The 10 Best Big-12 Football Games of 2012

Lisa Horne@LisaHornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterDecember 28, 2012

The 10 Best Big-12 Football Games of 2012

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    With so many incredible games to peruse in the DVR, it would be hard to choose just ten games that stood out in the 2012 season. How do you separate the best from the rest?

    Was it a game that was an monumental upset? Was it a game that highlighted a player's talents like none other? Was it a game that made made you bite your nails off or was it a game you never wanted to end? 

    The Big 12 is an exciting conference that showcased all of the above and more as you will see from what we believe to be the best games of 2012. 

Texas vs Oklahoma State

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    Nothing beats a down-to-the-wire game and this game between Texas and Oklahoma State fit the bill.

    With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Texas scored the go-ahead touchdown on a two-yard Joe Bergeron run giving Texas a 41-36 victory.

    Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt was injured but J.W. Walsh filled in admirably throwing for 307 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys' stinging loss.

    True, the defenses did not perform very well, but the offenses put on such a show that this game became the first great game of the season. 

West Virginia vs Texas

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    The No. 11 Texas Longhorns and the No. 8 West Virginia Mountaineers were both undefeated heading into this game and Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith was the Heisman front runner.

    To say there was not any interest in this game would be a complete falsehood—everybody was watching it, especially after the fireworks show West Virginia put on against Baylor in the previous week. 

    Like a tennis match, the game went back and forth with the score changing 12 times and the leader changing nine times. It was borderline ridiculous with both teams' defenses offering little resistance to the opposing teams' offenses. 

    Still, it was a thrill-seeking ride—they were not a lot of penalties (nine total) and the difference between time of possession between the two teams was a scant 20 seconds. 

    Geno Smith threw for four touchdowns and Heisman pundits were already proclaiming him the 2012 Heisman winner in early October. 

    West Virginia won 48-45. 

Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State

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    Of course this Bedlam Series game makes this Top 10 list. Anytime one of the best college football rivalry games goes into overtime, you have got our attention. 

    Oklahoma Sooner quarterback Landry Jones had one of the most remarkable performances of the year going 46-of-71 for 500 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. That's not a typo—Jones would become the Big 12's all-time passing leader after that performance.

    Oklahoma won 51-48 despite never leading in regulation and being down by 14 points at one point in the first quarter and 11 points in the third quarter. 


Texas Tech vs TCU

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    Despite posting 127 more total yards than Texas Tech, TCU lost a heart breaker to the Red Raiders in triple overtime, 56-53. 

    Tech quarterback Seth Doege threw seven touchdowns in the game. Trevone Boykin, who was tabbed the starting quarterback after TCU's Casey Pachall left the team, went 26-of-44 for 332 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

    After trading touchdowns in the first two overtime periods, TCU settled for a field goal to take a 53-50 lead. But Seth Doege connected on an eight-yard pass to Alex Torres to win the game.

TCU vs West Virginia

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    TCU played in its second overtime game of the season but this time, the Horned Frogs came out on top on the road beating West Virginia 39-38. 

    As opposed to their previous overtime loss to Texas Tech, the Horned Frogs were more aggressive—they attempted and succeeded in a two-point conversion in the second overtime period.

    TCU's tough defense limited the Mountaineers' prolific offensive attack to just 338 yards. TCU handed West Virginia its third consecutive loss but it was the Mountaineers' defense that lost the game.

    After TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin was sacked back at his own six-yard line, Boykin connected on a 94-yard pass to Josh Boyce for a touchdown to tie the score up at 31 with less than two minutes left in the game.

    When Tyler Bitancurt missed a 55-yard field goal attempt with 13 seconds left in the game, TCU decided to settle the game in overtime.  

Baylor vs West Virginia

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    This was a game that never should have ended.

    As West Virginia's conference opener (and Homecoming game) opponent, Baylor probably looked to be the easy win since Heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III was playing for the Washington Redskins. 

    That thought process was put to bed in the Big 12's highest scoring game ever recorded: West Virginia 70 Baylor 63.

    In case you missed the fun, Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns—out of his 51 passing attempts, only six were incomplete. Baylor quarterback Nick Florence went 29-of-47 for 581 yards and five touchdowns.

    West Virginia finished with 807 total yards while Baylor finished with 700 yards. The two quarterbacks combined for 1,278 passing yards yet only one interception was thrown. 

    Defense? Nah, it was non-existent. This game was not for football purists, but instead for roller coaster enthusiasts. 

    And we loved it. 

Kansas State vs Oklahoma

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    No. 15 Kansas State rolled into Norman to play No. 6 Oklahoma in what would turn out to be a crucial game marred by a couple of errors by Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones. Jones went 28-of-43 for 298 yards, one touchdown and one fumble in the Sooners' 24-19 loss to the Wildcats. 

    The game was crucial in that the loss represented the only conference loss by Oklahoma—had the Sooners not lost to Kansas State they would have have been the Big 12 champion since Kansas State would go on to lose to Baylor. But more than anything else, this game signified that Kansas State is back and that last year's 10-3 season was no fluke. 

    This game was two heavyweights battling it out—we cannot wait to see it again next year.  

Kansas State vs Iowa State

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    Iowa State and Kansas State were both very strong defensive performers this season, so it was only fitting that when these two teams played each other, it was going to be a slug fest on a soggy field. This game deserved to be played old-school style.

    Iowa State was in the game all the way through the fourth quarter—down only 24-21, eventually it ran out of gas. Kansas State won 27-21.

    Collin Klein rushed for 105 yards, three touchdowns and passed for 167 yards.

    Great defensive play coupled with outstanding clock management made this a game for football purists: The Wildcats had a 40:54 time of possession advantage over the Cyclones' 19:06.

    Still, Iowa State is probably one of the best 6-6 teams in the country—it beat both TCU and Baylor this year. 

Oklahoma vs West Virginia

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    The Oklahoma Sooners and West Virginia Mountaineers held an old fashioned shoot-out in Morgantown with the Sooners winning a nail-biter, 50-49.

    Landry Jones had a fantastic day going 38-of-51 for 554 yards (not a typo), six touchdowns and one interception. West Virginia's defense always seems to bring out the best in other teams' offenses and this game was no exception.

    With 24 seconds left in the game and down 49-44, Jones found Kenny Stills for a five-yard touchdown and Oklahoma escaped a West Virginia upset. 

Baylor vs Texas Tech

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    This game was not for the faint of heart—Baylor missed three field goals, including one on the last play of regulation play, before finally beating Texas Tech in over time.

    With the game tied at 45 apiece, Aaron Jones lined up at the 31-yard line to attempt a 48-yard field goal but he missed it as the clock ran out. 

    In overtime, Baylor ran off eight consecutive rushing plays with Glasco Martin scoring on a four-yard touchdown. Texas Tech didn't fare as well on its possession as Seth Doege threw an incomplete pass on 4th-and-5 on Baylor's 20.

    Baylor reeled off three straight wins to get bowl eligible and a guaranteed bowl berth.