Friend of the Blog Bill Connelly, of SB Nation and FootballOutsiders fame, created a list of the Top 100 CFB Games of 2012 on the mothership that went up this morning, and, rather unsurprisingly, there is green and gold all over that dang thing.
6 of Baylor's 13 football games from this past season made the cut, highlighted by our 70-63 loss to West Virginia in the #5 spot on the countdown. You'd be hard-pressed to find a school with more mentions overall; Texas A&M was the first to come to mind, but as far as I can tell, they made it four times. I consider this a championship of sorts and will be commissioning the plaques for our new Stadium this afternoon to commemorate the occasion.
The six games are, in reverse numerical order by placement:
97. Baylor 52, Texas Tech 45 (2OT) (November 24). This one was almost penalized because of all the other crazy Big 12 shootouts in 2012 (and every year), but it was still a doozy, one that featured 1,241 yards, six lead changes, two overtimes and a steady comeback from Baylor, which trailed 14-0, 21-7, 24-14, and 31-21. With bowl eligibility still in question, the Bears eventually figure out how to sneak ahead and take the game in overtime.
71. Baylor 41, Oklahoma State 34 (December 1). This is not Lache Seastrunk's only video contribution in this countdown, but it is the only one in which he scores a touchdown on one leg.
66. Baylor 47, UL-Monroe 42 (September 21). You could make the case that Baylor and ULM were the two most fun teams of the 2012 season. So of course they were going to put on a show on a Friday night ESPN game that was tragically missing announcer Joe Tessitore. ULM jumped out to leads of 14-0 and 21-7, and then the craziness began. Baylor took a 24-21 lead at halftime, ULM's Jyruss Edwards broke off a 58-yard run to give the Warhawks a 28-24 lead, and Baylor's Tevin Reese tightroped in from 46 yards out to make it Baylor 31, ULM 28. ULM went back ahead, 35-34, early in the fourth quarter, but Baylor went back ahead, and with six minutes left, Edwards lost a fumble. That was the break. Baylor took a 47-35 lead, recovered an onside kick in the final seconds, and took home the win.
58. Texas 56, Baylor 50 (October 20). Another game almost forgotten because of life's "Every Baylor game is ridiculous and fun" truism (and the fact that it wasn't Baylor's most high-scoring loss of the season), this one certainly had it all. Yards? 1,132 of them. Points? Over 100. Big plays? How about an 84-yard run, an 80-yard pass and a 70-yard kickoff return? Lead changes? Three of them, plus four tying scores. Texas scored 42 points in the first half and still almost found a way to lose.
45. Baylor 52, Kansas State 24 (November 17). Undefeated Kansas State, meet Lache Seastrunk. Lache Seastrunk, meet undefeated Kansas State.
That's basically halfway through the countdown and we already have more than the next most-represented team. Baylor! The last one doesn't come until #5, and you already know what it is.
5. West Virginia 70, Baylor 63 (September 29). Honestly, WVU-TCU was more dramatic and probably more interesting. But this game ranks above all other Big 12 shootouts in 2012 for the sheer statistical obscenity. Nineteen touchdowns, 10 scores that either gave one team the lead or tied the game, 700 yards for the losing team, 807 yards for the winner. WVU's Geno Smith seized complete (and brief) control of the Heisman race by completing 45 of 51 passes (a cool 88 percent completion rate) for 656 yards and eight scores. WVU's Tavon Austin caught 14 passes for 215 yards and two scores and was the third-best receiver in the game behind WVU's Stedman Bailey (13 for 303 and five touchdowns and Baylor's Terrance Williams (17 for 314 and two). The teams passed for 41 combined first downs, then rushed for another 22. Baylor converted 11 of 16 third downs, and WVU converted 12 of 15.
Maybe I'm crazy in thinking that the Big 12's most dominant bowl performance-- Baylor 49, UCLA 19-- should be included on the list, but the fact that it isn't is also somewhat telling. It means it's just not that impressive for Baylor to kill good teams anymore. That's a good thing, too.