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2013 college football rankings: Athlon puts Boise State at No. 13

Boise State is ranked No. 13 by Athlon Sports for their very early 2013 predictions.

Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE

The 2013 preseason college football rankings keep coming out and Athlon Sports is the latest, and they are very generous by ranking Boise State No. 13 in their early predictions:

Before they even played a game, the Broncos' stint in the Big East is over, and Boise State is headed back to the Mountain West. The Broncos will be a heavy favorite to win the conference title next season but will be pushed by Fresno State and Utah State. As expected last preseason, the Broncos took a step back on offense in 2012. However, quarterback Joe Southwick got better as the year progressed, and Jay Ajayi should be a capable replacement for D.J. Harper at running back.

The offensive line is a concern with only two starters returning, while the receiving corps is stocked with Matt Miller, Kirby Moore and Geraldo Boldewijn back in the mix. Despite having only one returning starter on defense, Boise State allowed just 15.8 points a game in 2012. This unit needs to replace cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Jerrell Gavins, but expect the Broncos to rank among the Mountain West's best defenses once again in 2013.

The common theme is that these publications are giving Boise State the benefit of the doubt, which makes sense because it is rare that the Broncos under achieve. There is not much more to add about why Boise State is ranked in the top-15 for 2013.

The offense should be better with experienced players and having Robert Prince back as offensive coordinator is a great way to get the offense back to performing at an elite level.