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The Greatest Big 12 Teams Of All-Time
Oklahoma QB Josh Heupel
Oklahoma QB Josh Heupel
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 14, 2011


With the Big 12 in big trouble, with Nebraska and Colorado already gone and Texas A&M and Missouri possibly leaving, we take a look back at the great conference at the greatest moments, players, teams, and games. Here are the ten greatest seasons in Big 12 history.

Greatest Big 12 Teams

The All-Time Best Seasons


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The Big 12
- Ten Greatest Big 12 Seasons | CFN All-Time Big 12 Team & Top Players
- Ten Greatest Big 12 Games | 2011 Big 12 Preview
- Classic CFN: 2006 Rose Bowl: Texas vs. USC, Stream-of-Consciousness Notes
- Classic CFN: Reader Reaction to the 2006 Rose Bowl, Texas vs. USC

Based on the CFN All-Time Ranking Formula, our way of comparing SEASONS, not necessarily TEAMS, below are the greatest ten seasons in Big 12 history.

The CFN Historical Formula's Components: 
1. Wins. - If you win, everything else falls into place. Each win counts as 1.
2. Quality Wins - The number of wins over teams that finished with a winning record. Each win counts as 1.
3. Elite Wins - The number of wins over teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each win counts as 1 with a road win over an Elite team getting an extra 0.5. Also counting as 1 is a road win over a team that finished with three losses or fewer (but the extra 0.5 isn't added). A new wrinkle was added this year. A win over a team that finishes with three losses in a bowl game counts as one.
4. Bad Loss - The number of losses to teams that finished with three wins or fewer or a loss to a FCS (DI-AA) team. Each loss counts as minus-1. Take away an additional 0.5 for a Bad Loss at home.
5. Bad Win - The number of wins to teams that finished with three wins or fewer, or a win over a D-IAA team. Each win counts as minus 0.25. 
6. Elite Loss - The number of losses to teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each loss counts as 0.25.
7. Point Differential - Points for minus points against divided by 100. 
8. Winning Percentage - To take losses into account, winning percentage is in the mix. Total wins is the tie-breaker followed by winning percentage.

10. 2004 Oklahoma (12-1)
CFN Historical Score: 23.00  

Wins: 12 - Bowling Green, Houston, Oregon, Texas Tech, Texas, at Kansas State, Kansas, at Oklahoma State, at Texas A&M, Nebraska, at Baylor, Colorado (Big 12 Championship)
Losses: 2 - at Missouri, at Texas A&M
Quality Wins: 6 - Bowling Green, Texas Tech, Texas, at Oklahoma State, at Texas A&M, Colorado (Big 12 Championship) 
Elite Wins: 1 - Texas
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 2 - Houston, Baylor
Elite Losses: USC (Orange Bowl)
Point Differential: +233
Winning Percentage: 92%
 
The Sooners came back from a disastrous end to a great 2003 season with another big season from Jason White, and while the offense wasn't as prolific as the previous year, it was dominant. The big win was the classic 12-0 victory over a Texas team that finished 11-1, and while there were some rocky moments along the way, beating average Oklahoma State and Kansas State teams by less than a touchdown, there weren't any blips on the way to the Orange Bowl. OU blew up over the final three games, including a Big 12 Championship win over Colorado, winning them by a combined score of 107-6 .. and then the team didn't show up against USC losing the national championship 55-19.

9. 1999 Nebraska (12-1)
CFN Historical Score: 23.38  

Wins: 12 - Iowa, California, Southern Miss, at Missouri, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, at Kansas, Texas A&M, Kansas State, at Colorado, Texas, Tennessee (Fiesta Bowl)
Losses: 1 - at Texas
Quality Wins: 6 - Southern Miss, Texas A&M, Kansas State, at Colorado, Texas (Big 12 Championship), Tennessee (Fiesta Bowl)
Elite Wins: 2 - Kansas State, Tennessee (Fiesta Bowl)
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 1 - Iowa
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential: +271
Winning Percentage: 92%
 
The Huskers bounced back from a 9-4 season by rolling through the Big 12 on the way to their second championship. The national title hopes were dashed in a late October shocker to Texas, losing to the mediocre Longhorns 24-20, but they came back to win their final six games including a 41-15 destruction of a Kansas State team that finished 11-1. The Big Red won the rematch against UT with a 22-6 Big 12 Championship win. A 31-21 win over Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl. 

8. 1996 Nebraska (11-2)
CFN Historical Score: 23.89  

Wins: 11 - Colorado State, at Kansas State, Baylor, at Texas Tech, Kansas, at Oklahoma, Missouri, at Iowa State, Colorado, Virginia Tech
Losses: 2 - at Arizona State, Texas (Big 12 Championship)
Quality Wins: 5 - Colorado State, at Kansas State, at Texas Tech, Colorado, Virginia Tech (Orange Bowl)
Elite Wins: 3 - at Kansas State, Colorado, Virginia Tech (Orange Bowl)
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 1 - at Oklahoma
Elite Losses: 1 - at Arizona State
Point Differential: +379
Winning Percentage: 85%
 
The James Brown play. That's what came between Nebraska and playing for its third straight national title. The Huskers were able to overcome a  stunning 19-0 loss to Jake Plummer and Arizona State by cranking out nine straight wins in dominant fashion including a 73-21 blowout over Oklahoma, a 51-7 win over Missouri, and a 17-12 win over Colorado - who finished 10-2 - to set things up for an apparent layup against an average Texas team in the Big 12 title game. The Longhorns held on for dear life and came up with a play for the ages to seal the 37-27 win, but Nebraska bounced back to blow away Virginia Tech 41-21 in the Orange Bowl.

7. 2010 Oklahoma (12-2)
CFN Score: 23.52

Wins: 12 - Utah State, Florida State, Air Force, at Cincinnati, Texas, Iowa State, Colorado, Texas Tech, at Baylor, at Oklahoma State, at Nebraska, Connecticut
Losses: 2 - at Missouri, at Texas A&M
Quality Wins: 7 - Florida State, Air Force, Texas Tech, at Baylor, at Oklahoma State, at Nebraska, Connecticut 
Elite Wins: 1.5 - at Oklahoma State
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: None
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential: +216
Winning Percentage: 86%
 
The Sooners bounced back from a disappointing 2009 by winning the Big 12 title and making the two-foot putt to beat Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl. No. 1 in the BCS rankings, the loss to Missouri put a damper on things and losing at Texas A&M wasn't a plus, but the offense turned it on hanging 145 points on the board over the final three games. There wasn't a true dud win on the board with the close call against Utah State in the opener the worst win.

6. 2009 Texas (13-1)
2009 CFN Score: 24.09

Wins: 13 – ULM, at Wyoming, Texas Tech, UTEP, Colorado, Oklahoma, at Missouri, at Oklahoma State, UCF, at Baylor, Kansas, at Texas A&M, Nebraska
Losses: 1 - Alabama
Quality Wins: 7 - at Wyoming, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, at Missouri, at Oklahoma State, UCF, Nebraska
Elite Wins: None
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 1 - Colorado
Elite Losses: 1 - Alabama
Point Differential: +316
Winning Percentage: 93%

What might have been. It’s not a given by any stretch that Texas would’ve beaten Alabama had Colt McCoy not gotten hurt early in the BCS Championship, but there wouldn’t be the same empty feeling Longhorn fans felt after the end of the 2008 season. Even so, the relatively low ranking shows just how mediocre the schedule was and how down the Big 12 was. In the team’s three biggest games, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Alabama, the offense had its three worst performances of the year.

5. 1997 Nebraska (13-0)
CFN Historical Score: 25.18  

Wins: 13 - Akron, UCF, at Washington, Kansas State, at Baylor, Texas Tech, at Kansas, Oklahoma, at Missouri, Iowa State, at Colorado, Texas A&M (Big 12 Championship), Tennessee (Orange Bowl)
Losses: 0
Quality Wins: 5 -  at Washington, Kansas State, Texas Tech, at Missouri, Texas A&M (Big 12 Championship), Tennessee (Orange Bowl) 
Elite Wins: 1 - Texas
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 3 - Akron, at Baylor, Iowa State
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential: +393
Winning Percentage: 100%
 
It seems like the 1997 co-national champions - sharing the honor with Michigan - should be higher, but the problem was that the Huskers didn't really play anyone other than a Kansas State team that finished 11-1 but really didn't beat anyone. Remember, in 1997, Texas and Oklahoma were awful, Colorado was average, and Texas A&M was the power of the South but finished with a 9-4 record. Even so, QB Scott Frost deserved Heisman consideration and didn't get a sniff despite leading a high-powered attack that ripped off 607 points with 54 in the Big 12 title win over the Aggies and 42 in the Fiesta Bowl domination over Peyton Manning's Tennessee Volunteers.

4. 2008 Texas (12-1)
CFN Historical Score: 25.24  

Wins: 12 - Florida Atlantic, at UTEP, Rice, Arkansas, at Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Baylor, at Kansas, Texas A&M, Ohio State
Losses: 1 - at Texas Tech
Quality Wins: 7. Florida Atlantic, Rice, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Ohio State (Fiesta Bowl)
Elite Win Score: 2. Oklahoma, Ohio State (Fiesta Bowl)
Bad Loss Score: 0
Bad Wins: 0
Elite Loss: 1. at Texas Tech
Point Differential: +307
Winning Percentage: 92%
 
It might not seem fair considering Texas beat Oklahoma, lost out in the three way tie-breaker to play for the Big 12 title, and didn't get a chance to play for the national title. The difference was OU's offensive juggernaut of a season, including a 65-21 win over a Texas Tech team that gave UT its only loss. While the seven wins over bowl teams was impressive, also worthy of note were the Bad Wins - there weren't any. The least impressive win on the board was against  a UTEP team that finished 5-7. As disappointing as the year might have turned out, it ended with a legendary drive led by Colt McCoy to beat Ohio State 24-21 in the Fiesta Bowl.

3. 2008 Oklahoma (12-2)
CFN Historical Score: 25.59 

Wins: 12 - UT Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Washington, TCU, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, Missouri (Big 12 Championship)
Quality Wins: 7. Cincinnati, TCU, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Missouri
Elite Win Score: 2. TCU, Texas Tech
Bad Loss Score: 0
Bad Wins: 2. Chattanooga, Washington .
Elite Loss: 1. Texas, Florida 
Point Differential Score: +373
Winning Percentage: 86%
 
Offense, offense, offense, offense, offense. The 2008 Sooners will be remembered for 1) losing to Texas, 2) losing the national title to Florida, and 3) Sam Bradford's Heisman, but mostly, the team will be remembered for a record-setting 716 points. It wasn't just that OU put up big numbers; it was that it did it against several solid teams. Cincinnati finished 11-3 - 52-26 OU. TCU finished 11-2 - 35-10 OU. Nebraska wasn't bad, finishing 9-4 - 62-28 OU. The offense was humming over the second half of the year averaging, averaging, 60 points per game over the final seven wins. Even in the loss to Texas, OU put up 35 points. But Texas fans will forever remember the score - 45-35 - and the attack was stuffed by Florida in a 24-14 BCS Championship game.

2. 2000 Oklahoma (13-0)
CFN Historical Score: 29.37  

Wins: 13 - UTEP, Arkansas State, Rice, Kansas, Texas, at Kansas State, Nebraska, at Baylor, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, Kansas State (Big 12 Championship), Florida State (Orange Bowl)
Losses: None 
Quality Wins: 8 - UTEP, Texas, at Kansas State, Nebraska, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Kansas State (Big 12 Championship), Florida State (Orange Bowl)
Elite Wins: 5.5 - Texas, at Kansas State, Nebraska, Kansas State (Big 12 Championship), Florida State (Orange Bowl)
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 4: Arkansas State, Rice, Baylor, at Oklahoma State
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential: +287
Winning Percentage: 100%
 
The Sooners got on the national title map with Josh Huepel and the offense, destroying Texas 63-14, and won it all with defense shutting down Heisman winner Chris Weinke and Florida State in a classic 13-2 Orange Bowl. Along the way, OU beat a strong Kansas State team on the road and again in the Big 12 title game, but the Texas win and a 31-14 destruction of a Nebraska team that went 10-2 were also fantastic. There were some layups along the way, especially in non-conference play, but the schedule turned out to be nasty enough to cement the 2000 Sooner season as one of the greatest of all-time.

(Rankings Note: OU gets extra credit for the Elite Road Win over Kansas State because it provided two of the team's three losses, and it gets credit for an Elite Win over a 9-3 Texas because it was on a neutral site.)

1. 2005 Texas (13-0)
CFN Historical Score: 29.64  

Wins: UL Lafayette, at Ohio State, Rice, at Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, at Baylor, Kansas, at Texas A&M, Colorado (Big 12 Championship), USC (Rose Bowl)
Quality Wins: 9. UL Lafayette, at Ohio State, at Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas Tech, Kansas, Colorado (Big 12 Championship), USC (Rose Bowl)
Elite Win Score: 2.5. at Ohio State, USC
Bad Loss Score: 0
Bad Wins: 1.Rice
Elite Loss: 0
Point Differential Score: +439.
Winning Percentage: 100%
 
According to the CFN Historical Scoring Formula, the 2005 Texas team came up with the greatest season in college football history. (And if USC had won the Rose Bowl, it would've had the greatest season ever.) Vince Young didn't win the Heisman Trophy, but he got the big prize with his epic performance against the Trojans in the classic 41-38 national title game. The Longhorns only had two Elite Wins, but nine of the 13 victories were over teams that finished with winning records and two of the other wins came over 5-6 teams - Texas A&M and Baylor. Also helping was the utter destruction of almost everything in their path, beating both Ohio State and USC by three and rocking everyone else. The 11 point win over Texas A&M and the 47-28 win over Oklahoma State qualified as the close calls. How great was the offense? It 41 points or more and averaged 52.25 points per game against everyone but Ohio State.

The Big 12
- Ten Greatest Big 12 Seasons | CFN All-Time Big 12 Team & Top Players
- Ten Greatest Big 12 Games | 2011 Big 12 Preview
- Classic CFN: 2006 Rose Bowl: Texas vs. USC, Stream-of-Consciousness Notes
- Classic CFN: Reader Reaction to the 2006 Rose Bowl, Texas vs. USC