Worst Losses in Big 12 History

Jeff WilliamsAnalyst ISeptember 3, 2008

So some people might think Nebraska beating Western Michigan isn’t a big deal. Just a reality check: we barely beat Ball State last year.

So beating Western Michigan with ease isn’t satisfying? Go ask Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Michigan, and Pitt, all of whom lost to non-BCS schools. We are in a different era, my friends.

With that, Mike Finger San Antonio Express ranks the most embarrassing losses in Big 12 history.


1. UCLA 66, Texas 3  (Sept. 13, 1997)

Probably the lowest point in UT football history. This was the game that ultimately spelled the end for coach John Mackovic, and the afternoon Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls described with the classic opening line, “At least the band kept playing.”


2. UNLV 27, Baylor 24 (Sept. 11, 1999)

Of all of the Bears’ embarrassments, this one is the standard by which the rest are measured. Baylor led 24-21 with the ball near the UNLV goal line in the closing seconds, but instead of having his team take a knee, coach Kevin Steele called a running play. The Rebels forced a fumble and returned it 99 yards for the game-winning touchdown.


3. Montana State 19, Colorado 10 (Sept. 2, 2006)

In Dan Hawkins’ mile-high debut, the once-proud Buffaloes suffered their first loss to a Division I-AA opponent.


4. Arkansas State 18, Texas A&M 14 (Aug. 30, 2008)

In Mike Sherman’s first game as A&M’s head coach, the Aggies missed two short field goals and were outmanned by a Sun Belt Conference team that had gone 5-7 the season before.


5. Southwestern La. 29, Texas A&M 22 (Sept. 14, 1996)

The Ragin’ Cajuns returned three A&M turnovers for touchdowns to pull off the shocker, prompting their fans to tear down the goal posts and sending the Aggies on their way to their worst season in 13 years.


6. North Texas 30, Texas Tech 27 (Sept. 20, 1997)

This was an upset everyone enjoyed so much, the two teams decided to put on a sequel two years later. UNT beat Tech 21-14 on Sept. 18, 1999.


7. Colorado State 41, Colorado 14 (Sept. 4, 1999)

The Buffaloes hadn’t lost a Rocky Mountain Showdown in 13 years, but that streak ended with a fury.


8. Fresno State 45, Kansas State 21 (Sept. 11, 2004)

The Wildcats’ drubbing at home marked the end of an era, as they’d never be ranked again under Bill Snyder.


9. Troy State 24, Missouri 14 (Sept. 9, 2004)

The No. 19 Tigers were supposed to be poised for a breakthrough year with a Heisman Trophy candidate in Brad Smith, but were humbled on national TV by the upstart Trojans. It took them more than two years to get back into the AP Top 25.


10. Utah 41, Texas A&M 21 (Sept. 2, 2004)

This was the game in which Aggies defensive coordinator Carl Torbush’s “Wow!” was caught on national TV, turning it into a lasting Internet symbol for exasperation.


11. TCU 17, Oklahoma 10 (Sept. 3, 2005)

The Sooners, ranked seventh in the country to begin the season, immediately dropped out of the national championship race with a stunningly dismal showing at home in their season opener.


12. Troy 41, Oklahoma State 23 (Sept. 14, 2007)

The Cowboys had spent the summer billing themselves as “The World’s Greatest Offense,” but it was the Trojans—who had dropped the “State” from their name—who once again humbled a Big 12 opponent. Afterwards, OSU quarterback Bobby Reid may or may not have been fed chicken by his mother in the incident that led to Mike Gundy’s famous rant weeks later.