Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
I received more e-mails and correspondence this summer from fans about my Big 12 most memorable moments series than I have in a long time. This letter was typical of the missives.
Robert Godfrey from Olathe, Kan., writes: Tim, I really enjoyed the recent series on the Big 12's most memorable plays. How hard was it to settle on those 25 plays, and what are some others that almost made your final cut? Thanks again for the stories. They really got me excited about the coming season and how great this conference has been during its brief history.
Robert, you wouldn't believe the number of selections that I considered before I settled on my 25 most memorable Big 12 moments. It was one of the toughest assignments I've had in a long time, trying to cull those memories into a coherent list.
The only ramifications I had were that the moments had to make me go "wow" and every team had to be represented at least once. I think I was able to carry those out.
But there were about 25 more memories I wished I could have included, but just couldn't because of the list number. Here are the ones that just missed my cut, in no specific order.
1. Texas A&M's "Red, White and Blue Out" at Kyle Field against Oklahoma State in the first game after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
2. Vince Young's heroics in leading Texas to a victory over Michigan in the 2005 Rose Bowl, which was the Longhorns' first BCS bowl game victory.
3. Torrance Marshall's interception against Texas A&M that saved Oklahoma's 2000 undefeated season.
4. Tom Osborne walking off the field after claiming a share of the national championship at the 1998 Fiesta Bowl in his final game.
5. Iowa State missing out on chances to win its way into the Big 12 championship game in two successive seasons by missing late game-winning field goals.
6. Baylor's dramatic two-point conversion in overtime that powered the Bears to a 35-34 victory over Texas A&M in 2004.
7. Colorado fans littering the field with debris in 2005 as the Buffaloes were blown out at home by Nebraska, 30-3.
8. Mason Crosby's four field goals, including a school-record 60-yarder and another from 54 yards that provided the margin in a 19-14 victory over Iowa State in 2004.
9. Kansas quarterback Jason Swanson passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns to spark a 42-13 victory over Houston in 2005 Fort Worth Bowl -- the Jayhawks' first bowl victory and capping their first winning season in 10 years.
10. Missouri jumps to 28-0 lead against Baylor late in third quarter before Baylor stormed back to score four unanswered touchdowns and force overtime. Missouri prevailed, 49-42, in a wild triple-overtime game in 1996.
11. Oklahoma spots Nebraska an early two-touchdown lead before running off 31 unanswered points in a 31-14 victory in 2000 that boosted them to No. 1. The Sooners would remain there the rest of the season.
12. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State combine for 1,334 total yards in 2003, but the Cowboys withstand a furious Red Raider rally to claim a 51-49 victory. Tech nearly overcame a 27-point deficit to start the fourth quarter.
13. An incorrect call on an onside kick enabled Oregon to claim a 34-33 victory over Oklahoma in 2006.
14. Quentin Griffin rushes for six touchdowns to lead OU's 63-14 blowout over Texas in 2000.
15. Backup kicker Ryan Bailey's 22-yard field goal on his first career kick boosts Texas to 22-20 victory over Nebraska in 2006.
16. The "Saturday Night Massacre" after Frank Solich is fired in 2003 after the Cornhuskers' 31-22 victory over Colorado the previous day.
17. Nebraska's "Sea of Red" game, capped with a 27-24 triumph over Notre Dame in 2000 that was won by Eric Crouch's TD run in overtime. More than 30,000 Nebraska fans packed Notre Dame Stadium to negate much of what home-field advantage the Irish had in the game.
18. Freshman quarterback Chase Daniel leads two fourth-quarter scoring drives to lead Missouri to a 27-24 victory over Iowa State in 2005.
19. Jonathan Beasley leads Kansas State to a 29-28 victory over Nebraska despite a blinding snowstorm, leading the Wildcats into the 2000 Big 12 title game.
20. Aqib Talib's 60-yard interception return for a touchdown -- one of three picks by the Kansas defense -- sparks a 24-21 triumph over Virginia Tech in the 2008 Orange Bowl. The win was the Jayhawks' first BCS bowl victory and enabled them to set a school record for victories.
21. Colorado's late comeback to beat Wyoming 20-19 in 1998, featuring a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Ben Kelly late in the fourth quarter and Jeremy Aldrich's game-winning field goal with 3 seconds left.
22. Oklahoma limits No. 1 Florida State to 27 yards rushing in a 13-2 victory over the Seminoles in the Orange Bowl for the 2000 national championship.
23. Jordan Shipley kick-starts Texas' rally with a 96-yard kickoff return as the Longhorns overcome an early 14-3 deficit in a 45-35 victory over Oklahoma in 2008.
24. Iowa State's 27-9 victory over Iowa in 1998, snapping the Cyclones' 15-game losing streak to the Hawkeyes.
25. Kansas runs back a kickoff, a punt and a blocked field goal for touchdowns in a 52-24 victory at Oklahoma in 1996.
And given enough time, I could probably list about 50 more great memories. It was a fun assignment to work on.