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What to watch, Week 12: That’s why they play the game

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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It’s Alabama and Florida State and then everyone else right?

So why do we even play the rest of the season? Because we know better.

November is notorious for turning the BCS standings upside down (just ask Oregon) and while the Tide and Seminoles seemingly have easy wins awaiting them this weekend, you never know when an opponent might play above their heads or an off-field distraction might create havoc on the field.

That’s why they play the games.

But before we get to this week’s highlights, let’s look back on what you might have missed from last week:

Oregon is out of the BCS title game – again:

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Baylor is better than everyone thought:

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Johnny Manziel likely played his final game at Kyle Field:

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Nick Saban has mad hops:

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This was the latest coach fired:

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And Myles Jack is awesome:

OK, that’s your review. Here’s what to watch in Week 12:

Game of the week:
No. 25 Georgia at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30 p.m. ET
Auburn has had a lot of success this season thanks to the running ability of quarterback Nick Marshall and running back Tre Mason, but they haven’t faced a defensive front as stout as Georgia’s. For all the Bulldogs’ defensive woes early in the season, they’ve been surprisingly good against the run allowing just 126 yards per game. They haven’t allowed a team to rush for more than 200 yards since South Carolina during the second game of the season but that number will be challenged since Auburn is averaging 320 rushing yards per game. If the Georgia defense can force Marshall to throw and step out of his comfort zone a little bit, the Bulldogs might be able to pull off the upset.

Game to watch:
No. 23 Miami at Duke, 3:30 p.m. ET

With Georgia Tech’s loss to Clemson on Thursday, Duke is in the driver’s seat for the ACC Coastal Division title. Yes, you read that right. But to start securing a spot in the ACC title game, the Blue Devils first have to get past Miami. The Hurricanes are beaten up both mentally and physically. Star running back Duke Johnson was lost for the season because of an ankle injury, which has put more pressure on a passing game that was pretty inconsistent in the first place. And the Hurricanes haven’t quite recovered from their embarrassing loss to Florida State two weeks ago. That loss was compounded with last week’s poor showing against Virginia Tech. So, Duke is getting the Hurricanes at the right time, but since the Blue Devils aren’t used to being in this position, do they have what it takes to capitalize?

Also check out…
Texas Tech at No. 5 Baylor, 7 p.m. ET, Friday

As Baylor continues to make its way through the gauntlet that is its remaining Big 12 games, this could be one of the more dangerous. Texas Tech has lost its last three, but it does have the ability to play up-tempo with the Bears and match them score-for-score. However, one of the things we learned about Baylor during last week’s game against Oklahoma is that the Bears defense is actually pretty good. There weren’t many opportunities to see that while they were beating teams by 60. Tech has had some trouble lately with inconsistent quarterback play and turnovers, and if Baylor’s defense comes to play like it did a week ago, it could make the Red Raiders’ day very long.

Keep an eye on:
Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor

After last week’s effort against Oklahoma, Petty put himself on the fringes of the Heisman conversation. He’s got a long way to go to actually win the trophy, but another solid performance this week against Texas Tech might earn him an invite to New York. Petty showed against Oklahoma that he’s more than a pocket passer. He rushed 13 times for 45 yards and two scores. He also threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns. Petty's mobility opened up yet another option in an already diverse Baylor offense.

Upset alert:
Houston (+16) vs. Louisville, 7 p.m. ET

After watching Houston holds its own against Central Florida – and nearly win the game late – last week, the Cougars have established themselves as a formidable opponent in the AAC. Louisville has been hit and miss this season. Even though it has just one loss, it’s struggled in some games to generate any flow on offense. It has leaned on its defense quite a bit in those games and with a high-powered scoring offense like Houston on deck, it will be relied upon again. This game has the potential to be a lot of fun and definitely a lot closer than the 16-point line indicates.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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