Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma and Lacoltan Bester celebrated a fourth-quarter comeback at Oklahoma State that ripped the Big 12 title away from the Cowboys.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Well, the 2013 football season became known for an avalanche of Baylor touchdowns and almost as many Mack Brown rumors. Now that the coup at Texas finally came to pass—surpassed only by North Korea for familial infighting—let’s focus on the best the conference had to offer this fall:

Best game: Oklahoma’s Bedlam rally—capped by two touchdowns in the final 19 seconds—left the folks stunned in Stillwater. Oklahoma State lost 33-24 and saw the Big 12 title ripped away, but on the positive side, at least we learned that a 4.5-magnitude temblor is no match for Boone Pickens Stadium.

Best game NOT involving an earthquake, a kicker catching a touchdown, and 58,000 OSU fans wondering “WTH?”: With six lead changes after the half, it’s hard to overlook the dramatic impact of Texas pulling out a 47-40 win in overtime at West Virginia.

Best player who didn’t hypnotize voters by barking out the cadence: The immediate reaction says go with Bryce Petty, but that’s superficial Heisman-type thinking to pick a quarterback—so congratulations, Cyril Richardson. Baylor’s hulking left guard, a four-year starter who’s viewable from space, was the knockdown leader on a physical and dominant offensive line. Baylor doesn’t pile up 85 touchdowns and lead the nation in scoring without Mount Cyril, who’ll be a high-round draft pick in May.

Best nonconference win: Precious few candidates here, considering the Big 12 was only 3-6 in nonleague games against teams with winning records. So the easy choice—the only choice, really—is Oklahoma’s 35-21 victory at Notre Dame.

Best coaching job: Art Briles, with zero room for debate. (Here’s hoping he doesn’t return messages from the meddling power barons in Austin.)

Best upset: West Virginia knocked off then-No. 11 Oklahoma State, in part because the Cowboys’ special teams loused things up—just as they did again on Bedlam weekend. (Such are the consequences when a school lets Joe DeForest walk away.)

Best one-and-done: Blocked from transferring to Texas Tech by his former coach at Houston, Charles Sims came to WVU and showed he could be equally effective in a power conference. He ran for 1,095 yards, second in the Big 12, and caught a team-high 45 passes.

Best one-and-done by a dude who’s not done yet: Texas Tech walk-on Baker Mayfield won Big 12 freshman of the year honors and then walked away. Next destination? To be determined.

Best postgame celebration leading to a water hazard: The 30,000 fans on hand at half-empty Memorial Coliseum found the perfect excuse for anarchy—KU ending a 27-game Big 12 losing streak by defeating West Virginia 31-19. So the Jayhawk faithful took down the south goalpost and tossed it into Potter Lake a few hundred yards away.

Best postgame eruption: Stage actors should learn from Paul Rhoads’ unique and emphatic delivery—the sprinkling of pregnant pauses between SPEAKING IN ALL CAPS—which Iowa State’s football coach turned into high art after a controversial loss to Texas.

Best postgame eruption of a more personal nature: Following a 41-38 loss to Baylor, TCU’s Gary Patterson went on an extended rant about Briles purportedly challenging him during the game. “He comes across the field at me? Nuh-uh. I didn’t build this program to back down to anybody, and I’m not going to do it to him. … Gary Patterson lives in Fort Worth. If he’s got a problem with me, here’s where I live.”

Best player (WVU-specific): Sims arrived in a heroic cloak of solemn diligence and went about his work like a Justice Leaguer in training. As bad as the Mountaineers’ offense looked at times this season, try imagining it without Sims.

Best nonconference win (WVU): Considering Georgia State wound up with a big, obese zero in the win column, let’s rewind back to the season opener against William & Mary.

Best play (WVU): Was tempted to choose Dreamius Smith’s 75-yard romp at Oklahoma, but let’s side instead with Icky Banks’ 58-yard pick-six that jumpstarted the Mountaineers to the upset of Oklahoma State. Almost as memorable as the play was Darwin Cook’s astonishment that Banks actually scored on the runback. “Icky didn’t make no moves—he ain’t got no bake,” joked Cook. “But he ran fast though, and I saw him break some tackles.”

Joe Sadlek/All-Pro Photography

West Virginia’s Icky Banks returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown against Oklahoma State.
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  • Justin

    I figured out who is hiding behind the screen name big Larry! It's Joe manchin

  • Steve

    Award for biggest tool bag in the world: Lawrence Tomas aka Big Larry

    • Big Larry

      I hope it is not too late to add one more....

      The Number 1 Paid Holgorsen Troll:

      Hand down award goes to Steve!


  • Will

    Loved the Joe Deforest comment! Why why why doesn't WVU get rid of him? I've seen all the "reasons": drinking buddy and money, but really? I can't believe Oliver Luck didn't require he and the S&C coach both be sent packing.

    • richard

      OL doesn't care what anyone thinks as long as tickets are still selling. I for one have purchased my last ticket til OL and Holgorsen are gone, along with the rest of their ilk.

      • Steve

        Good no one wanted a fair weather fan like you there anyways.

    • Troll

      Appearantly you didn't understand the coment, it was praising him saying that OK State played bad special teams because he was gone.

  • rtdeco's a thought.. why don't you have a separate column and call it "pissers and moaners" so all the posters of that ilk can have a their own board and vent their spleens to their hearts content...clearly, of the 13 comments made on your article at least 12 and most likely the 13th would fall into that category...i'm not sure what is gained from having responses like is normally seen on your articles....obviously, any type of meaningful dialogue is impossible...which is sad because there are subjects that are interesting to a certain segment of the fan base..

    • Big Larry

      Here's a thought,

      Why don't you go back and take a refresher coarse in the 2nd grade so you can learn how to speak English and make some sense...

      • Hesa Duffuss

        What the hell would you know about second grade when you never made it out of first grade you embarrassing 40 year old still-living-in-moms-basement Huntinton retard

  • tw eagle

    sims was probably a good player , I give a zero for loyalty for leaving his home program for a shot at a "bigger" limelight . . . in retrospect , sims arrival might have done WVU more harm than good . . .

    without sims , coach Holgersons' game plans might have majored in the "short passes" that would have enabled WVU to run the football . . . with sims , coach Holgersons' game plans always started with the premise that WVU could run to open the pass game . . . this plan NEVER worked and the ( i'll be nice here ) headstrong coach NEVER learned . . .

  • I dunno

    Team happiest not to play an in-state rival this year?

    West Virginia

    • richard

      Marshall win over WVU - never happen. Really tired of hearing, "if WVU played marshall this year, marshall would have won" Its easy to say that when they didn't play. Fact is the Big12 is a lot different than CUSA - HUGE difference.

    • GoEers

      Fan who have never seen their football team win a New Year's Day bowl game?

      Marshall fans

      Fans who have never seen their basketball team ever win an NCAA Tournament game?

      Marshall fans

      They are Marshall

    • madhatter

      as bad as wvu plays,. we're still 12-0 against the forever bottom feeders.

  • Big Larry

    The worst looking uniforms in the Big 12...

    WVU...hands down

    Please lose the matt helmets especially the Gold & White) and go back to the metallic blue...

    Otherwise they look OK....

    • madhatter

      have you seen marsha's, puke green

    • wenkev


      I agree with you on the matte finish and I didn't like the gold and white with the flying WV, but I did like the throwback white helmets they wore against Texas. I would like to see them keep two, the standard blue and the "throwback"

  • mntneerjay

    "Such are the consequences when a school lets Joe DeForest walk away" Hilarious!

  • Big Larry


    This needs to be added to the List:

    The very worst Big 12 loss...

    WVU losing to Kansas

    • GoEers

      This one also needs added to the list:

      The biggest jealous Marshall fan troll who reads and posts on every WVU article:

      Big Larry

  • Neil

    it is hard to believe we are the door mat to the Big 12. look what 2 years can do with a new head coach. it will be a nightmare next year.

  • madhatter

    deforest has done absolutely nothing to merit his outragous salary,,, please okl sta take him back,, he is merely here to be dana's drinnking buddy.

    as for the eers,, sims is the only bright spot,,
    our def, finished 102 an improvement over last yr but it was liking saying that the titanic sank in 60 ft of water instead of 200...
    then the offense,,, i think it was like 75th ,, something like that,,,, right now , we have no qb to lead us out of this mess....

  • Rambling Wreck

    Worst Big 12 head football coach? Hands down. WVU's Dana Holgorsen.

    • Billy

      Holgy also won the broken headset award and the fartherest thrown headset award.
      He also brought the pull your own hair out honor to himself.
      I guess he will be a preseason front runner for these same prestigious awards next season.

    • Big Larry


  • Tom

    How much can WVU pay OSU to take DeForest back?

  • Carl

    Allen, thanks for another "season" well done (and that's not tongue in cheek) :) Looking forward to your year round season.

    • Big Larry

      Yes...Thank you Allan Taylor!

      Excellent Job!

  • Ducks In A Row

    "Best one-and-done by a dude who’s not done yet".

    Can he transfer and be immediately eligible at the FBS level since he wasn't under scholarship? Google didn't give me an answer. If so, I wonder where he'll go...

    • Grant

      Although I think he "should" be able too, I don't think he will be allowed too.

      • tw eagle

        you're probably right . . . without a contract ( scholarship) , OSU can't deny him any locations or sack his eligibility . . .
        but the NCAA seems to have a rule for every instance ( like denying eligibility to a former military person because he played intramural football while stationed in San Diego ) . . . their rules are probably written in pencil so they can augment them when a "friend" needs a favor by blocking the movement or limiting the participation of former players . . .