• Peasants at the gates! Utah State and San Jose State make their first appearances in the BCS rankings, while Northern Illinois enters the BCS Top 25 for the first time in 2012. Are we in for some surprise gate-crashers in the big-money bowls after all? Maybe. Allow SMQ to explain it all for you: "So even for the winner, the potential stakes in the MAC title game range from the Orange Bowl to the GoDaddy.com Bowl, with nothing in between." And remember not to overlook this Friday's NIU-Kent State showdown while penciling the Golden Flashes in for a trip to Florida.
• Cajuns to New Orleans to repeat legendary tailgating feats. Bowl invitations issued over the weekend: Utah State to a second consecutive Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Nevada to the New Mexico Bowl and the Ragin' Cajuns to their second New Orleans Bowl. Now, we didn't see the Cajuns in their postseason appearance in person last year, but we have been to New Orleans for college football games, and been to tailgates in Lafayette, and this game just became our first mandatory trip of the postseason. Stewart Mandel's latest bowl projections can be found here, freshly updated with all invited teams.
• Coach firin' season, continued. Jon Embree tells the Denver Post he'd been told just last week that his job was safe ... one Post columnist calls Embree's ouster shameful and unjust ... Marshall's defensive coordinator has resigned ... and Ellis Johnson's press conference has been canceled, with a team meeting scheduled for 4:00. Nothing to see here!
• Injury report story hour. Outstandingly-named Florida State DE Tank Carradine has a torn ACL ... and send some good thoughts to Navy's Ralph Montalvo, who is in critical condition in a Miami hospital after a Thanksgiving night car crash. Our very best wishes to him, his family and the Navy football community.
• Roster blotter. Iowa running back Barkley Hill will miss at least one game for the Hawkeyes following an OWI arrest ... Tennessee tight end Brendan Downs was arrested for public intoxication over the weekend, a truly shocking occurrence at an establishment called "Whiskey Dix."
• Tweet of the day. Please, Purdue officials, we beseech you: consider all crucial intangible factors when selecting Danny Hope's replacement.
Stop listing coaches with traces of upper lip hair as candidates for the Purdue job. That's the GED of mustaches. Purdue requires a Masters. — Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy) November 26, 2012