I love reaction GIFs. I use them on Twitter, I use them in text conversations, I use them pretty much every chance I get. But as a Serious Journalist with a degree from the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at TCU, I almost never use them in writing.
That changes right here and right now, because it’s impossible to tell the story of this weekend in Big 12 football without two GIFs. From the dreadful slog of TCU-Kansas State to the bath salt-fueled anarchy in Lubbock to Baylor somehow beating Oklahoma State, this weekend can only be summarized thusly:
To the games!
Iowa State (5-3, 4-2 Big 12) 27, Kansas (4-4, 1-5 Big 12) 3
You know how sometimes, an all-time great music album will have an absolutely forgettable stinker of a track on it? Think “Four Sticks” on “Led Zeppelin IV,” or “The Glory” on Kanye’s “Graduation.”
That was this game in the context of the larger Big 12 weekend. Iowa State receiver Hakeem Butler ground a Kansas defensive back into paste, and it wasn’t even the 15th coolest thing to happen in the conference on Saturday.
By the way, TCU beat Iowa State this season and lost to Kansas. I don’t know either, man.
Baylor (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) 35, Oklahoma State (5-4, 2-4 Big 12) 31
Mike Gundy chose to go for it on fourth down and two with 1:37 left on the clock from the Baylor 36 while up by three points. That, in a vacuum, is not a terrible decision. Calling a play that led to Taylor Cornelius getting sacked for nine yards is a terrible decision.
Baylor had a win probability of 5.9 percent with 2:30 left in the game, according to ESPN. But Charlie Brewer found Denzel Mims on a beautiful six-yard corner route to give the Bears the win.
Oklahoma State might be the most confusing team in college football this season.
Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) 51, Texas Tech (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) 46
Oh hell yeah, this is the good stuff! This is the uncut dope of the Big 12 that we’ve all been waiting for.
Oklahoma returned a Texas Tech two-point conversion attempt all the way back for two points of the Sooners’ own. Red Raider quarterback Alan Bowman allegedly got hit with a football during halftime that knocked him out of the rest of the game. This game was weird as hell!
(By the way, the Bowman injury has been disproven. He re-injured his lung during a live-ball play, according to Kliff Kingsbury. But getting hit in the head with a ball is so Texas Tech, everyone on the internet wanted to believe it was true. Here’s hoping Bowman’s okay.)
Oklahoma averaged 7.3 yards per carry on 44 attempts Saturday. That’s incredible. Kyler Murray threw for 360 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 100 yards and another score. That might be even more incredible.
West Virginia (7-1, 5-1 Big 12) 42, Texas (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) 41
Dana Holgorsen has cojones, calling for a two-point conversion after scoring with 10 seconds left to cut the Texas lead to 41-40. Will Grier ran it in himself and flashed the Horns Down to Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, drawing a 15-yard penalty and the enduring admiration of every neutral fan watching the game.
On that note — West Virginia was flagged twice for showing the Horns Down. Is Texas ever flagged for showing the Horns Up? Reader, this will shock you: the answer is no. Big 12 refs, indeed.
Anyway, Texas has lost two straight games after being ranked in the Top 10. Cue the final GIF!
Tremendous. Just tremendous.