-eligible in one of the most difficult seasons of Patterson's tenure at the school.
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Worst moment: Disaster in Dallas
Another Red River Rout. This is getting old for the folks in Texas, and the No. 1 topic of conversation in Austin in the week that followed was Mack Brown's job security. The Longhorns gave up four rushing scores to the Belldozer and a 95-yarder by Red River rookie Damien Williams. They were outgained by 388 yards, the most since 1950, and provided the biggest highlight of their biggest rival's season. Just ugly, ugly stuff for the Longhorns, who fell to 1-2 in Big 12 play and ignited doubts about whether another season without a bowl was possible. Texas added some garbage time TDs late to turn a 56-8 fourth-quarter deficit into a 63-21 final score. It didn't help much. It was Texas' second consecutive loss to Oklahoma by at least 38 points and fourth blowout loss to the Sooners since the birth of the Brown-Bob Stoops rivalry.
Best moment: Slumpbustin' in Lubbock
Texas had lost nine consecutive games to teams in the top 20, but showed some potential in a win on the road against Texas Tech, which was ranked No. 18 at the time. The Longhorns beat Tech on the way down in retrospect, but it was still a satisfying win for the Longhorns, especially for Mike Davis and Johnathan Gray. Davis caught two touchdown passes and was hilariously flagged for holstering his guns in a parody of Tech fans' "Guns Up" hand sign. Gray ran for 100 yards for the second consecutive game and proved he could be counted on, even though he was a true freshman. It was also a big day for the defense. Tech reached the red zone and settled for field goals on four occasions. That's ultimately where Texas won this one, but the Longhorns moved to 7-2 and 4-2 with the win to keep their Big 12 title hopes alive at the time with their third consecutive win of a streak that would eventually reach four.
Time to continue our series on the best and worst moments of 2012 for each team in the Big 12. Next up: Texas Tech.
Worst moment: Big 12 champions? I think not
Texas Tech traveled to Manhattan, Kan., with high, high hopes at 6-1. The Red Raiders controlled their own fate with the only loss of the season coming to fellow one-loss squad Oklahoma. Seth Doege was red hot and traveled to face Heisman front-runner Collin Klein. A win would make Texas Tech the likely favorite in the Big 12 race and inject Doege into the Heisman race. Tech trailed by just three at half, but gave up two quick touchdowns in the third quarter to key an eventual 55-24 rout thanks to the eventual Big 12 champions. There was no doubt on this day who would control the Big 12 in 2012, and who deserved a spot at the Heisman table.
Best moment: Red Raiders run rampant on Big 12 beginners
Texas Tech rolled through its nonconference slate and opened up Big 12 play with a gutsy win on the road against Iowa State. A three-touchdown loss to Oklahoma was disheartening, but a week later, West Virginia injected a whole lot of belief into the Red Raiders. Tech hosted the nation's No. 5 team and Heisman front-runner Geno Smith, but ran the show from start to finish, knocking off the undefeated Mountaineers 49-14. Tight end Jace Amaro got the party started with a 39-yard touchdown catch, but Tech ran away with a 35-7 halftime lead and never let WVU get close. The triple-overtime win the next week at TCU is almost No. 1 on this list, but when people look back on the 2012 season, this is the Tech win they'll remember most. With the win, Tommy Tuberville improved to an amazing 6-2 versus top-five teams.
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