2000 Big 12 Championship Game
|2000 Big 12 Championship Game|
|Conference Championship sponsored by Dr. Pepper|
2000 Big 12 Championship logo.
|Date||December 2, 2000|
|Location||Kansas City, Missouri|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers:||Brad Nessler, Bob Griese and Jack Arute|
|Big 12 Championship Game
The 2000 Big 12 Championship Game was played on December 2, 2000 in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The game determined the 2000 football champion of the Big 12 Conference. The Oklahoma Sooners, winners of the South division of the Big 12, narrowly beat the Kansas State Wildcats, who won the North division, by a score of 27-24. This was the first time the two teams met in the Big 12 Championship Game, as they would meet again in the 2003 edition.
The Wildcats were coached by Bill Snyder. They came into the game with at 10-2 record, including a 6-2 record in Big 12 play. The Sooners were coached by Bob Stoops, in just his second year at the helm of the Sooners. Oklahoma came into the game with an 11-0 record including an 8-0 mark in conference play.
Leading up to the game
|2000 Big 12 football standings|
|#9 Kansas State xy||6||–||2||11||–||3|
|#8 Nebraska x||6||–||2||10||–||2|
|#25 Iowa State||5||–||3||9||–||3|
|#1 Oklahoma x†||8||–||0||13||–||0|
|Championship: Oklahoma 27, Kansas State 24|
|† – BCS representative as champion
x – Division champion/co-champions
y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll
The Wildcats had already lost to the Sooners in mid-October, a game played in Manhattan. The Sooners won that contest, 41-31. The Wildcats had hoped to even up the score and earn a first-ever trip to the BCS, not to mention end Oklahoma's perfect season.
Oklahoma had not lost a game coming into the championship game. After winning the game, they would go on to defeat Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl, which served as the BCS National Championship Game that year, earning the program's 7th claimed national championship.
In a scene filled with national championship tension and with two teams very familiar with one another, No. 1 Oklahoma edged No. 7/8 Kansas State, 27-24, for the Sooners’ first Big 12 football title.
As OU won a school-record 12th game and advanced to the Bowl Championship Series, the battle royale was about as even as pre-billed for the first 30 minutes.
The Sooners scored first in what would prove to be the decisive field goal in the three-point victory as Tim Duncan connected on a 33-yarder.
K-State then rallied for 10 unanswered points, starting with a 10-yard scoring run by Jonathan Beasley on the first play of the second quarter. After an OU punt, KSU mounted a 12-play, 57-yard drive for a Jamie Rheem field goal from 22 yards.
Oklahoma stormed back to block a Wildcats’ punt as Josh Norman stepped in front of a KSU boot. Three plays later, quarterback Josh Heupel connected with tight end Trent Smith for one of Smith’s record eight championship receptions and the tying touchdown with 2:56 left in the half.
In the second half, OU took a short-lived lead at 17-10 with 5:54 left in the third quarter as Heupel rushed over the goal line from seven yards. Less than two minutes later, Aaron Lockett cruised 58 yards on a punt runback for the first kick return for a touchdown in the Big 12 Championship.
Late in the third quarter and early in the final period, OU made the critical drive of the game. Heupel found Andre Woolfolk with a pass to the back of the end zone, and Duncan’s kick made it 24-17 Sooners with 14:24 left in regulation.
A calculated gamble by Bob Stoops and Sooners’ special teams’ coaches sent Duncan out to try his longest field goal of the season - a 46-yarder - with 1:25 on the clock. Duncan’s successful try was his longest of the year by six yards and gave Oklahoma just enough breathing room.
The elusive Beasley drove the Wildcats 60 yards in six plays in a span of 1:19. Oklahoma scooped up the ensuing onside kick and ran the final six seconds off the clock. For the fifth year in succession, the designated home team was victorious in the Dr Pepper Championship.
OU (3-0) - Tim Duncan 33-yard field goal; 7:16
OU (17-10) - Josh Heupel 7-yard run (Duncan kick); 5:54
KSU (17-17) - Aaron Lockett 58-yard punt return (Rheem kick)
OU (24-17) - Andre Woolfolk 17-yard pass from Heupel (Duncan kick); 14:24
OU (27-17) - Duncan 46-yard field goal; 1:25
KSU (27-24) - Quincy Morgan 16-yard pass from Beasley (Rheem kick); 0:06
After the game