Five teams on the rise for 2013

Michigan tops list of programs poised for increased win totals next season

Updated: January 10, 2013, 11:43 AM ET
By Phil Steele | Special to ESPN Insider
Brady Hoke and Gary PattersonUSA TODAY Sports, Getty ImagesBrady Hoke's Wolverines and Gary Patterson's Horned Frogs should improve in 2013.

A lot can happen in college football between now and the start of the season in August -- and for that matter between now and when I release my annual preview in May. However, I thought I would take an early look at teams that appear poised to increase their win totals from 2012. (For a complete look at what I'm envisioning next season for each of the 70 bowl teams from 2012, click here.)

Here's a look at five teams with winning records in 2012 that are on the rise heading into the 2013 season.


Michigan Wolverines

2012 record: 8-5

After a Sugar Bowl win over Virginia Tech capped off an 11-2 2011 season, expectations were high coming into this season for the Wolverines, who were ranked in the preseason AP top 10. I rated them lower than most as their schedule was very difficult, with games against Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State all coming on the road. Michigan would end up losing all four of those games (those teams combined for a 46-4 record), as well as its bowl game against South Carolina. However, while the Wolverines will have to replace record-setting quarterback Denard Robinson, I think Michigan fans will be in for a much better season in 2013.


To read Phil Steele's complete list of five teams on the rise for 2013, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Phil Steele

ESPN Insider