The Big 12 has been in existence since 1996, and the conference has delivered many memorable moments from a single snap. Here are five, some from the championship game, others from the regular season.
(This story is part of The Kansas City Star’s Football 2015 special section that publishes Sunday, Aug. 30. Pick one up and check out more here.)
Dec. 7, 1996: Texas gamble pays
Nebraska entered the inaugural Big 12 championship game as the two-time defending national champion, and a victory in St. Louis would give the Cornhuskers a shot for a third straight. Nebraska trailed 30-27 late in the game and looked to get the ball back with Texas facing fourth and inches from its own 28. Coach John Mackovic gambled and went for it. Quarterback James Brown faked a dive, rolled left and found Derek Lewis open on the sideline. The 61-yard play set up a Texas touchdown and led the Longhorns to the upset victory.
Oct. 6, 2001: Roy Williams “Superman” dive
Third-ranked Oklahoma held a 7-3 lead over fifth-ranked Texas with 2 minutes, 6 seconds remaining and the Longhorns back up on their 3. On first down, the Sooners dialed up a blitz, bringing safety Roy Williams, who dived over the line and dropped quarterback Chris Simms as he was throwing. The ball landed in the arms of linebacker Teddy Lehman, who went 2 yards for the touchdown that sealed the victory.
Oct. 27, 2001: Black 41 Flash Reverse
Third-ranked Nebraska held a 13-10 lead over second-ranked Oklahoma with about 6 minutes remaining. Quarterback Eric Crouch handed the ball to Thunder Collins, who pitched it to Mike Stuntz, who threw it to Crouch streaking down the sideline for a 63-yard touchdown. This was Crouch’s Heisman Trophy moment.
Dec. 6, 2003: Darren Sproles runs wild
Undefeated and top-ranked Oklahoma took a 7-0 lead over Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game. After that, it was all Darren Sproles. He rushed for 235 yards, but the perhaps the most memorable play was a middle screen pass from Ell Roberson to Sproles that went for a 60-yard touchdown and a two-touchdown lead on the way to a 35-7 Wildcats’ victory.
Nov. 1, 2008: Crabtree, for the victory
This was the year that Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma lost only to each other on the season. Eight seconds remained when Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell took the snap with the Red Raiders trailing Texas 33-32. From the 28, Harrell took the shotgun snap and gunned a pass across the field to Michael Crabtree at the 5. Crabtree outmaneuvered two Texas defenders, spun and got into the end zone with 1 second remaining, giving Tech one of its biggest victories.