Non-Top 25 teams that could rise

They didn't crack the preseason AP poll, but could be there at season's end

Updated: August 17, 2013, 12:25 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

Keith PriceJoe Nicholson/US PresswireKeith Price and Washington should find a home in the AP Top 25 by 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:

Michigan State Spartans

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.


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