Non-Top 25 teams that could rise
They didn't crack the preseason AP poll, but could be there at season's end
College football teams have a variety of goals, but one thing almost every group is looking to achieve is a spot in the polls.
Twenty-five teams reached that target via the 2013 preseason AP poll, but a few teams that were shut out have the potential to rise into the Top 25 by season's end -- and possibly surge way up in the rankings. Here is a look at five outside the Top 25 that could make a move:
The Spartans bring back seven starters from a defense that ranked first in the Big Ten and fifth nationally in yards per play allowed. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that same unit was second in the country in opponents' three-and-out percentage (47.0 percent) and sixth nationally in opponents' average drive distance (22.1). Key to this success is defensive back Darqueze Dennard, who coach Mark Dantonio said is one of the best secondary players he has ever coached.
To read KC Joyner's full article on non-Top 25 teams that could rise into the AP poll, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- NCAA settles concussion suit with $70M fund
- OU RB meets with police over alleged assault
- OK State has APR penalty rescinded by NCAA
- Kentucky great 'Wah Wah' Jones dies at 88
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
College Football on Insider
Travis Haney examines potential breakout freshmen, including LSU's Leonard Fournette.
- Blue 84 Men's Michigan State Spartans Green Big Ten Championship Football Long Sleeve T-Shirt