The 12 Days of Christmas: The 12 Best Moments from the Big 12 This Season

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterDecember 23, 2013

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12:  Case McCoy #6 of the Texas Longhorns and head coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns celebrate after the Longhorns beat the Oklahoma Sooners 36-20 at the Cotton Bowl on October 12, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Big 12 is feeling generous this holiday season, so it wants to give all of you a gift—or 12. 

Of course, finances are a bit tight this year, so there will be no iPads or TVs; rather, the Big 12 is giving the gift of good times and memories. And, yes, that's still better than the sweater you got from your aunt. You know, the one you would wear if you were still 10 years old. 

Here are 12 of the best (and, in some cases, worst) moments from the Big 12 in 2013. 


On the First Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: A Jace Amaro in a Pear Tree

Okay, maybe Amaro—he of the 260-pound stature—won't fit in a pear tree, but you get the idea. Also, Amaro's 2013 season felt like one big moment. 

Amaro led Texas Tech, and finished second in the conference, with 1,240 yards receiving (yet, he was inexplicably not a Mackey Award finalist for best tight end.) He's a matchup nightmare fit for the NFL, and the Holiday Bowl against Arizona State will likely be his last game. 

All Texas Tech wants for Christmas is Amaro to come back for one more year, but that's getting a little greedy. 


On the Second Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: Two Straight Conference Wins for Iowa State

There wasn't much to be merry about in Ames, but at least Iowa State finished the year with back-to-back conference wins against Kansas and West Virginia. And they couldn't have come in more dramatic, albeit opposing, fashion. 

First, the Cyclones shut out the Jayhawks, 34-0, at home on a bitterly cold night. Then, they rallied from a 24-point deficit to beat the Mountaineers, 52-44, in triple overtime in Morgantown. 

Some say head coach Paul Rhoads was "SO PROUD" that his heart grew three more sizes that day. 


On the Third Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: A Memorable Third Win for Kansas

Kansas got its third win of the season—the most since 2010—when it beat West Virginia, 31-19, in November. It also marked the first conference victory for the Jayhawks in three years. 

After the victory, students rushed the field, and head coach Charlie Weis was visibly emotional. In his post-game speech to his players, Weis delivered the line of the year: 

"I want you to enjoy tonight. Yes, you can go out on the town. Now, with your track record, I'll get a call from the police at about 4 [a.m.]." 


On the Fourth Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: Four Forced Fumbles by Ryan Mueller

The Kansas State defensive end was a machine and had a strong case to be the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. 

His four forced fumbles are really just an excuse to show this play against Baylor. Mueller tracked down Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, stripped the football and recovered it all in one motion. It was as beautiful as a wintry wonderland. 


On the Fifth Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: Five Bryce Petty Touchdowns vs. Oklahoma

Petty threw for three touchdowns and ran for another two in a 41-12 demolition of Oklahoma on Nov. 7. Without star receiver Tevin Reese and running backs Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, all of whom left the game with injuries, Petty put the team on his back. 

That performance officially began Petty's short-lived Heisman campaign, which took a major step back two weeks later in a loss to Oklahoma State.


On the Sixth Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: Six Controversial Points for Texas vs. Iowa State

Oh, Iowa State. Christmas apparently giveth and taketh away for you.  

The Cyclones had what looked like a fumble recovery when Texas running back Johnathan Gray was stripped of the football near the goal line with just over one minute left in the fourth quarter. However, the play was reviewed, and Big 12 officials determined Gray was down by contact. Two plays later, Longhorns quarterback Case McCoy dove forward for a one-yard touchdown, and Texas escaped, 31-30.


On the Seventh Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: Seven Red River Shootout Wins for Mack Brown

2013 may have been the final season for Texas head coach Mack Brown, but he did win his last Red River game against Oklahoma. The 36-20 stunner against the Sooners was easily the biggest upset of the series between Brown and Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops

Running backs Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray each went over 100 yards as Texas slammed the ball right up the middle over and over again. The win gave Brown a 7-9 record against the Sooners during his 16 seasons in Austin. 


On the Eighth Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave To Me: Eric Ward's Eighth Touchdown Catch of the Year

Texas Tech wide receiver Eric Ward quietly had a great year with 904 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. His final score of the regular season, a five-yard one-handed catch against Baylor, was his best. 

(Bonus present: The reaction of Fox play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson to Ward's touchdown.) 


On the Ninth Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: A Nine-Point West Virginia Win vs. Oklahoma State

There was no weirder loss in the Big 12 this season than Oklahoma State's 30-21 hiccup in Morgantown against West Virginia. 

The 11th ranked Cowboys had three turnovers and a series of special teams blunders that allowed the Mountaineers to hang on for the victory. West Virginia won just one game the rest of the season, and Oklahoma State went on to win seven straight. 


On the 10th Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: A Top-10 Matchup in Sub-Freezing Temperatures

The best game in the Big 12 in 2013 was billed to be the Top-10 matchup between No. 4 Baylor and No. 10 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla. It didn't quite live up to the hype, but the Cowboys put together the most impressive performance in the conference all year by beating the Bears, 49-17. 

With Jack Frost nipping at everyone's noses, Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf had the best game of his career with 370 yards passing and three touchdowns.


On the 11th Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to MeJaden Oberkrom's 56-Yard Field Goal vs. Kansas State

Because five and six add up to 11, and TCU needs to be included in this list somehow. 

TCU would lose, 33-31, to K-State, but Oberkrom absolutely crushed a 56-yarder to put the Frogs up, 31-30, with two minutes remaining. It was still an unbelievable kick regardless of the game's outcome. 


On the 12th Day of Christmas, the Big 12 Gave to Me: Bob Stoops' 12th Bedlam Game Win 

For whatever reason, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy can't get the best of Bob Stoops. In nine seasons in Stillwater, Gundy is 1-8 vs. Oklahoma. 

The Cowboys were favored to beat the Sooners in early December and secure a Fiesta Bowl berth. However, Oklahoma mounted a go-ahead, 66-yard touchdown drive in the final two minutes to go up, 27-24. An end-of-game fumble made the final score 33-24, but either way, Oklahoma State was stunned, and Stoops secured his 12th win in the Bedlam game. 


Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. Follow him on Twitter @BenKercheval. 


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