BYU’s Greatest Athletic Victory Against Each Big 12 School

Jul 25, 2023, 11:18 AM

BYU Athletics, Big 12, Football, Basketball...

BYU athletics greatest wins over Big 12 programs over the years. (Graphic created by KSL Sports)

(Graphic created by KSL Sports)

PROVO, Utah – Joining the Big 12 Conference allows BYU athletics to potentially form rivalries against schools they haven’t faced often.

You look through the Big 12 schools, and there are not many meetings all-time in any sport against BYU. That’s going to ratchet up beginning this fall.

Before all of the competition between BYU and its new league foes take place, let’s look back at the greatest wins BYU athletics has pulled off against each of the current Big 12 athletic departments.

For this, I factored in every sport and combed through the archives.


Football: No. 21 BYU 26, No. 9 Baylor 20 (2OT)

September 10, 2022

LaVell Edwards Stadium

Easy pick here. There was some consideration for the 1984 football win over the Bears, but last year’s victory held much significance for BYU. It was a Top 25 clash with Big 12 administrators on hand to see the potential of BYU football as a Big 12 member.

Then you add in the drama of the game by going to double overtime, injuries to wide receivers, a kicker crying, and then a triumph. BYU/Baylor last season had a little bit of everything.


Football: BYU 24, UCF 17

September 23, 2011

LaVell Edwards Stadium

The first year of BYU’s Independence perhaps provided a way-too-early look at how BYU/UCF games will go in the Big 12, weeknight action on ESPN. BYU won by a touchdown in a game that wasn’t much to write home about other than Cody Hoffman taking a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. This game also provided an early look at UCF star QB Blake Bortles, who came off the bench.


Football: BYU 38, Cincinnati 24

October 16, 2015

LaVell Edwards Stadium

There wasn’t much in the archives between BYU and Cincinnati, surprisingly. I considered the 2016 football game at Cincinnati solely for ex-Bearcats coach and now current Senator Tommy Tuberville’s “Get a job” tirade on a Cincinnati fan.

But instead, I went with the 2015 game—another Friday night tilt against a future Big 12 foe.

BYU’s defense was on point against Cincinnati. Think about this, BYU had eight sacks in this game. The BYU defense was suffocating, leading to a Cincinnati receiver saying, “I got knocked out by a 25 year old virgin who has never tasted Mountain Dew.” That alleged 25-year-old was Kai Nacua, who later played in the NFL.


Men’s Basketball: BYU 111, Houston 82

December 4, 1965

Smith Fieldhouse

BYU has put together some memorable victories over the University of Houston. The 2013 football win at NRG Stadium put Taysom Hill in the record books; the 2020 win was a massive breakthrough for that 11-win team. Then there was the game-winner from Tyler Haws against Houston in Mark Pope’s first season.

Instead, I went way back to the archives.

BYU men’s basketball beat down a Houston Cougars team with Elvin Hayes and Joe Hamood by nearly 30 points. Hayes was a sophomore and scored 24 in the game. But Stan Watt’s crew, led by Dick Nemelka, got a big win that showed how good the 1965-66 squad would become.

BYU went on to win the 1966 NIT Championship that season.

Iowa State

Women’s Basketball: 2002 NCAA Tournament 2nd Round – No. 11 BYU 75, No. 3 Iowa State 69

March 18, 2002

Hilton Coliseum (Ames, Iowa)

BYU women’s basketball’s first trip to the Sweet 16 came courtesy of an upset victory over Iowa State on the Cyclones home floor. Standouts Erin Thorn and Jennifer Leitner combined for 33 points to send BYU to the second weekend.

The 2002 squad was Jeff Judkins’ first year as BYU’s head coach and they set a standard for what BYU women’s basketball could become.


Women’s Soccer: No. 7 BYU 2, No. 14 Kansas 0

September 19, 2019

Rock Chalk Park (Lawrence, Kansas)

BYU athletics haven’t had many matchups against Kansas. The highlight win comes from the soccer pitch. Four years ago, a nationally-ranked BYU traveled to take on No. 14 Kansas and the Cougars came out with a 2-0 win.

BYU stars Elise Flake and Mikayla Colohan were the two who scored goals.

Kansas State

Football: 1997 Cotton Bowl Classic – No. 5 BYU 19, No. 14 Kansas State 15

January 1, 1997

Cotton Bowl

Pretty easy pick here. BYU’s first and only New Year’s Day bowl game came against a legacy member of the Big 12 Conference. The Cougars defeated Kansas State 19-15 in front of a sea of purple at the historic Cotton Bowl.

BYU cornerback Omarr “The Blanket” Morgan came with the game-winning interception to cap off a 15-game season and a No. 5 ranking.


Football: No. 20 BYU 14, No. 3 Oklahoma 13

September 6, 2009

AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)

One of the great upsets in BYU football history. BYU opened Jerry’s World with a win over a loaded Oklahoma squad featuring QB Sam Bradford, TE Jermaine Gresham, and DL Gerald McCoy.

BYU was down 13-7 in the fourth quarter before Max Hall completed a touchdown pass to McKay Jacobson to secure the victory over the Sooners.

Oklahoma State

Men’s Basketball: BYU 76, No. 25 Oklahoma State 71

December 6, 2003

Delta Center (Salt Lake City)

This game had a little bit of everything. BYU took down an Oklahoma State team that later went on to play in the Final Four. They faced a former teammate Daniel Bobik who received endless boos from the Delta Center crowd.

Then Rafael Araujo had a memorable 32 points, 17 rebounds performance to lift BYU to a 76-71 victory.


Football: BYU 31, No. 17 TCU 17

September 28, 2006

Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, Texas)

BYU football from 2002-2005 was mired in mediocrity. To begin the 2006 season, it appeared to be much of the same after a 1-2 start. Then a breakthrough happened as BYU took down nationally-ranked TCU in Fort Worth.

QB John Beck had 321 passing yards and three touchdowns to lift the Cougars to a huge victory.


Football: BYU 41, Texas 7

September 7, 2014

DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium

Texas was humiliated by BYU in 2013 in Provo. The Longhorns gave up 550 rushing yards to BYU in a 40-21 loss, effectively ending the Mack Brown era in Austin.

There was no way BYU could do it again, right? Texas hired Charlie Strong as their new coach to “bring the ‘T’ back in Texas.” It didn’t work. Taysom Hill passed for 181 and rushed for 99 yards to lead BYU to another blowout victory over the Horns.

Texas Tech

Women’s Basketball: Cougar Holiday Classic – BYU 76, Texas 74

December 30, 1988

Marriott Center

BYU took down the Lady Red Raiders to claim the Cougar Holiday Classic in ’88 with a two-point victory.

West Virginia

Women’s Basketball: St. Pete Showcase – BYU 58, No. 22 West Virginia 57

November 27, 2021

McArthur Center (St. Petersburg, Florida)

BYU stormed back from a 13-point deficit to remain undefeated and completed a pair of victories against ranked teams. Shaylee Gonzales scored 20 and Paisley Harding dropped 13 to give BYU a victory over a ranked Mountaineers squad.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU’s Greatest Athletic Victory Against Each Big 12 School