The Biggest Turnaround Jobs of 2013

In football, change is inevitable. It's as much a part of the game as chin straps and yard markers. Players graduate, coaches leave, and philosophies and styles go with them. When that unavoidable lightning strikes, you plan, you practice, you meet, you study, but ultimately you're left hoping for the best. 

At these schools, "the best" has come to fruition. Heading into week 12, it's safe to compare last year's numbers with their 2013 counterparts and point out which staffs are living in a different area code, statistically speaking. 

We found eight teams that have jumped 50 spots or more in the FBS total offense or defense rankings.

Total Defense

Team 2012 Rank 2013 Rank Change
Baylor 123rd 9th +114
Tulane 117th 37th +80
Marshall 103rd 27th +76
Arizona 122nd 53rd +69
La. Tech 124th 56th +68
Wake Forest 91st 30th +61
Oklahoma 65th 13th +52
North Texas 76th 26th +50

Total Offense

Team 2012 Rank 2013 Rank Change
Auburn 118th 14th +104
Washington 99th 10th +89
Illinois 122nd 56th +66
Maryland 123rd 59th +64
Colorado State 102nd 38th +64
South Alabama 106th  46th  +60 
Wyoming 72nd 16th +56
Bowling Green 93rd 40th +53

Digging deeper, here are the five most improved teams in both offensive and defensive yards per play and scoring average. 

Yards Per Play

Team 2012 Rank 2013 Rank Change
Missouri 107th 15th +92
Washington 102nd 10th +92
BYU 97th 12th +85
Auburn 90th 14th +76
SMU 93rd 20th +73

Scoring Offense

Team 2012 Rank 2013 Rank Change
Auburn 114th 17th +97
Missouri 80th 11th +69
Washington 90th 24th +66
Colorado State 102nd 41st +61
North Texas 105th 46th +59
Illinois 122nd 63rd +59

Defensive Yards Per Play

Team 2012 Rank 2013 Rank Change
Baylor 94th 2nd +92
East Carolina 86th 8th +78
Duke 118th 41st +77
Marshall 79th 15th +64
Arizona 88th 29th +59

Scoring Defense

Team 2012 Rank 2013 Rank Change
Baylor 113th 6th +107
Marshall 123rd 25th +98
Houston 110th 30th +80
Duke 110th 33rd +77
Tulane 118th 44th +74
Arizona 104th 30th +74

Really want to change your team's fortunes? Work your way onto the five most improved turnover margin list. These five teams are a collective 38-9 this season after posting a combined 32-31 mark in 2012. Every single one of these teams has either already surpassed its 2012 win total or is on track to do so. 

Turnover Margin

Team 2012 Rank 2013 Rank Change
Buffalo 96th 2nd +94
Tulane 103rd 18th +85
Florida State 88th 4th +84
Houston 85th 1st +84
Ball State 78th 8th +70 

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