Big 12 Football: Top Games from 2013 Season
Oh, college football. You've only been gone a week and you're already missed dearly.
At least you left the rest of us with great games that we can revisit all offseason until you return next August.
The Big 12 had its fair share of exciting games, in both victory and defeat, during the regular season and into the postseason. From a Week 1 FCS shocker over Kansas State to Oklahoma's statement Sugar Bowl, there were tons of great moments in the Big 12.
With any luck, 2014 will hold more of the same.
It's time to look back at the top Big 12 games from the season.
North Dakota State 24, Kansas State 21
When: August 30
Just before the 2013 season kicked off, Kansas State unveiled a statue of longtime coach Bill Snyder. That night, the Wildcats sat stunned in Bill Snyder Family Stadium as North Dakota State of the Football Championship Subdivision celebrated a 24-21 victory.
The Bison were actually getting some respect from the likes of David Ubben, formerly of ESPN, when it came to picking the game. And the respect was warranted. NDSU was a two-time defending NCAA Division 1 champion and returned almost all of their starting 22.
Still, K-State was coming off a Fiesta Bowl appearance; losing to a FCS team in Week 1 seemed unlikely.
But North Dakota State ran an impressive 18-play, 80-yard drive spanning 8:30 to secure the game-winning score with 28 seconds to go.
West Virginia 30, Oklahoma State 21
When: September 28
This wasn't a particularly well-played game by either side, but it still stands as a stunning upset. For that, it gets top-game consideration.
Oklahoma State entered the game ranked No. 11 in the country; West Virginia was trying not to fall below .500 after getting shut out by Maryland 37-0 the week before.
A mix of turnovers and special teams blunders ultimately cost the Cowboys, and the Mountaineers hung on for the improbable win. However, West Virginia won just a single game the rest of the season. The Pokes would win their next seven games.
That, of course, prompted the great question: How on Earth did Oklahoma State lose to West Virginia?
Texas 31, Iowa State 30
When: October 3
Look away, Cyclones fans. The pain may still be too much.
Leading Texas 30-24 with under two minutes remaining in the game, Iowa State appeared to have stripped Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray of the football. Cyclones linebacker Jeremiah George emerged from the goal-line pile with the football and ran the other direction.
Except officials ruled Gray down by contact.
The call stood after further video review, and two plays later, Texas quarterback Case McCoy dove in for a one-yard touchdown.
And the 'Horns ducked out of Ames with a controversial victory. Texas would win its next four games; Iowa State finished 3-9.
Baylor 35, Kansas State 25
When: October 12
Prior to Baylor's 49-17 loss to Oklahoma State in November, this was the most tightly contested game for the Bears.
Baylor had no answer for K-State's ground game as quarterback Daniel Sams racked up nearly 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns. It wasn't until Sams threw a costly interception late that Baylor pulled away.
In many ways, the Wildcats drew up the blueprint for how to slow down the Bears. It also marked the turnaround for K-State, who fell to 2-4 after the loss. However, the 'Cats won six of their next seven games.
It also featured the best individual defensive play of the year: the forced fumble/recovery by K-State defensive end Ryan Mueller.
Oklahoma 38, Texas Tech 30
When: October 26
Oklahoma receiver Jalen Saunders has had some great games in his career, but this was his best with the Sooners.
The senior caught six passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Both scores came in the second quarter and included a 76-yard bomb from quarterback Blake Bell.
The Red Raiders had some magic of their own, too. Tech's first touchdown was a halfback pass from Kenny Williams to receiver Eric Ward. In the third quarter following a field goal, Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury decided to roll the dice by attempting a surprise onside kick.
It worked and quarterback Davis Webb threw a 17-yard touchdown pass three plays later.
Oklahoma held on to win, and Texas Tech would lose its next four games to finish the regular season 7-5.
Texas 47, West Virginia 40 (OT)
When: November 9
Texas makes the list of top Big 12 games again by tearing out another team's heart.
On a gorgeous night in which West Virginia's home crowd striped the stadium, the underdog Mountaineers jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead after a blocked punt led to a safety.
Texas weathered the storm and pulled ahead 10-9. From there, the two sides exchanged blows all the way until the end of regulation.
The 'Horns struck first in overtime on a two-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Case McCoy to Alex De La Torre. On West Virginia's possession, Texas linebacker Steve Edmond intercepted Paul Millard's pass in the end zone to secure the win.
The Mountaineers let a number of games get away from them this past season. That may have been the most painful one of all.
Oklahoma 41, Kansas State 31
When: November 23
Better known as the "Tyler Lockett Show," the Nov. 23 game between Oklahoma and Kansas State may as well have been played in the Twilight Zone.
The Wildcats, a run-first offense, finished the game with 348 yards passing—278 of which were to Lockett—and just 24 yards rushing. Meanwhile, Oklahoma ran the ball extremely well. Sooners running back Brennan Clay had 200 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns.
It was bizarro world, indeed.
The game also marked a step forward for Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight. Known as a one-dimensional player, he had an efficient 171 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception.
Oklahoma 33, Oklahoma State 24
When: December 7
The 2013 edition of the Bedlam game was a slow-moving defensive battle.
Until the last two minutes, that is.
That's when Oklahoma and Oklahoma State combined for 21 points as the Sooners crushed the Cowboys' chances at a Fiesta Bowl berth while launching themselves into the BCS at-large conversation.
Following an Oklahoma State touchdown to put the Pokes up 24-20, the Sooners marched down the field and quarterback Blake Bell threw a game-winning touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders with only 19 seconds left.
An Eric Striker fumble recovery for a touchdown as time expired resulted in the final score, but this one was close until the end.
Aren't rivalries the best?
Oklahoma 45, Alabama 31
When: January 2 (Sugar Bowl)
Just when everyone thought Alabama couldn't possibly lose again, Oklahoma came out and did the unthinkable.
The Sooners' upset of the Tide was unexpected, but how quarterback Trevor Knight played was the biggest surprise of all. Knight threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns, dropping dimes to his receivers all night. The first half was an offensive showcase with the halftime score at 31-17 in favor of Oklahoma.
The win put head coach Bob Stoops in an elite coaching club, joining Joe Paterno as the only coach to win all five major bowl games (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and Cotton.)
Now, Oklahoma should enter 2014 as the preseason Big 12 favorites.
Missouri 41, Oklahoma State 31
When: January 3 (Cotton Bowl)
Much like the Bedlam game, Oklahoma State was in a defensive slugfest with Missouri in the Cotton Bowl.
Then the fourth quarter rolled around and things got weird.
The two teams accounted for 41 points after scoring 31 through three quarters. In the end, the Pokes came up short when quarterback Clint Chelf was stripped of the ball, which was returned 73 yards for a score by Mizzou's Shane Ray.
It was another loss that was tough to swallow for Oklahoma State, who was just recovering from a heartbreaker to Oklahoma.