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2013 college football rankings: Sports Illustrated ranked Boise State No. 18

Sports Illustrated is the latest publication to have Boise State ranked for the 2013 season.

Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE

The super early predictions for the 2013 season keep rolling out and Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples has come out with his top-25 list for next season. Staples tabs Boise State as No. 18 to start the 2013 season:

The Broncos had their rebuilding year. Now they're going to try to bust the BCS one more time before there is no more BCS. D.J. Harper is gone, but in his place is Jay Ajayi, who averaged 6.7 yards a carry last season. Quarterback Joe Southwick looked excellent at the end of 2012. Boise State always plays tough defense. The Broncos open at Washington, and a win against the Huskies could set the table for an impressive season.

Why this ranking could be too low: If the Broncos beat Washington, the Mountain West doesn't offer much that can stop them. The biggest challenge will be BYU on Oct. 26.

Why this ranking could be too high: Like Michigan State last season, Washington could beat the Broncos and leave them without many chances to earn back lost respect.

The Mountain West schedule has not been released and that could determine if No. 18 is too high or too low, but based on what we saw in the Las Vegas Bowl the opener against Washington will be tough. However, I disagree with Staples that BYU will be the toughest game on the schedule after Washington; playing at BYU is tough but there could be tougher games on the schedule.

The likes of Utah State, Fresno State, Nevada and San Diego State could be as equally, if not more, challenging than BYU. Once the Mountain West schedule is released, that will be a better idea of where Boise State should be ranked, or not ranked, for the 2013 season.