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Big 12 blowouts: Revisiting a dozen of the biggest demolitions in conference history

There is only game that is deserving of the ultimate crown.

White completes pass
You don’t see any Texas A&M defenders on the field in this photo, and frankly, it’s hard to tell if there were any on the field during the game at all.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If you’ve spent any time watching Big 12 football, you’ve likely seen quite a few of them by now — a matchup in which one offense lights up the scoreboard for all 60 minutes while the other, humiliated, doesn’t have the slightest answer.

When you have as many prolific offenses in one conference as the Big 12 does, blowouts are inevitable. Not to say they can’t happen elsewhere, but the risk is far greater in this conference. Consider it a rite of passage if you wish, because just about every member school — past and present — has experienced both the high and low of such as spectacle.

But of all the doozies over the years — and there have been plenty — which ones stand tall above the rest? Great question, and I’ve taken it upon myself to do the best I can to give you answers. Yes, there may be a tad bit of recency bias, but I managed to include games as far back as 1997 and as recently as 2016, so bare withe me.

And a disclaimer: This post has been planned since Monday, so we can act like it was inspired by the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 13-0 rout of Thailand Tuesday, though that couldn’t be any further from the truth. But man, the timing really couldn’t have been any better.

Without further ado, here are a dozen Big 12 Conference blowouts to remember.

12. Iowa State 66, Texas Tech 10 (2016)

Sure, the Big 12 has seen larger margins of victory, but the Cyclones’ late-season 56-point win over the Red Raiders in Matt Campbell’s debut season as head coach shouldn’t be overlooked. The ever-versatile Joel Lanning set an Iowa State record with five rushing touchdowns in the win. And for a team that would only win three games that fall, holding a Patrick Mahomes-led offense to a mere 10 points was the first sign of bright things to come for Iowa State under Campbell. The following season, the Cyclones became the first team in over a decade to post multiple top-5 wins in a season before the end of October.

11. Nebraska 77, Iowa State 14 (1997)

A Tom Osborne-led Cornhuskers team vs. a 1-8 Cyclones squad was going to be bad news from the start, but that was only elevated by the fact undefeated Nebraska had a chip on its shoulder after getting bumped from No. 1 to No. 3 in the polls that week — despite an overtime victory at Mizzou a week prior. The Huskers erupted for nine touchdowns in the first half — three in the first eight minutes of play by running back Ahman Green en route to a 209-yard day. A dude by the name of Scott Frost also recorded a pair of touchdowns in the opening 30 minutes. The win, at the time, marked the most points scored by Nebraska since dropping 84 points on Minnesota in 1983.

10. Oklahoma 55, K-State 0 (2015)

Kind of like the above, the conditions were ripe for Kansas State to endure both its first shutout loss since 1996 and game that went down as the most-lopsided defeat of Bill Snyder’s coaching career in Manhattan. It was just a week earlier that Oklahoma had been upended by Texas — a game that all but saved, at least for the time, Charlie Strong’s coaching stint in Austin — and you better believe the Sooners were eager to take out that frustration on their next opponent. Baker Mayfield threw for five touchdowns in the win, and Oklahoma wouldn’t lose another game for the remainder of the regular season en-route to earning the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff.

9. Tie — Texas 62, Baylor 0 (1999 & 2005)

The carnage was equally bad on both occasions at since-demolished Floyd-Casey Stadium. All you have to do is pick your poison among a pair of games that are tied for Baylor’s most lopsided defeat in Big 12 history. True story: Exhibit 1 of UT hanging 62 points on the Bears was played under a full moon as Texas exploded 586 yards offense — including a 333-yard passing performance form Major Applewhite — while holding Baylor to just 159 total yards of offense. Six years later, it was Vince Young who had a field day en route to 289 passing yards, 53 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns as the eventual-national-champion Longhorns out-gained the Bears 645-201 in total yards of offense.

8. Kansas 76, Nebraska 39 (2007)

It’s near impossible to believe that Kansas and Nebraska were once able to combine for 115 points given the current state of the two programs, but it really did happen. Todd Reesing set a Kansas school-record with six touchdown passes as the Jayhawks not only recorded their largest-ever margin of victory against the Huskers, but also just their second win ever over Nebraska since 1969. Not to mention, the Huskers had beaten the Kansas by more than 50 points 11 times during that stretch, making this Saturday in November only that much more special for the Jayhawk faithful after years of frustration against a long-time foe. Alas, Nebraska would go on to win the next three meetings between the two before darting for the Big Ten in 2011.

7. Oklahoma 63, Texas 14 (2000)

At the time, this was the most lopsided result in the history of the Red River Shootout since Oklahoma posted a 50-point shutout over Texas way back in 1908, as well as the most points scored by an team in the history of the series. The Sooners scored the first 42 points of the game, finding the end zone on each of their first five offensive drives. Running back Quentin Griffin set a school record with six touchdowns in the win as the Oklahoma prevailed in the rivalry affair for the first time since 1996, ultimately going a perfect 13-0 en route to what stands as the program’s most recent national title.

6. Texas Tech 70, Nebraska 10 (2004)

Did you know that present day TCU offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie played an integral role in the most-lopsided loss of Nebraska football’s 129-year history? Well, now you do. Same can be said about the most points ever surrendered by TCU in the Patterson-era (it happened that same year), though thankfully I can’t put that game on this list because the Horned Frogs weren’t in the Big 12 yet. But I digress — Cumbie, then Tech’s quarterback, torched the Huskers defense for 436 yards and 5 touchdowns that day as the Red Raiders absolutely pulverized Nebraska for a 60-point victory — including a 49-7 edge in the second half. Maybe the most surprising note: Then-Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach had no idea that his team was in the process of handing a blue-blood its worst defeat ever until the final five minutes of play.

5. Oklahoma 65, Texas 13 (2003)

Another top-25 showdown between the Longhorns and Sooners (No. 1) that went haywire, as Oklahoma set the record that still stands as the largest margin of victory ever recorded in the Red River Shootout. The Sooners never trailed in the contest as eventual Heisman winner Jason White passed for 290 yards and four touchdowns, while Mark Clayton set a new single-game school record with 190 receiving yards in the win. Texas did not sore in the second half, shutout 28-0 across the final two quarters of play. This game also marked the first time Oklahoma reached four straight wins against Texas since 1985-1988.

4. TCU 82, Texas Tech 27 (2014)

Where were you when TCU scored too many points to keep up with its in-stadium firework supply? I still vividly remember watching the Tech record the opening touchdown of the day on busted coverage and fearing we’d be in for an upset, and ... well ... lol. The 82 points the Horned Frogs hung on Tech in October 2014 stands as a single-game record for both TCU and any team in a Big 12 conference game. Trevone Boykin and Co. torched a maligned Tech defense for a whopping 785 yards of total offense, with Boykin himself passing for 433 yards and 7 touchdowns. Deante’ Gray also had a day to remember, catching for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the victory. If you were lucky enough to be on hand to witness that game (I’m sure quite a few of you reading this fall into that category), it was just one of those days that you’ll never ever forget.

3. Oklahoma 65, Texas Tech 21 (2008)

Okay, so Oklahoma didn’t stomp on Tech quite as badly as TCU did six years later. But considering the context, you have to give credit for the Sooners’ brilliant effort that November night — completely dismantling a Red Raiders team ranked No. 2 in the nation and riding a wave of momentum in wake of three straight top-25 victories, including the memorable 39-33 win over No. 1 Texas two weeks prior in Lubbock. Alas, Tech’s magic came to an abrupt halt in Norman, as Oklahoma held the Red Raiders to a season-low 21 points — forcing 4 turnovers — while Sam Bradford passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns. Sooners tailback DeMarco Murray ended the night with 125 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging 6.9 yards per carry.

2. Texas 70, Colorado 3 (2005)

Ask Joel Klatt all about this one. Never before had we witnessed such a slaughter in the Big 12 Championship game, and frankly, we might not ever see anything that compares to it again on that stage with divisions now well into the yester-years of conference. Colorado managed to win the north with just a 7-4 record, so the writing was more than on the wall as the Buffs braced for a date with an undefeated Texas team ranked only behind USC in the polls. By halftime, the outcome was out of the question as the Longhorns held a 42-3 edge, ultimately scoring 28 more before the dust settled. Vince Young only passed for 193 yards in the win, but recorded a total of four touchdowns en route to what would wind up as the 8th largest margin of victory for the Longhorns in program history. Roughly a month later, Young would etch his name into the history books with the most famous 4th and 5 touchdown rush known to the game.

1. Oklahoma 77, Texas A&M 0 (2003)

The only game that deserves the No. 1 spot on the list. Not much more needs to be said about the afternoon in Norman that saw the top-ranked Sooners hang 636 yards off offense and 77 points — 49 by halftime — on our Aggie friends that have since departed for the SEC West. To help you fully understand just how big of a beat-down this truly was, Oklahoma didn’t even score in the fourth quarter. We were also treated to one of the greatest screenshots in the history of college football as A&M totaled 54 yards of offense against 64 penalty yards.

As they say down in the College Station: Whoop(ed).