Projecting Every College Football Conference's Surprise Team for 2014

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Projecting Every College Football Conference's Surprise Team for 2014
USA TODAY Sports

At this time last year, very few people could have predicted that Auburn would play for the national title. Coming off a 3-9 record and with a new head coach, there might have been hope and optimism, but to expect what the Tigers did wasn't realistic.

But that's how college football can be sometimes. Though most of the traditional powers tend to dominate year in and year out, each campaign a number of surprise teams come out of nowhere to put together a great season.

Besides Auburn, Missouri also went from 5-7 the year before to reaching the SEC title game. In addition, Marshall played for the Conference USA Championship (as well as knocked off an ACC team in a bowl game) after being 5-7 in 2012. Boston College, Tulane and UNLV each went from two wins in 2012 to seven a year later, and seven other teams went from below .500 to bowl-bound.

Who will be this year's surprise teams? Looking at the schedules and making some history-backed assumptions about the prevalence of turnarounds, we've identified one school from each FBS conference that should do far better than in 2013.

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