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Winners and losers from Week 12 college football games

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Associated Press
Melvin Gordon might have run his way to the Heisman ceremony, but Dak Prescott had a forgettable Saturday.

Week 12 of the college football season brought us highlights galore and a number of surprises that nobody could have predicted earlier this year. While we know who won and who lost the games from the box scores, who really came out of Saturday able to hold their heads high?

Winners

Melvin Gordon: Wisconsin's star running back set an FBS record for rushing yards in a single game -- in three quarters. That's about as good a night as you can have.

» Things you need to know from Week 12's games

Penn State: It hasn't been a pretty ride to six wins, but the Nittany Lions are bowl-eligible after beating a solid Temple team.

Paul Johnson: The Georgia Tech coach was considered by some to be on a warm seat coming into this season. After knocking off Clemson on Saturday, the Yellow Jackets might be one of just two ranked ACC teams and, at 9-2, have a shot at 10 wins this year.

» Can't-miss Moments from CFB Week 12

Steve Spurrier: The former Florida player/coach got a win against his former team at the Swamp, and his South Carolina team finally pulled out a close game.

J.T. Barrett: The Ohio State quarterback might be playing his way to New York City as a finalist for the Heisman after setting a number of school records in a win over Minnesota.

Pat Fitzgerald: The Northwestern coach was a linebacker nearly two decades ago when the Wildcats upset Notre Dame in South Bend. He did so again Saturday in thrilling fashion in what was one of the more surprising results of the season.

Tennessee: Five losses in six games caused a few to think a bowl game wasn't in the mix for the Vols. But a comeback win in overtime against South Carolina on Nov. 1 and Saturday's 50-point outburst against Kentucky has the Vols riding high.

Casey Skowron: The goat in an Oct. 11 loss to USC, Arizona's kicker redeemed himself Saturday with a fake field goal that he ran in for a touchdown and the game-winning 47-yard field goal against Washington.

Bret Bielema: The Arkansas head coach saw his team end its 17-game SEC losing streak by beating LSU, 17-0, and capturing The Golden Boot rivalry trophy.

Losers

Dak Prescott: The Mississippi State quarterback threw three interceptions against Alabama on some bad decisions, probably ending his Heisman candidacy and possibly costing his team the SEC West division title.

Duke: The Blue Devils entered Saturday at 8-1 and had a path to make it to the Orange Bowl, of all places, if things worked out. That wasn't meant to be after a one-point loss against a woeful Virginia Tech team Saturday. At least it's basketball season in Durham.

Check out the top images from the 12th weekend of college football play.

San Diego State: The Aztecs played a night game Saturday at Boise State, where the temperature at kickoff was nine degrees. Bet they can't wait to get back home and go to the beach.

TCU: After surprising the country by sneaking into the College Football Playoff selection committee's top four this week, the Horned Frogs put on a shocking show against lowly Kansas in a near loss. They survived with a win, but that final score might have cost them a shot at the national title, given how small their margin was.

Blackshirts: The Nebraska defense gave up 56 straight points to Wisconsin and probably ensured Badgers running back Melvin Gordon a seat at the Heisman ceremony. Not a good look.

Brian Kelly: Remember when Notre Dame was talking about being in the CFB Playoff just two weeks ago? Kelly can't either after his Fighting Irish blew a huge lead to Northwestern and suffered its third loss of the season.

Utah and Stanford fans: The Utes emerged victorious in a 20-17 overtime win against the Cardinal, but nobody really won in this game, in which both offenses looked terrible.

Auburn: From No. 3 in the CFB Playoff rankings to off the radar after back-to-back losses following Saturday's blowout loss to Georgia. Whatever luck the Tigers had last year has run out.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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