Photo courtesy of Texas athletics

The National Championship on Jan. 12 officially wrapped up the decade of the 2010s in college football.

The decade saw the sport undergo numerous conference changes and switch from the BCS formula to the College Football Playoff. There were schools who had dominating runs and others who left much to be desired.

As far as the Big 12 goes, the decade saw the conference go from 12 teams to 10. By the end of the decade however, the conference had reinstated the Big 12 Championship.

Although no team from the Big 12 has claimed a national championship since 2005, there were some outstanding campaigns from various schools during the 2010s. Here’s a look back at the best for each:

Baylor (2014)

Record: 11-2, Big 12 champions, lost to Michigan State in Cotton Bowl, 42-41
Final Ranking: No. 7 AP; No. 8 Coaches
Key Players: Bryce Petty, QB; Shock Linwood, RB; Andrew Billings, DT
Overview: Baylor claimed a second straight Big 12 title and its highest ranking ever in 2014. The Bears finished in a tie for first place in the conference, but defeated TCU head-to-head and overcame a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit to do it. Baylor defeated three ranked teams in 2014, but did let a 41-21 fourth-quarter lead slip away against Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl.

Iowa State (2017)

Record: 8-5, defeated Memphis in Liberty Bowl, 21-20
Final Ranking: None
Key Players: David Montgomery, RB; Allen Lazard, WR; Kamari Cotton-Moya, S
Overview: Under head coach Matt Campbell, Iowa State had a pair of 8-win seasons during the 2010s. In 2017, Iowa State knocked off two top-5 teams in Oklahoma and TCU. The Cyclones closed the season by defeating Memphis in a thrilling Liberty Bowl. The eight wins for Iowa State was the most since 2000.

Kansas (2018)

Record: 3-9
Final Ranking: None
Key Players: Hakeem Adeniji, T; Daniel Wise, DT; Joe Dineen Jr., LB
Overview: It was slim pickings for Kansas as the Jayhawks didn’t win more than three games in any season during the 2010s. In 2018, Kansas blasted Central Michigan and Rutgers before edging TCU late in the year. Kansas will enter the 2020 season with the longest bowl drought among Power 5 schools.

Kansas State (2012)

Record: 11-2, Big 12 champions, lost to Oregon in Fiesta Bowl, 35-17
Final Ranking: No. 12 AP; No. 11 Coaches
Key Players: Collin Klein, QB; Johh Hubert, RB; Arthur Brown, LB
Overview: Kansas State claimed just one Big 12 title during the 2010s and that came in 2012. For the first time since 2003, Kansas State won the conference. The Wildcats and Oklahoma both finished 8-1 in Big 12 play, but a 24-19 win for Kansas State in Norman sent the Wildcats to the Fiesta Bowl. After a 10-0 start, Kansas State suffered its only regular season loss at Baylor. The Wildcats closed the year with a Fiesta Bowl loss to Oregon.

Oklahoma (2017)

Record: 12-2, Big 12 champions, lost to Georgia in Rose Bowl in double-overtime, 54-48
Final Ranking: No. 3 AP; No. 3 Coaches
Key Players: Baker Mayfield, QB; Orlando Brown, T; Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LB
Overview: Oklahoma overcame an early-season home loss to Iowa State to win the Big 12 at 12-1 and make the College Football Playoff. Throughout the course of the 2017 season, the Sooners collected three wins over top-10 teams. In the Rose Bowl against Georgia, Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and company could not hold a 17-point lead as the Sooners fell in double-overtime, 54-48. Oklahoma made the playoff on three other occasions, but failed to collect a win.

Oklahoma State (2011)

Record: 12-1, Big 12 champions, beat Stanford in Fiesta Bowl in overtime, 41-38
Final Ranking: No. 3 AP; No. 3 Coaches
Key Players: Brandon Weeden, QB; Justin Blackmon, WR; Quinn Sharp, K/P
Overview: The only Big 12 title for Oklahoma State came in 2011. Behind a high-flying offense, the Cowboys defeated five teams en route to a No. 3 national ranking. The only loss came on a Thursday night at Iowa State late in the season just hours after tragedy struck the athletic department. The Cowboys finished behind a pair of SEC teams in the final BCS standings and settled for the Fiesta Bowl where Quinn Sharp kicked the game-winner against Stanford in overtime.

TCU (2014)

Record: 12-1, beat Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl, 42-3
Final Ranking: No. 3 AP; No. 3 Coaches
Key Players: Trevone Boykin, QB; Phil Dawson, LB; Chris Hackett, S
Overview: TCU entered the final week of the regular season in line for a College Football Playoff berth. Despite beating Iowa State 55-3, the Horned Frogs were jumped by Big Ten champion Ohio State. TCU would go on to blast Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl and finish with its highest national ranking since its 1938 national championship season. The only loss for the Horned Frogs that season came to Big 12 co-champion Baylor, 61-58. TCU held a 21-point fourth-quarter lead in the loss.

Texas (2018)

Record: 10-4, beat Georgia in Sugar Bowl, 28-21
Final Ranking: No. 9 AP; No. 9 Coaches
Key Players: Zach Shackelford, C; Charles Omenihu, DE; Kris Boyd, CB
Overview: During the 2010s, Texas had just one 10-win season, one top-10 finish and one major bowl victory. All three came in 2018. The Longhorns knocked off five ranked teams throughout the course of the season and handed eventual Big 12 champion Oklahoma its only conference loss. The Sooners topped Texas in a rematch for the Big 12 Championship, but the Longhorns would upset No. 5 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl for their first major bowl win in a decade.

Texas Tech (2012)

Record: 8-5, beat Minnesota in Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, 34-31
Final Ranking: None
Key Players: Jace Amaro, TE; LaAdrian Waddle, T; Kerry Hyder, DT
Overview: After finishing ranked five times in 10 seasons under Mike Leach during the 2000s, Texas Tech never finished better than 8-5 during the 2010s and never had a winning Big 12 record. In the final season under Tommy Tuberville, the Red Raiders went 8-5 in 2012. Tuberville was fired at the end of the regular season and interim head coach Chris Thomsen led the Red Raiders to a thrilling come-from-behind win over Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas on Ryan Bustin’s 28-yard field goal as time expired.

West Virginia (2011)

Record: 10-3, Big East champions, defeated Clemson in Orange Bowl, 70-33
Final Ranking: No. 17 AP; No. 18 Coaches
Key Players: Geno Smith, QB; Stedman Bailey, WR; Bruce Irvin, DE
Overview: During the 2010s under Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia had a pair of 10-win seasons, but only one conference title and one major bowl victory. Both came in the Mountaineers’ final season as a member of the Big East in 2011. West Virginia won a 3-way tiebreaker with Louisville and Cincinnati to get the conference’s automatic BCS berth. In the Orange Bowl against ACC champion Clemson, the Mountaineers set a bowl record with 70 points, thanks in part to six touchdown passes from Geno Smith, including four to Tavon Austin.

Mike Ferguson is the associate editor for Fifth Quarter and the editor of The Daily Nole. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.