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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