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The World outside the SEC: College football is a game of luck and heartbreak

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College football is more than a game based on talent and discipline - it's about catching breaks or falling short of luck. College football is more than a game based on talent and discipline - it's about catching breaks or falling short of luck.
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(RNN) – Being a college football fan is a gift and a curse.

It seems that no win or loss in sports is as celebrated or as mourned than they are in college football on a weekly basis.

For the wide range of emotion college football gives to its faithful, those who follow the game knows that wins come with the luckiest of breaks and losses come with the poorest of play-making.

Take the Georgia-Auburn game, for example. The tipped Hail Mary pass from Auburn QB Nick Marshall to WR Ricardo Louis that is now the Buck Belue-to-Lindsey Scott with the opposite effect for Georgia fans everywhere, was in reality a fourth-and-18 play botched by two shady DB's trying to be heroes. Had clean, technical defensive play taken precedent, the ball would have been batted down out of Louis' reach, and led to a satisfying comeback win for Georgia.

The sad thing is, that's the breaks for teams like Georgia who underachieve in a tough college football field. Another example would be Miami. After a nice start, the Canes were soundly beaten by Florida State a few weeks ago and were outplayed by a surprising Duke team Saturday.

Being in the right place at the right time is crucial in college football - just like having talent and luck is, too.

Week 12 winners

Baylor – The price for high scoring ability may be in this little stat for the No. 5-ranked Baylor Bears – 12 penalties for 124 yards. But that is the price to pay for having the No. 1 offense in the nation, averaging 61 points per game.

The Bears (9-0, first in Big 12) slaughtered the Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-4, 4-4 Big 12) 63-34 on a neutral site in Arlington, TX. After the Bears fell to the Red Raiders 20-7 early in the first quarter, Heisman dark horse quarterback Bryce Petty lead the charge, finishing the day going 17-for-31 with 335 yards and three touchdown passes and two touchdown runs.

Baylor has scored 35 or more points in the first half of four conference games in 2013, according to ESPN Stats and Information. NEXT UP: at No. 12 Oklahoma State on Nov. 23.

Central Florida - A last minute field goal as time ran out in regulation gave the No. 17-ranked Central Florida Knights (8-1, 5-0 AAC) the go-ahead win on the road against the lowly Temple Owls (1-9, 0-6 AAC).

Though Temple's P.J. Walker matched touchdowns with UCF's Blake Bortles (four TD passes each), the last-second field goal by UCF's Shawn Moffitt sealed the win. Temple went to 2-78 all-time in games against AP Top 25 teams. UCF continues to grind through their conference. NEXT UP: vs. Rutgers on Nov. 21.

Other week 12 winners: No. 2 Florida State won against Syracuse 59-3; Illinois lost to No. 3 Ohio State 60-35; No. 6 Oregon beat Utah 44-21; No. 8 Clemson beat Georgia Tech on Thursday 55-31; No. 12 Oklahoma State beat No. 24 Texas 38-13; Washington lost to No. 13 UCLA beneath Friday night lights 41-31; No. 15 Northern Illinois defeated conference foe Ball State 48-27; No. 16 Michigan State beat Nebraska 41-28; No. 18 Oklahoma beat Iowa State 48-10; Oregon State lost to No. 19 Arizona State 30-17; Houston lost to No. 20 Louisville 20-13; Indiana lost to No. 22 Wisconsin 51-3.

Week 12 losers

Stanford – Stanford cannot capitalize on a big break.

After last week's win against Oregon, Stanford (8-2, 6-2 Pac 12) should have beaten the USC Trojans (8-3, 5-2 Pac 12), with all of their 2013 drama. Stanford's conference and BCS chances are pretty much a bust, with Oregon controlling their own fate to a conference championship and BCS bowl, and forcing the Cardinals to win out and hope Oregon's luck of the duck runs out.

Stanford, remember, going scoreless in the fourth quarter is not a good thing. NEXT UP: vs. California on Nov. 23.

Miami – We've all done it - cracked jokes on the Duke Blue Devils football team. But Miami isn't laughing after a stunning loss. In Saturday's greatest upset, No. 23 Miami lost to Duke 48-30.

After spending nearly a decade being the ACC's bottom-feeding punching bag, Duke (8-2, 4-2 ACC) beat the Hurricanes (7-3, 3—3 ACC) to move up to first place of the ACC Coastal Division. Should Duke win their final two games on the road against Wake Forest (Nov. 23) and North Carolina (Nov. 30), they will face the unstoppable train that is Florida State at the ACC Championship game. There are no words for you, Miami.

But what's with the "We want Bama" chants, Duke? Did you mean "We want Bama...to know that we can take your finals for you?" They won't have time to study - they will probably be gearing up for a national championship game. NEXT UP: vs. Virginia on Nov. 23.

Other Week 12 losers: No. 12 Oklahoma State beat No. 24 Texas 38-13

Week 13 game of the week: No. 5 Baylor @ No. 12 Oklahoma State, 8 p.m. on ABC – In this premier Big 12 matchup, one can be assured that this will be a high-scoring affair for first place in the conference.

One more thing to ponder: Who's on the hot seat in college football? – Key programs with their high expectations are sitting around with three or more losses (Nebraska, Georgia, Texas), despite their having talent. For them, underachieving boils down to a lack of discipline, bad play and being on the wrong end of luck. All three of these programs have felt that at one point during 2013, and now the luck may have run out for their head coaches.

Take our poll - which of these three head coaches of popular programs is out of luck and a job at the end of the season? Have another pick? Put that unlucky man's name in the comment section below.

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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