MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- In the Big 12's 17-year history, there had been 782 conference football games entering Saturday's schedule.
West Virginia didn't even need three quarters to start rearranging the league's record book. And, remember, this is a conference that seems to embrace offense and shrug its collective shoulders at defense, so after nearly 800 games, finding a way to even flirt with passing and receiving records is a daunting task.
Yet, no Big 12 team has ever had as many yards as West Virginia produced in Saturday's 70-63 win over Baylor in the Mountaineers' Big 12 initiation. No Big 12 player had ever generated as much total offense as Geno Smith's 687 yards (656 passing and 31 rushing). No Big 12 pass catcher had ever surpassed 300 yards receiving as West Virginia's Stedman Bailey did (303 yards), and Bailey didn't even ultimately end up atop that list (Baylor's Terrance Williams had 314 yards on 17 catches).
Smith had already garnered considerable Heisman buzz in September, and social media platforms like Twitter allowed notable people with varying degrees of influence to convey their thoughts during the 133-point, 19-touchdown, four-punt contest at Milan Puskar Stadium.
LeBron James, the reigning NBA MVP, tweeted about Geno Smith three times, calling him "ridiculous" and pointing out the quarterback's nifty statistic of having fewer incompletions (six) than touchdowns (eight) against Baylor.
Dez Bryant, a Dallas Cowboys receiver who had the Big 12's 10th-best receiving season (1,480 yards) at Oklahoma State in 2008, tweeted "I think we already have our Heisman winner for this year."
ESPN personality Kirk Herbstreit noted that "Geno Smith is unfair in this offense." The NFL Network's Albert Breer relayed through his Twitter account that a league executive said Smith has a chance to be the first player chosen in the 2013 NFL Draft.
On and on and on ... the waves of praise seemed in sync with the barrage of points and yardage.
Smith, who is on pace to throw for 5,616 yards, 65 touchdowns and zero interceptions, had the second-most passing yards in Big 12 history in a single game. WVU's senior signal caller fell five yards shy of B.J. Symons' conference mark, but surpassed the 681 yards of total offense Symons racked up against Mississippi in 2003.
Oklahoma State's Adarius Bowman had a Big 12-record 300 receiving yards against Kansas in 2006, but now he's third on the all-time list behind Baylor's Williams and WVU's Bailey.
Smith matched the eight touchdown passes Symons threw against Texas A&M in 2003.
The plethora of offensive records - school and conference - are enough to distract the striped sections of fans from the marks for futility set by the West Virginia and Baylor defenses Saturday. It was hard, however, to ignore the dichotomy of emotions in the postgame interviews.