For the past 12 years, the same Big 12 teams have played a round-robin, and for the past six, have had a 46th Big 12 game to determine the Champion. That’ll change this year with the additions of the four new schools, and a total of 63 Big 12 games.
There’s been a total of 499 Big 12 games over the past 11 years with the same 10 Big 12 teams, this may not be a list of most entertaining games to watch. Any game with an influence on the conference championship, national championship, or even heated rivalries or storylines was given a boost.
I looked up past articles on this, and one I found was from Bleacher Report in 2012. Despite only doing ten and having five more years to go off of, there were games from 1984, and 1971 despite the Big 12 not existing, one of those involving a team that wasn’t even in the Big Eight, and it was a game that ended in a tie no less. So for this one, I’m only doing games between the ten Big 12 schools from the past 11 years. To give you an idea of how many great games there’s been, here are some that missed out.
2012: Kansas State 24, Oklahoma 19
2014: TCU 31, West Virginia 30
2015: Texas 24, Oklahoma 17
2016 Texas 21, Kansas 24
2018: Oklahoma State 47, Oklahoma 48
2018: Oklahoma 45, Texas 48
2018: West Virginia 42, Texas 41
2020: Texas 63, Texas Tech 56
2020: Oklahoma 53, Texas 45 F/4OT
2021: Iowa State 38, Texas Tech 41
2021: Kansas 57, Texas 56
2022: Texas 34, Texas Tech 37
2022: TCU 43, Oklahoma State 40
Games from 2011 weren’t included in this list, since Texas A&M and Missouri were still in the conference. Though Oklahoma State’s games against Kansas State, Iowa State, and Oklahoma, or Baylor’s win over Oklahoma are certainly memorable. When I started making the list I had forgotten Missouri and Texas A&M were still in the conference, mainly because they were both irrelevant to the Big 12 picture in their final year. 12 Best Big 12 Games of the Past 12 Years, would’ve been a much better title, if they could’ve just left a year earlier.
12.) 2012: #1 Kansas State 24, Baylor 52
This was by no means one of the best games the Big 12 has seen, but it was vitally important. Just a year, after Iowa State dashed Oklahoma State’s National Title hopes in late November, Kansas State traveled to Waco in late November as the number one team in the nation. Baylor on the other hand had lost five of their last six and was on the verge of failing to even make it to a Bowl. It would be 1998 all over again for Kansas State fans, as Baylor manhandled them all night. While 10 points in the final two minutes of the first half would give the Wildcats life and cut the lead to 28-17. Baylor would explode in the third quarter, outscoring Kansas State 24-7, and taking a 52-24 lead that would hold. Kansas State’s National Title hopes were dashed, but they would beat Texas two weeks later to win the Big 12 and lost to Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. Baylor on the other hand would go on to win their last three games and finish 8-5. However, the next season Baylor would be on the other end of things as they would be blown out 49-17 to an unranked Oklahoma State team while sitting at number three in the nation.
11.) 2020: Kansas State 38, #3 Oklahoma 35, and #18 Oklahoma 30, Iowa State 37
I had to throw these two together since they were so similar and in back-to-back weeks. Two weeks prior most Big 12 teams opened their season with some lesser competition, it was a bad week for the Big 12. Kansas lost to Coastal Carolina, Texas Tech barely beat Houston Baptist, and of course, there was Kansas State and Iowa State. Kansas State fell 35-31 on FOX to Arkansas State, and Iowa State was routed 31-14. While Oklahoma handled their first game easily, the next two wouldn’t be the same.
Kansas State limped into the game against Oklahoma, and it started as you’d expect, with Oklahoma taking a 21-7 lead into the half, and while Kansas State kept pace in the third, Oklahoma held a 35-21 lead with 15 to play. Kansas State would convert a 4th and 1, and Skylar Thompson would cut it to 35-28 on the next play. A defensive stand followed but got even better when Kansas State blocked the punt. Two plays later Deuce Vaughn tied it by busting a 28-yard TD run, despite being very effective in the passing game, this was Vaughn’s only notable run of the day. With less than five minutes to go Kansas State nailed a 50-yard field goal, and would pick off Spencer Rattler for the third time with time ticking down to win 38-35.
While Oklahoma looked to rebound from the loss, Iowa State did get a win over TCU, despite Brock Purdy inventing the fumble six, before they faced OU. With less than nine minutes to go Oklahoma would take a 30-23 lead, but Kene Nwangwu would return the kickoff over 85 yards, and Brock Purdy would tie it on a QB draw. Iowa State’s defense got after Spencer Rattler and Breece Hall broke tackles from about 15 OU defenders for a 37-yard run to set himself up for the winning Touchdown run. Despite OU driving, a late interception throw from Rattler into double coverage would give Iowa State the win.
10.) 2013: #18 Oklahoma 33, #6 Oklahoma State 24: Baylor Beats Texas to win the Big 12
Coming into the final week of the season the Big 12 was a three-team race. Oklahoma State would have clinched the Fiesta Bowl berth with a win, while an Oklahoma win would turn the Texas @ Baylor game later in the day into a defacto Big 12 Championship. That’s exactly what happened, once again Oklahoma State would fall to OU, despite in many cases being the better team. Oklahoma State held a 24-20 lead, and was 1:41 away from the Big 12 title, and a Bedlam win when Oklahoma took over at their own 34. Oklahoma would march down the field and with a minute left stood at the thirty and threw a fade down the left side, that momentarily sent Stillwater into a frenzy. It looked like Gilbert had made a Big 12 winning interception, but as he was on his back with the ball, had it stripped out. Three completions later Oklahoma won it with 19 seconds left and would add a defensive touchdown on the last play. Baylor would go on to rout Texas and take the Big 12 crown, Oklahoma won the Sugar Bowl, while Oklahoma State missed out on a BCS Bowl.
9.) 2019: #10 Oklahoma 34, #13 Baylor 31
Despite going 1-11 just two years earlier Baylor entered this game as possibly the most underrated 9-0 team there was. It was fair to question Baylor as they had yet to play a ranked team, got bailed out by the refs in overtime against a Texas Tech team that would go 4-8, and needed triple overtime to beat a 5-7 TCU team. With College Gameday in town, Baylor exploded taking a 31-10 lead into halftime. In the second half, Jalen Hurts would take over though, a quick Touchdown, followed by a fumble flipped the momentum before Baylor recovered a fumble on the goalline to flip it back. However in the fourth Hurts would slice Baylor’s defense up for 15 minutes, scoring 24 unanswered total to take a 34-31 lead. While Baylor was on the edge of field goal range, Brewer was picked off on an out route giving Oklahoma the win. The two would meet again in Arlington where Oklahoma would again win a close one. Oklahoma was later stomped by LSU in the playoff, while Baylor finished 11-3, proving that just two years after finishing 1-11 they were completely back. Until next year that is when they went 2-7.
8.) 2016: #16 Oklahoma 66, Texas Tech 59
This is the only game on this list I got to watch in person, and I still feel it’s one of the most overrated. However, with how much it’s talked about today I couldn’t justify leaving it out. Baker Mayfield made his return to Lubbock and was greeted by some NSFW chants, that may or may not have been audible on the primetime FOX broadcast. Texas Tech fell behind 13-0 early, before roaring back to take a 24-23 lead with 37 seconds left in the half. However, a 75-yard, two-play TD drive for OU would change that, and looking back was probably the moment that decided the game. OU got the ball to start the second half, and neither team would stop each other while going 5-7 with Patrick Mahomes is horrible, Kingsbury’s biggest mistake was likely not kicking an onside every kickoff for the fourth quarter.
Texas Tech’s defense was horrible, after making some plays in the first half, they fell apart in the second. Joe Mixon ran for 263 yards in the game, Baker passed for 545. OU’s defense was just as bad as Mahomes tallied 734 yards, and was their leading rusher with 86, giving him 820 total yards. Both teams combined for 1,708 yards, and OU would go on to win the Big 12 again. Texas Tech meanwhile would have their Bowl hopes dashed with a 66-10 loss at Iowa State, who finished 3-9, while Kingsbury would determine the heaters on the sidelines were the problem, and not bring them to Manhattan two years later (Kansas State had six heaters, which ironically is the number of points Texas Tech would score).
7.) 2021: #21 Texas 48, #6 Oklahoma 55
Hopes were once again high for Texas coming into the season with a new coach, but after being demolished in Fayetteville, skepticism set in, though they did bounce back to enter this one at 4-1. Oklahoma on the other hand was undefeated but had a QB controversy following narrow wins to Nebraska, West Virginia, and Kansas State. Texas came to play early taking a 38-20 lead into the locker room and making it 41-23 with under three minutes left in the third. Then income future Heisman Trophy winner (for USC) Caleb Williams. Texas’ tackling was awful and Kennedy Brooks took full advantage with a 67-yard run that was followed by a Caleb Williams TD pass. OU got a stop, and Williams threw a jump ball that Mims came down with to set up a field goal to cut the lead to 41-33. Another stop, and jump ball to Marvin Mims, this one on 3rd&19, in double coverage and resulting in a 52-yard TD, meant OU was a 2-point conversion away from the tie. They’d convert, meaning in just 10:22 of game time, Texas’ 18-point lead was gone.
On the ensuing kickoff Texas fumbled and on the next play Oklahoma capitalized. In all, it took just 10:45 from Texas’ field goal to go up 18, before they trailed by seven. Texas wasn’t completely dead yet though, as Casey Thompson completed a great ball to Xavier Worthy to tie it with 1:32 to go, considering Texas’ defense, you just knew that was way too much time. As I said before Texas couldn’t tackle and Kennedy Brooks took full advantage as he walked it off with a 33-yard Touchdown run. Down the stretch Texas would capitulate, this was the start of a six-game losing skid that would see them finish 5-7. While Oklahoma fared better than Texas it wasn’t by too much, they lost their two most important games of the year against Baylor and Oklahoma State, failing to reach the Big 12 Championship and they lost their head coach and quarterback(s) at the end of the year.
6.) 2017: Iowa State 38, #3 Oklahoma 31
In 2016 Iowa State went just 3-9, which was pretty standard for Iowa State’s history, but wins over Northern Iowa and Akron coupled with competitive losses to Iowa and Texas showed that Iowa State had improved. Going into Norman though, not much was expected of the Cyclones, especially with backup Kyle Kempt under center as they entered as 31-point underdogs. Oklahoma scored the first 14 points in the first 10 minutes of the game, and it looked like a rout could be coming. Iowa State would get back into it, matching field goals and touchdowns before getting a field goal right before the half to cut the deficit to 24-13. In the third quarter the game would be turned on its head, Iowa State opened with a field goal, while Oklahoma missed one from 44, and fumbled. Iowa State then had a touchdown from a bubble screen to Murdock and converted the two-point conversion to Lazard to tie the game at 24.
In the fourth, it was again a bubble screen, this time to Trever Ryen for a 57-yard Touchdown to take a 31-24 lead early in the fourth. Oklahoma matched them, but with 2:19 left, Allen Lazard came down with a 25-yard TD pass to put the Cyclones ahead for good. Oklahoma would go on to win their next eight games before falling in the Rose Bowl to Georgia in double OT. While Iowa State would win their next three and look like Big 12 title contenders, they ended the season by losing three of their next four and finished 8-5. This win would set the stage for Iowa State’s bowl win in eight years, and a program that’s been very competitive since.
5.) 2022: #4 TCU 29, Baylor 28
TCU was the Cinderella story of the 2022 season, coming in at 10-0 with four one-possession wins, a trip to Waco against their arch-rivals was always going to be a trap game. Baylor on the other hand had been a disappointment, after losing to West Virginia to drop to 3-3 they had won three straight, before a 31-3 loss to Kansas State the week before. After being tied at 14 after two quarters, TCU would score a TD, but miss the extra point. Baylor would answer with a drive based primarily on the ground, before Shapen hit Johnson for a 12-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter, and took a 21-20 lead. On their next drive, faced with a 3rd and 11, Shapen found Baldwin short of the sticks, and he took it 74 yards to TCU’s 11. Just two plays later Baylor was in the endzone, up 28-20, and TCU’s playoff hopes looked to be in serious jeopardy.
With just over six minutes to go, Max Duggan put together one of the best drives of his career. He did it running, and passing, even converting a 3rd and 11 with under four to go, before Emari Demercado punched it in. However, it looked like the missed extra point could cost them, as TCU failed to convert the two-point conversion, reminding TCU fans of their 2011 loss in Waco. TCU’s defense would save their season, taking down Shapen just short of clinching the game on third down. Duggan began the drive with a huge completion down the middle before a 12-yard Duggan scamper would put the Frogs in field goal range. On third down, Sonny Dykes pulled his best 2009 Mack Brown impression, electing to run a HB draw with no timeouts leading to a chaotic last 15 seconds. Griffin Kell rushed on the field and hit a 41-yard walk-off game-winner, saving TCU’s playoff hopes after looking like his missed extra point could end them. TCU would go on to beat Iowa State and lose the Big 12 Championship, before beating Michigan in the CFP. While Baylor would finish at 6-7, including a Bowl loss in their arch-rival’s stadium.
4.) 2021: #10 Oklahoma 33, #7 Oklahoma State 37
Coming into the 2021 Bedlam game there was a real chance that it would be the last Bedlam game in Stillwater. While that’s proven to be false, the fans in Stillwater knew after Baylor escaped a scare from Texas Tech earlier in the day, that the winner would face off with Baylor for the Big 12 Championship. Not only that but both remained in the Playoff race, two wins for Oklahoma State coupled with a Georgia or Houston win the next week, would certainly send Oklahoma State to the CFP. The game started fast with Oklahoma State jumping out to a 21-14 lead less than 16 minutes into the game with a 100-yard kick return. After the Pokes added a field goal, Sanders was picked off and the Sooners would capitalize and tie it at 24 heading into the half, but all hell would break loose in the second half.
On the Cowboys’ first drive of the second, they recovered their own fumble for a safety giving Oklahoma their first lead of the game at 26-24. After the Cowboys’ defense forced a stop it got worse, as the Sooners recovered a muffed punt at the same goal line to take a 33-24 lead. A good Cowboys drive followed, eventually stalling on a missed field goal, but the Cowboys’ defense would make up for it by recovering a fumble three plays later. That of course wouldn’t matter much as Sanders threw an interception, but a constant theme in the second half was the Cowboys’ defense standing tall. The Cowboys offense would finally get going in the fourth with Spencer Sanders breaking a 37-yard TD run to cut the deficit to two. Then on the same spot on the field where the Cowboys muffed a punt in the third, the Sooners did the same, and two plays later Jaylen Warren would give Oklahoma State a 37-33 lead. The Sooners would threaten a couple more times but two Cowboy stops on 4th and 10 would end the rally. In the second half the Sooners offense failed to score, and the next day Lincoln Riley took the job at USC, while Caleb Williams would follow. For Oklahoma State, they needed just a win over Baylor, and either a Houston or Georgia win to clinch a Playoff spot.
3.) 2022: #10 Kansas State 31, #3 TCU 28
In the regular season matchup TCU scored 21 unanswered in the second half to win 38-28, also benefiting from injuries to Will Howard, and Adrian Martinez. After surviving a scare against Baylor, the Frogs blew out Iowa State and got a boost to their playoff hopes with Ohio State and USC both losing that week. Kansas State on the other hand bounced back from a loss to Texas by winning their last three to make the Big 12 Championship. TCU would start hot with a stop and a 90-yard touchdown drive to open the game, but Kansas State would rebound and head to the locker room with a 14-10 lead. Will Howard completed a beautiful pass to RJ Garcia for a 25-yard TD to make it 21-10 and put TCU’s playoff hopes in doubt. All the momentum seemed to be going Kansas State’s way until they muffed a punt around their own 30, which TCU would recover and score off of, making it 21-17.
The fourth quarter would start with Max Duggan throwing a poor fade route that was picked off in the endzone, which Kansas State took full advantage of, as Deuce Vaughn broke ankles en route to a 44-yard TD. A TCU field goal and stop saw Duggan take over at his own 20 down 28-20 with just 4:47 to go. Duggan would come up with the drive of his life, first, he took it up the middle himself on a 4th and two, then on 2nd and 20 took it 40 yards down the left-hand side. The very next play he ran through contact for the TD, before tying it on a pass to Jared Wiley. In overtime, Duggan was inches from scoring on the ground again, and Kansas State would stuff TCU short of the endzone twice, leaving TCU with nothing. Kansas State would take full advantage as Ty Zenter sent the 31-yard game-winner right down the middle. Kansas State would go on to lose to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. While TCU did make the Playoffs despite Saban campaigning on the Big Ten Halftime show, and beat Michigan before falling to Georgia.
2.) 2021: #9 Baylor 21, #5 Oklahoma State 16
After an offseason where it seemed that Iowa State would face Oklahoma in Arlington in the end neither would make it. Oklahoma State clinched a spot with a dramatic win over Oklahoma, while Baylor clinched their spot after Jonathan Garibay missed a late field goal, though his 62-yarder did knock Iowa State out. Baylor’s playoff hopes had ended in Fort Worth a few weeks prior, while Oklahoma State was hoping to get a win and spend the 2:30 window rooting for Georgia and Houston. Baylor entered as underdogs which was made more apparent when they had to rely on Redshirt Freshman Blake Shapen in just his second start. Failure inside the ten would be the story for Oklahoma State, as their first drive stalled out and they settled for a field goal. Sanders struggled mightily early with two first-quarter interceptions, that combined with good running and nice throws from Shapen gave the Bears a 21-3 lead. Oklahoma State responded, but once again stalled out inside the 10, meaning it went into the half with Baylor up 21-6.
Another Spencer Sanders interception began the second half, but a wild decision to go for it on fourth down in their own territory would give the Pokes the boost they needed. Oklahoma State would finally find the endzone off a Dominic Richardson run, but on Oklahoma State’s next drive, Sanders would be intercepted again. The fourth started with a missed Baylor field goal, and a muffed punt put Oklahoma State in the Bears’ territory. Oklahoma State found themselves just inches from the lead, but three stands from Baylor would see them settle for a field goal to make it 21-16. Sanders would take over at his own 10 with just 3:23 to go, and quickly work his way down the field, before a pass interference set them up at the two, with four chances to win the Big 12 Championship. Two runs that were stopped, and a failed pass attempt would see a 4th and goal with just 30 seconds left for the title. Dezmon Jackson bolted to the left pylon, but Baylor’s Jairon McVea would make the tackle inches from the goal line. Oklahoma State would go on to beat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, while Baylor would beat Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.
1.) 2014: #9 TCU 58, #5 Baylor 61
TCU and Baylor both entered this game undefeated with the winner looking as if they would immediately catapult themselves firmly into the driver’s seat for both the Big 12 and a Playoff spot. While Baylor had yet to face a tough test, the previous week TCU had beaten #4 Oklahoma 37-33. This game and what happened after could be an article in itself, and while I enjoyed watching the extended highlights of the first three quarters, I’m going to skip to the fourth.
Baylor had just cut the lead to 44-37, but TCU set themself up right before the third ended, an Aaron Green run would then make it 51-37 Frogs. On the ensuing drive, Petty threw a pick-six to Marcus Mallett, seemingly putting the game out of reach at 58-37. It most certainly wasn’t out of reach though as Baylor scored off an Antwan Goodley run, and went 92 yards in under 90 seconds on their next drive to cut it to 58-51. A Boykin incompletion on the ensuing drive gave Petty the ball with a chance to go 91 yards in 5:41 to tie it, they wouldn’t need that much time. Petty immediately set them up at midfield and Baylor ran down TCU’s throat a couple of times which set up the play action for a 25-yard TD to Coleman. Baylor went 91 yards to tie the game in less than a minute.
Now we get to where it got crazy. On 4th and three, Boykin threw a fade down the right side to Doctson that fell incomplete. This is a play that TCU fans maintain should’ve been pass interference, although it wasn’t the most egregious ever, I’d have to agree. Baylor would take over at their own 45, with 1:11 to go and three timeouts. All this coming just 10:27 after falling behind 58-37. Baylor got a quick first down, then with 37 seconds to go and a 3rd and 10 from the 43, the game would be decided. Petty lobbed an underthrown ball down the left side, and Corry O’Meally was flagged for Pass Interference, putting the Bears in field goal range. It wasn’t necessarily a bad call, but if you use the “let the players play” argument on the previous one, it could’ve applied here. After a few runs, Chris Callahan would make a 28-yard field goal to give Baylor one of if not the craziest win in Big 12 history. Even if that last pass interference hadn’t happened Baylor had all the momentum and certainly would’ve been favored in overtime.
The next week TCU would bounce back with a 42-9 win over #15 Oklahoma State, and climb to #3 in the nation until a 55-3 win over Iowa State somehow knocked them down to #6. Baylor on the other hand would fall the next week in Morgantown 41-27, setting up a months-long debate over who should make the Playoffs. Art Briles argued that they won head-to-head and should go, although his ranking OU above Texas in 2008 diminished it a bit. In the end, they split the Big 12, and Ohio State beating Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten Championship, meant that neither would make the Playoffs. Baylor would fall in the Cotton Bowl to #8 Michigan State 42-41, blowing a 20-point fourth-quarter lead in the process. TCU meanwhile blew out #9 Ole Miss 42-3 in the Peach Bowl, cementing themselves as the greatest what if in the College Football Playoff era.