Week 14: Big 12 Championship

Experiencing the Big 12 Championship as a neutral fan.

A game of inches!

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#9 Baylor 21, #5 Oklahoma State 16

I’ll say this up top: I was blown away by this game experience. I was blown away by both Baylor’s and Oklahoma State’s fans, their passion, and their energy. I was blown away by the game that unfolded in front of me.

The Big 12 Championship game has been held at AT&T Stadium since its recent iteration starting in 2017. I’d never been, but this being my first year living in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro, I couldn’t pass it up.

Good thing I didn’t.

The Pokes were in the conference title game for the first time ever, which was pretty cool. Even cooler, they had the hopes of a College Football Playoff berth on the line, too. Baylor was chasing after title number three, but the first since 2014.

You all watched the game surely and if you didn’t, you can. It was filled with turnovers, defense, and that Big 12 magic that causes the game to not make a whole lot of sense. But for the game to be decided on the one inch line was something else.

Just ridiculous.

It brought the 2021 Road to CFB campaign full circle, a campaign that began with Baylor’s Green & Gold game back in April. I took an action shot of one of the quarterbacks (before the team had named a starter) and it turned out to be Blake Shapen– the emergency quarterback who led the Bears to a win here.

But that last play… it was so sweet. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat culminated into a single one-yard run that failed. This is what college football is all about and I’m glad it’s how the 2021 season was capped.

Til next time.

Game Day Grades

Stadium: N/A. I’ve shared by thoughts on Jerry’s World.

Tradition: C+. Oklahoma State has a litany of cool chants like their Oooo-Ssss-Uuuuu… COWBOYS! but Pistol Pete fired his gun just once. Pretty typical chants, bands, and the works. It was fine.

Atmosphere: A+. Truly incredible. It was a championship crowd with championship energy and championship enthusiasm. It’s the third time this season I’ve been truly awestruck.

Tailgating: N/A. It’s away from home and I know both of these schools know how to party. But today was about business. The tailgating was nonexistent.

Fans: A. Oklahoma State was appearing in its first Big 12 Championship game with a trip to the CFP on the line. Baylor was ready for their third title. It was mayhem and the fans showed out.

Extracurriculars: A+. I’ve talked about Arlington before.

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