Not only did the Sooners pull off that fake, which tied the game at 17, they also scored on a 64-yard punt return by Jalen Saunders. Those first two touchdowns kept Oklahoma in the game while its offense sputtered behind three different quarterbacks. The Sooners also tacked on a TD on the last play off a fumble recovery.
"I just think we did what we needed to do to win," said RB Brennan Clay, "and that's all that matters is that we came out on top on that scoreboard."
"These guys have played so well and have taken this program to a level to where every time they lose now, it's like the end of the world," said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, who turned into a postseason lobbyist and stated, "We'll make somebody a pretty good bowl team."
Just not the Fiesta Bowl. That was the BCS prize that would have awaited the Cowboys had they claimed the Big 12 title. Instead, Baylor moved on as outright champions, despite suffering a 49-17 loss at Oklahoma State on Nov. 17. Oklahoma State will play Missouri in the Cotton Bowl.
The Sooners gained just 115 yards on their first nine possessions and even lost their starting quarterback late in the first half when Trevor Knight suffered a shoulder injury. Yet the Cowboys could not put the game away after grabbing a 17-10 lead in the third quarter. They punted four times and also surrendered an interception.
"We never extended the game to more than a one-score lead, which I think really was a big factor," Gundy said.
--Texas coach Mack Brown, in the face of all his detractors, stated that his team still had the goal of a Big 12 championship within reach after back-to-back losses to BYU and Ole Miss early in the season.
Few at the time figured the Longhorns would be contenders after allowing 800-plus yards rushing in the two defeats. Yet there they were at Baylor, stuck in a 3-3 tie at halftime and given every opportunity to become the league's representative in the Fiesta Bowl.
Instead, Baylor was the team energized by the largest home crowd in its history. Texas managed just one touchdown and a paltry 217 yards of total offense. And Brown, who led the revival that put Texas in the title hunt, again fielded questions about his job security.
"I'm not talking about any of that," he said. "I'm in the same position I was when I've been asked the other 15 times."
Well, except that the 16th-year coach has a new athletic director, Steve Patterson. Both he and Texas president Bill Powers were expected to meet with Brown to determine the coach's future with the Longhorns moving on to play Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.
Although Texas suffered a lopsided defeat against Oklahoma State, it remained in control of the tiebreaker that would have been used had the Longhorns toppled the Bears. The inability to generate any offense, coupled with Baylor's second-half fireworks, doused that BCS opportunity.
"It set up great for us," said offensive guard Mason Walters. "It would have been a great story."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Back to old Baylor, just how we started the season. We're here. We're serious. We're at the top now and we're going to continue to stay there." -- Baylor WR Antwan Goodley.
NCAAF Team Report - Iowa State - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
FIVE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM WEEK 15 IN THE BIG 12:
1. Baylor closed its 63-year-old facility off campus, Floyd Casey Stadium, with a memorable performance, capturing the Big 12 championship with a victory against Texas. The outright conference crown is the first since 1980 for the Bears, who received their first invitation into the BCS.
2. Oklahoma unfurled more Bedlam magic, winning for the 10th time in 11 games against Oklahoma State. Though demoted to third-string, QB Blake Bell engineered the Sooners on a 66-yard touchdown march he capped with 19 seconds left on a touchdown throw to Jalen Saunders.
3. Oklahoma State had the Big 12 championship well within its grasp, but could not stop Oklahoma at the end despite a strong overall performance by the defense. The Cowboys' inconsistent offense failed to expand their margin to more than one score in the second half.
4. Texas was in position to claim the Big 12 title, and a Fiesta Bowl berth, something coach Mack Brown stressed his team could achieve after a 1-2 start. The Longhorns, however, never got untracked against Baylor. The setback stirred more speculation about Brown's future.
5. Kansas State joined Texas Tech as bowl-eligible teams that watched on the last week of the season as the top four teams in the Big 12 battled for the conference title. Both ended up with solid bowl invitations. The Wildcats will face Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl while Tech heads to San Diego to play Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.