Another season has come and gone. For the Big 12, it was a second straight year of transition with the conference playing it's first season since losing two more members while adding TCU and West Virginia in their place.
It was a season in which there was an unbelievable run by Kansas State, a shot at another Heisman trophy not by Landry Jones or Geno Smith, but by KSU's Collin Klein, and another year without a team playing for the national title. There were plenty of "ups" as well as "downs" and just about everything in between.
Here's a week-by-week look at some of the highlights of the season that was 2012 as we ride off into the sunset towards another offseason.
Week one: Saturday, September 1st
West Virginia came into the season off of the thrashing they put on Clemson in the Orange Bowl ranked 11th in the preseason coaches and AP poll. Marshall didn't put up much of a fight as the Mountaineer offense racked up 655 yards of offense in their 69-34 dismantling of the Thundering Herd. Tavon Austin (pictured) ran for 76 yards on three carries and hauled in 10 catches including a touchdown in the season opener.
The Charlie Weis era officially got underway in Lawrence with a 31-17 victory over South Dakota State. Things didn't start out well for the Jayhawks, however, as Jackrabbit running back Zach Zenner (pictured) opened the scoring with a 99 yard touchdown jaunt threw the heart of the Kansas defense. Hopefully KU savored the win because it would be the only one they would get all season.
Was this going to be the year Oklahoma broke through for another national title? The Sooners came into the season ranked fourth in both polls although it was a less than impressive start to the season. It wasn't until this Damien Williams 65 yard touchdown run in his OU debut with three minutes remaining the game that the Sooners put it out of reach in their 24-7 victory over the Miners.
Week two: Saturday, September 8th
Despite a 10 win season in 2011, many people were still not believers that Kansas State could do it again. After their 52-13 demolition of the Hurricanes, there was little doubt that K-State was back for more. Quarterback Collin Klein accounted for four touchdowns as the Wildcats jumped six spots up to #14 and #15 in the polls following the Miami victory.
Oklahoma State was coming off their first ever Big 12 title minus two key pieces that got them there, Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, leaving many wondering how the Cowboys would respond in 2012.
After an 84 point win in their season opening scrimmage against Savannah State, the Pokes traveled to the desert to take on Arizona and their new head coach, Rich Rodriguez. The trip west didn't go well.
Referee Shawn Hochuli had a busy night flagging the Cowboys 15 times for 167 yards. Oklahoma State's defense was abysmal giving up 636 yards and the offense didn't help matters turning the ball over four times. Arizona won, 59-36.
Week three: Saturday, September 15th
TCU traveled north to play Kansas in their first ever Big 12 conference game. The Horned Frogs came away with a win, but it was much tougher than many expecting with Kansas coming up with four TCU fumbles to keep the game in reach before falling, 20-6.
The win didn't come without a price, however, as TCU running back Waymon James injured his knee against the Jayhawks and would miss the rest off the season.
Oklahoma State's attempt to rebound from their loss to Arizona got off to a rocky start when freshman quarterback, Wes Lunt, injured his knee early in the first quarter the following week against UL-Lafayette.
The Pokes' offense didn't miss a beat with J.W. Walsh finishing 21-30 through the air for 347 yards and four TD's. He also added 73 yards and a score on the ground. Lunt's injury started a game of musical chairs at the quarterback position the rest of the season in Stillwater.
Week four: Saturday, September 22nd
Who would have guessed Northern Illinois was headed to a BCS game after their 30-23 win over Kansas? The Jayhawks found out all about NIU quarterback, Jordan Lynch, early on as the Huskies QB ran for 137 yards and threw for another 235 in Northern Illinois' win.
Everyone knew the importance of the season opening Big 12 game for both Oklahoma and Kansas State and as it turns out, it was the most important game either team would play all season. The Wildcats victory over OU in Norman would give KSU the tiebreaker in the Big 12 come season's end sending them to the Fiesta Bowl.
K-State's John Hubert rushed for 131 yards against the Sooner defense and scored on this nine yard run in the fourth quarter that would prove to be the difference in KSU's 24-19 victory.
And that party was on for Kansas State. A little bit of redemption, perhaps, after Oklahoma routed KSU the season before.
Week five: Saturday, September 29th
TCU quarterback, Casey Pachall, would play his last game of the season against SMU as he was arrested and charged with DWI the Thursday after the game. The Horned Frogs pulled out a 24-16 win in the rain against the Mustangs, but Pachall's season long suspension would alter the rest of the year for the Horned Frogs.
West Virginia quarterback, Geno Smith, had what can be explained as a good day at the office against Baylor.
The Mountaineer signal caller threw for 656 and eight - count them eight - touchdowns while completing an unbelievable 45 of his 51 attempts. Smith's output allowed WVU to escape with a seven point win despite their defense allowing Baylor to rack up 63 points over their own.
Oklahoma State running back, Joseph Randle, had a field day against the UT defense gashing the Longhorn defense for 199 yards. It still wasn't enough, however, has Joe Bergeron's controversial touchdown run in the game's final seconds was allowed to stand giving Texas a much needed 41-36 victory over the Cowboys.
Week six: Saturday, October 6th
Obama won the presidential election, but it's not likely he carried the popular vote in Manhattan. Kansas State took care of their instate rival Kansas on this Saturday with little trouble by a score of 56-16. Collin Klein continued his superb season with 116 yards rushing and accounted for four Wildcat touchdowns.
The Red Raiders came into their game against Oklahoma at 4-0, but were no match for the Sooners who played their best game to date in taking care of Texas Tech, 41-20.
Oklahoma's win avenged their loss the season prior when Tech went into Norman and beat OU who was ranked number one in the country at the time. Justin Brown got the scoring started with this 13 yard touchdown reception from Landry Jones in the first quarter.
West Virginia went to 5-0 on the season following their 48-45 win over Texas iin Austin. The win moved WVU into the top five in both polls the following week.
Who would have guessed the Mountaineers would start a free fall the following week that would take them all the way out of the polls. This was on October 6th and the Mountaineers wouldn't see the win column again until November 23rd.
Week seven: October 13th
The below photo tells you about all you need to know in this year's Red River Rivalry. Oklahoma took it to Texas for the second straight season, this time by the score of 63-21.
The lopsided OU victory once again ignited the Texas fans base into wondering whether or not Mack Brown had enough left in the tank to get the program back to where it once was.
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin got his first win as a starting quarterback by throwing for four touchdowns and running for another against Baylor. The Bears didn't help themselves by turning the ball over six times in the 49-21 loss.
The celebration was on in Lubbock after Texas Tech's dominating performance over West Virginia. The Red Raider defense held the Mountaineers to just 14 points and 408 total yards. The loss by WVU was some serious foreshadowing into what would become of their season in the coming weeks.
Tight end Jace Amaro had 156 yards receiving including this 39 yard pass from Seth Doege that gave Texas Tech a 7-0 lead and the route was on.
Week eight: October 20th, 2012
West Virginia's problems continued following the loss to Texas Tech. This time it happened on their home field at the hands of Kansas State. What was once a high-flying offense for WVU finished with just 243 total yards.
K-State's Tyler Lockett hauled in nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. It became clear in back-to-back weeks that WVU wouldn't be sniffing a conference title during the first season on the Big 12.
This is what it looks like when you win in triple overtime. Texas Tech 56 TCU 53.
Week nine: October 27th, 2012
Baylor's midseason swoon continued with a 35-21 loss to Iowa State. The loss to the Cylones was Baylor's fourth straight defeat and left them 0-4 in the Big 12.
Steele Jantz had his best game as a Cyclone throwing for 381 yards and five touchdowns.
Texas Tech was looking to stay in the Big 12 race after back-to-back wins over West Virginia and TCU but it wasn't happening in Manhattan. Kansas State cruised to an easy 55-24 victory.
A win over Notre Dame would have put Oklahoma squarely back in the national title race but it wasn't happening. Instead, it was Notre Dame who was headed in that direction following thie Irish's huge win in Norman.
Manti Te'o had a little something to do with OU's desmise finishing with 11 tackles and an interception.
Brian Bosworth? Oklahoma's defense could have used him in the second half against the Irish.
Week ten: November 3rd, 2012
TCU had their second overtime game in three weeks and this time, they came out on top beating the Mountaineers 39-38 after Gary Patterson decided to go for two in the second overtime rather than kick the extra point. The Horned Frog defense held West Virginia to 338 yards on the night.
You mad? Whatever Mack Brown had to say worked as Texas went to Lubbock and held off the Red Raiders, 31-22.
Week eleven: November 10th, 2012
Dana Holgorsen's return to Stillwater ended in West Virginia's fourth straight defeat. Cowboy quarterback Clint Chelf picked up his first win since taking over the starting quarterback job and looked good throwing for 292 yards and four touchdowns.
Who says the Belldozer is only good in short yardage situations? Blake Bell scored on this 55 yard touchdown run as Oklahoma took out Baylor, 42-34. The loss by Baylor means they'll need to win two of their last three games to head to a bowl game for the third straight season.
Kansas State moved to 10-0 on the season with their 23-10 against TCU although KSU's offense struggled to get anything going against the TCU defense.
Did the injury Collin Klein suffered the week before against Oklahoma State play any part in that? Maybe, mabye not, but those theories wouldn't go away next week, either.
Week twelve: November 17th 2012
Who is this guy? Redshirt freshman Sam Richardson makes the surprise start at quarterback for Iowa State and all he does is complete 23 of 27 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns. Not bad for a guy who had never thrown a collegiate pass going in.
And week 12 featured one of the biggest upsets of the season. Just as Kansas State was thinking about playing for the national title, they had to make a trip to Waco to take on Baylor and things would go from bad to worse for KSU.
The Bears jumped out to a 28-7 lead and never looked back in their stunning 52-24 win. As for Collin Klein's Heisman hopes, those went up in smoke along with the Cats' national title aspirations.
Let the party begin in Waco.
Baylor's upset over Kansas State was certainly the talk of the weekend, but there happened to be another fairly exciting game played in Morgantown where Oklahoma scored in the final minute to edge out West Virginia, 50-49.
In a performance that was probably the best of the entire season (especially in defeat), Tavon Austin put on a show out of the tailback spot when he rushed for 344 yards against an OU defense that had no idea how to slow him down.
Week thirteen: weekend of Nov. 22nd
It wasn't the Thanksgiving Texas was hoping for as TCU took care of the Longhorns, 20-13, in Austin. Three first half turnovers sent David Ash to the bench in the second half, but Case McCoy couldn't do much to get Texas rolling, either. Beating Texas in their first year in the Big 12? Yes, it was a big win for the Horned Frogs.
Bedlam. It took an overtime, but OU kept their Big 12 title hopes alive by knocking off Oklahoma State, 51-48. The Sooners trailed for a good portion of the game but Jalen Saunders 81 yard punt return (pictured) to start the fourth quarter keyed the OU comeback.
Week fourteen: December 1st
The Big 12 played another season without a conference championship game, but for the second straight season, the title wasn't decided until the final weekend.
Oklahoma took care of business against TCU while Kansas State knocked off Texas for the fifth straight time meaning the Big 12 has it's first ever co-champions. Say what you will, but given KSU's head-to-head victory over OU, is the "co" really necessary?
Tony Jefferson (#1) celebrates the Sooners' fourth down stop in the games' final minute that preserved OU's win.
I guess you could say Kansas State owns Texas - and most of the rest of the Big 12 the past two seasons - for that matter. Collin Klein, Arthur Brown and the rest of the Wildcats had plenty to celebrate after winning the Big 12 with an 11-1 overall record.
The Bowl Season
Back to back bowl wins for Baylor? Yes sir, and it really wasn't that close. Baylor 49 UCLA 26.
The Longhorns defense showed up at the Alamo Bowl and held Oregon State to under 300 yards of offense while sacking OSU quarterback Cody Vaz a grand total of 10 times, 4.5 of which came from Alex Okafor.
Johnny Manziel, Johnny football, Heisman winner, call him whatever you like but the simple fact is, the Sooner defense had no idea how to slow him down. Manziel tore apart the OU defense racking up 516 yards of total offense in Texas A&M's 41-13 win over the Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
It wasn't the ending Kansas State and Collin Klein had hoped for, but there's no shame in an 11-2 season. Oregon beat the Wildcats 35-17 in the Fiesta Bowl.
So that's it. Another season is officially in the books. Hopefully you enjoyed it as much as we did.
The 2013 season is just around the corner, right? Right? Not exactly, but here's hoping it gets here as quickly as this one went by. Thanks much for taking the time to stop by although we'll still be here trying to make the next nine months as enjoyable as possible. Thanks again.