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Winners and losers from Week 14 college football games

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Associated Press
Paul Johnson and Dak Prescott experienced different emotions on Saturday.

Week 14 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?


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Winners

TCU: Saturday couldn't have been scripted much better for the Horned Frogs, who saw Mississippi State go down in front of them and Ohio State lose its starting quarterback. Mix in Baylor struggling against lowly Texas Tech, and TCU is in much better position to make the College Football Playoff.

Memphis: The Tigers won seven games combined in 2012 and 2013 but continued their remarkable turnaround under coach Justin Fuente with their ninth victory of the season Saturday over UConn. That gave the team a share of the AAC championship and made its head coach an even hotter commodity this offseason.

Georgia Tech: It wasn't pretty, but the Yellow Jackets stormed back to beat their in-state rival in crazy fashion and send themselves into the ACC Championship Game next week on a high.

Dabo Swinney: Clemson's head coach has had to live as the butt of jokes from South Carolina's Steve Spurrier for years. He took it out on the Head Ball Coach on Saturday in a 35-17 win over his Palmetto state rival.

Ralph Friedgen: Rutgers' offensive coordinator orchestrated the largest comeback in school history. That he did it against the program that fired him -- Maryland -- had to make it extra special.

Tim Beckman: What hot seat? The Illinois coach finished the regular season with a fury to earn a trip to a bowl game and blew out in-state rival Northwestern to boot.

Bill Clark: UAB's first-year coach has been dealing with the possibility his program will get shut down by the school's regents, but he's led a great turnaround in Birmingham and got the Blazers bowl-eligible for the first time in a decade with a 45-24 win over Southern Miss.

Tevin Coleman: Indiana's stud tailback became just the 18th player ever to top 2,000 yards rushing in a season with a great performance against Purdue. The Hoosiers beat their in-state rival for the second season in a row.

Conference newcomers: Both Utah and West Virginia secured their first winning seasons in conference play since moving to the Pac-12 and Big 12, respectively.

Ole Miss: Beat your in-state rival and knock it out of the playoff? Yeah, that's a good day in the tailgating capital of college football in Oxford.

Steve Sarkisian: The USC coach has been given the nickname "Seven Win Steve," but he got his eighth victory of 2014 in grand style by beating down rival Notre Dame at home.

Losers

Mississippi State: This might be the best season in Bulldogs history, but missing out on the playoff and losing the Egg Bowl to Ole Miss doesn't make it feel that way. Head coach Dan Mullen throwing some of his staff members under the bus post-game -- and blowing off some steam toward the selection committee -- doesn't help either.

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Ohio State fans: The Buckeyes made their fans nervous with a close first half against rival Michigan, and then the team lost star quarterback J.T. Barrett to an injury. They beat the Wolverines soundly when all was said and done, but it was a Pyrrhic victory, given the circumstances.

California: The Bears were one of -- if not the -- worst Power Five teams in the country last year, but coach Sonny Dykes really did a good job turning them around this season. Still, the Bears fell in a heartbreaker to BYU despite four shots at the end zone near the goal line to end their season.

Jameis Winston: Another close win for Florida State, and this time the quarterback threw a career-high four interceptions against Florida. The Seminoles have not made it easy on their fans this season after the cake walk to the title they had last year, and Winston's mediocre play to start games is one reason why.


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Art Briles: Baylor is in the thick of the playoff hunt, but playing a close game against a bad Texas Tech team won't help them. To make matters worse for the Bears' head coach, he lost his quarterback to a concussion and his defense allowed a freshman to throw for 598 yards.

Randy Edsall: Maryland led 35-17 at halftime and was rolling over Rutgers. Then the Terrapins blew the lead, the game, and a chance at having a winning Big Ten record in their first year in the league.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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