With the 2018 Big 12 football season in the books, it’s time to take a look back at the season that was and rank the top 10 games in the conference. We will count down backwards from No. 10 to No. 1.
10. Oklahoma 28, Army 21, Saturday, September 22nd
The Sooners needed overtime to get by the Black Knights in Norman on a game many fans ended up bootlegging through a social media stream since the game was not on cable. OU was outgained 379 yards to 355, as OU had trouble slowing down Army’s triple option. Army crushed the time of possession 44:41 to 15:19. OU did end up avoiding disaster, but in classy fashion, the OU fans gave Army a standing ovation after the game.
9. Baylor 37, Kansas State 34, October 6th
The game was close, but slow, for the first three quarters. It was a 14-12 game at the half, in favor of the Wildcats, and Baylor led 20-14 after three quarters. Then the fireworks started in the fourth quarter, when the two teams combined for 37 points. K-State tied the game with 4:26 left on a 28-yard hook up from Skylar Thompson to Dalvin Warmack. Baylor kicker Connor Martin missed three field goal attempts and an extra point, but his third made field goal was a 29-yarder with eight seconds left Saturday to give the Bears a 37-34 win over Kansas State.
8. Iowa State 48, Oklahoma State 42, October 6th
At this point in the season, Iowa State was 1-3 with the 2018 campaign on the ropes. The offense had been stagnant in four games. Enter: True freshman QB Brock Purdy. He lit up Oklahoma State and changed the fortunes of the Cyclones’ season, which ended with a trip to the Alamo Bowl. Purdy completed 18 of 23 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns, and also rushed for a touchdown. Another moment in this game came with OSU down 40-35 in the fourth quarter, and on 2nd and 10 from their own 12-yard line, Taylor Cornelius’ deep bomb for Tylan Wallace wasn’t held on to and the Pokes could never bounce back from the drop.
7. Iowa State 40, Texas Tech 31, October 27th
This game pitted two teams who were trying to be the one to creep into the top tier of the Big 12 Conference heading into November. It also featured two of the future stars of the conference in Texas Tech freshman QB Alan Bowman and Brock Purdy. The game was tied late in the fourth quarter before Alan Bowman was sacked in the end zone for a safety and then Iowa State scored on the next drive to seal the win.
6. Oklahoma State 38, Texas 35, October 28th
The atmosphere was lit for Homecoming Weekend in Stillwater with the old school uniforms and Barry Sanders back in town as well. The Pokes were facing the No. 6 Longhorns and were able to exploit a first quarter suspension Tom Herman put on his starting cornerbacks. OSU got out to a 17-7 lead in the first quarter, and lead that they never relinquished. Taylor Cornelius was catching a lot of heat from fans, but had arguably his best game of the season, finishing 23/34 for 321 yards and three touchdowns, plus two rushing touchdowns.
5. Iowa State 42, Kansas State 38, November 24th
Something about Farmageddon just makes things weird. The Wildcats held a 38-21 lead in the fourth quarter before the Cyclones stormed their way back with three unanswered touchdowns to pull off the win at home. The 21-yard fumble return from Mike Rose was a momentum changer the Cyclones needed to turn this game around. The loss for Kansas State was also the final game of Bill Snyder’s coaching career, and who knows, had he pulled off the win, might Snyder have justified remaining the head coach in Manhattan? We’ll never know.
4. Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 47, November 10th
Bedlam lived up to the hype, again. Even in a year when Oklahoma State was playing more spoiler role than Big 12 contender. The game included well over 1,300 yards of offense. There was a missed extra point by Oklahoma State in the fourth quarter that left the Pokes down 41-40 and ended up playing a huge role in the outcome. On the final drive of the game, Oklahoma State put together a 9-play, 71-yard drive and scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Cornelius to Tylan Wallace. With one minute left in regulation, Mike Gundy went for the win on the road by going for the two-point conversion. It didn’t work and Oklahoma State’s hopes of ruining OU’s chance of making the College Football Playoff were not meant to be.
3. Oklahoma 59, West Virginia 56, November 24th
Both teams wanted to make the Big 12 Championship Game and this one was essentially a play-in. Once again, offense was the name of the game, with 1,372 total yards. But OU’s defense did show up, scoring two defensive touchdowns after forcing WVU QB Will Grier into two fumbles. This allowed OU to overcome Grier’s career-high 539 passing yards. West Virginia was still right in the game and went 9 plays and 80 yards to pull to within a field goal with four minutes left. The Sooners were then facing a 4th and 5 from the WVU 40-yard line and instead of punting, OU went for it, converted on a Kyler Murray pass to CeeDee Lamb and solidified the win.
2. Texas 48, Oklahoma 45, October 6th
The two blue bloods in the Big 12 Conference met as ranked teams at the Cotton Bowl in what many hoped would be a renewal of these two teams being nationally relevant at the same time again for the first time in a decade. And this one absolutely lived up to the hype. Texas led by 21 points in the fourth quarter. Everything was clicking for Sam Ehlinger and company. But then Kyler Murray took off, including a 67-yard touchdown run. But Texas had one more chance and ended up marching down the field before Cameron Dicker knocked through a 40-yard field goal to give Texas the 48-45 win.
1. West Virginia 42, Texas 41, November 3rd
Biased? Maybe. I was at the game. But this was an electric match up in Austin, with both teams trying to solidify themselves as the top contender to OU in the Big 12. There were six lead changes in the first half and the second half saw arguably the greatest final moments of a game in all of college football in 2018. After WVU tied the game at 34 with five minutes left, Texas capped off a 6-play, 78-yard drive on a 48-yard touchdown from Ehlinger to Devin Duvernay. With only two minutes remaining, Will Grier had some magic left as Will Grier threw the pass of the season to Gary Jennings, a 33-yard drive over the shoulder in the back of the end zone to pull the Mountaineers to within a point. And then, Dana Holgorsen decided to go for a two-point conversion. There were two timeouts, included one in which WVU thought it got the snap off in time and converted it, but ultimately, the Mountaineers did successfully pull off the conversion on a Will Grier run for the win. What a game. I wrote about the entire weekend and my trip to Austin which you can read here.
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