• Run silent, run hot. With Boise State making mincemeat out of Fresno State last Friday night and TCU cooling their heels on a bye week, we didn't see a great deal of movement in Week 12. The story now is the vastly differing trajectories of the Broncos and Horned Frogs from here on out. While the former hunkers down for a nationally-televised Friday night showdown with No. 19 Nevada, the latter will have to make do with a season-ending thrashing of New Mexico that nobody'll hear about until it's over. TCU has to put a memorable final flourish on an undefeated season to stay in voters' minds, and they have to do it in relative anonymity.
• This week in undramatic ranked finishes. Elsewhere in college football's top 25: Nevada, you'll be shocked to learn, made short work of New Mexico State in Week 12, cruising to a leisurely 52-6 home win. They were held to a field goal at one point, and the Aggies did manage two three-pointers of their own, but the rest of the show was all Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua. But enough about that, and on to the cute animals!
• For maximum yo-dawgness, can we get the Muscle Hamster to wear it? SB Nation's OBNUG has pictures of the logical conclusion of the worship of Doug "Muscle Hamster" Martin.
• Conference races! Get your tangly conference races! In alphabetical order, the state of the mid-major fiefdoms as November winds to a close:
- UCF will face either SMU or Tulsa in C-USA.
- Ohio State and NIU are your likely MAC championship combatants.
- TCU owns the Mountain West.
- Freaking FIU owns the Sun Belt, which still astonishes us even though it's the Sun Belt.
- Boise State's in control of the WAC, although Nevada could still make a run at the conference crown.
• Fresh coaches, bought and sold!
SB Nation's Hustle Belt reviews the MAC coachin' carousel, which has seen the demise of Doug Martin and Stan Parrish thus far (who ever thought a guy would lose his job for not being Brady Hoke?).
• This week in Mike Locksley Still Has A Job Theatre:
The Lobos fell 40-7 to a still-competent BYU team. Mike Locksley once punched one of his assistants in the face and still makes more money than your entire family put together.
Profiles in ownage.
• Northern Illinois, flirting with an honest-to-Sutekh national ranking after putting a wreck job on Ball State. (In itself, not a big deal, no, but the Huskies are 9-2 and it seems somebody's finally noticed.)
• After a fast start that included an upset of NC State, ECU has settled down to the kind of season we thought they'd have with a first-year head coach and no defense. That sage prognostication, however, did not include a 62-38 loss to Rice. (Rice!)
• UCF, who recovered from a sad-clown upset by Southern Miss in general jilted-lady groove-getting-back fashion by laying waste to Tulane, 61-14.
Not ready for primetime.
• Army, who's been up and down (but mostly up) this year, but closed out November by getting waylaid at Notre Dame.
• Utah, who just can't seem to get into form for a frighteningly back-loaded schedule and left San Diego with a bare four-point win. Oh, and they also let toothy junior Aztecs QB Ryan Lindley throw for 528 yards, so enjoy that secondary, little Jake Heaps!
• Longtime friend of the program WILLY KORN, who's gone and won a national NCCAA title (not a typo) with the North Greenville Crusaders.
With only Troy, FAU, and Army playing AQ competition this week, and all three suffering ignominious defeats, mid-major programs move to 18-87 against Big Six programs for 2010.
Walking Dead Watch.
Akron remains your lone winless team in Division I-A for 2010. The Zips had a bye in Week 12; last shot is Friday against Buffalo, who're a foreboding 2-9.
Violently Subjective Mid-Major Top 10
1. Boise State (10-0)
2. TCU (11-0)
3. Nevada (10-1)
4. Utah (9-2)
5. Hawaii (8-3)
6. Northern Illinois (9-2)
7. San Diego State (7-4)
8. Southern Miss (8-3)
9. UCF (8-3)
10. Navy (8-3)
Friday football goodness includes Southern Miss-Tulsa for the enthusiasts, and Buffalo-Akron for the true sadists, but it's all just a runup to the late-night Boise State-Nevada tilt. Saturday highlights include BYU-Utah in the Holy War, TCU and New Mexico playing the part of a tree falling in a deserted forest, and Houston-Texas Tech in an actual potential Interesting Football Game.