Not much has changed in this week’s power rankings. Here they are for Week 13:
1. Boise State (10-0). The Broncos destroyed Fresno State 51-0 in a nationally televised game that sent a message this defense is for real. Kellen Moore, Titus Young and Austin Pettis make it easy to overlook the defense, but that obviously would be a mistake. Fresno State coach Pat Hill had strong praise for the Broncos afterward, saying in all of his years of coaching, his team has never been manhandled like that. If they pass their big test at Nevada on Friday night, the Broncos should be the top non-AQ choice this season.
2. TCU (11-0). Coach Gary Patterson made his pitch this week about why his team deserves consideration. But being off this week, the ending against New Mexico ends the season on a low note, especially when Boise State has more opportunities to impress. That being said, it would be a crying shame if an undefeated non-AQ team gets left out of the BCS. TCU is an excellent team and deserves a shot.
3. Nevada (10-1). The Wolf Pack easily dispatched New Mexico State 52-6 and are ready for their shot at the Broncos. The games between them the past three seasons have been close -- decided by an average of 6.7 points. Colin Kaepernick has nine career touchdowns against Boise State, though he hasn’t run for 100 yards on the Broncos since his breakout performance in 2007, a 69-67 four-OT heartbreaker.
4. Utah (9-2). The Utes live, but it was not easy. They had to overcome a 17-point second-quarter deficit at San Diego State and needed interceptions on back-to-back drives to close the game and a seal 38-34 win. The victory broke a two-game losing skid and brought the offense back from the dead.
5. Northern Illinois (9-2). The Huskies have won eight straight, and easily beat Ball State to clinch a spot in the MAC title game for the first time since 2005. Aside from the four undefeated teams, it’s hard to find a hotter team in America.
6. Hawaii (8-3). The Warriors returned from a bye to beat San Jose State 41-7 as quarterback Bryant Moniz set a new school record with 560 passing yards, breaking the old record of 559 by Colt Brennan versus Arizona State in the 2006 Hawaii Bowl. With games remaining against New Mexico State and UNLV, this is shaping up to be a 10-win season.
7. Southern Miss (8-3). The Golden Eagles played with heavy hearts against Houston, but they let it serve as extra motivation in a 59-41 win. Austin Davis had a great day, and if not for one-point losses to UAB and East Carolina, they would be in the driver’s seat to make it to the C-USA title game.
8. UCF (8-3). The Knights blew out Tulane 61-14 and need a win over Memphis this weekend to host the C-USA title game. They remain behind Southern Miss because they lost to them 31-21 last week, the same week they secured their first Top 25 ranking.
9. Tulsa (8-3). The Golden Hurricane have won five straight and still have a shot at the C-USA title game. They need to beat Southern Miss and hope SMU loses to East Carolina. They get the edge over Navy because their three losses are to bowl teams. Navy has a bad loss to Duke.
10. Navy (8-3). The Midshipmen beat Arkansas State 35-19 and have won eight games for the eighth straight season. They get the nod over San Diego State because they have beaten three bowl-eligible teams; San Diego State has beaten one. The Aztecs (7-4) are right on the cusp of the rankings -- they have lost each of their four games by five points or less -- three to ranked teams.
Dropped out: Temple, San Diego State.