NCAA Football Rankings 2012: Teams That Are Heading into Bowl Season Strong

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVNovember 19, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 17: Christine Michael #33 of the Texas A&M Aggies is lead off the field after being ejected for striking a player after the play against the Sam Houston State Bearkats at Kyle Field on November 17, 2012 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

While the season doesn't always start as planned for some teams, many of those teams are headed in the right direction after solid stretches and seem to be heading into bowl season on the right track.

The landscape of college football was certainly altered in a major way this weekend with the nation's top two teams going down, allowing many other teams to inch back into the 2013 BCS National Championship Game race. But there are no shortage of teams who are simply trying to get on the right foot heading into their respective bowl games.

Let's take a look at those teams and how they've been able to turn things around. 

 

No. 20 Michigan Wolverines (8-3)

Many around Ann Arbor had high hopes for the Michigan football team this season, but their national title hopes were quickly evaporated after early-season losses to Alabama and Notre Dame.

Unfortunately for the Wolverines, they face one of the nation's toughest schedules and weren't able to get past two elite teams early on. But they've since turned things around and look to be one of the best teams in the Big Ten.

The Wolverines have won three straight games after dropping an October game to Nebraska, and they seem to be on the upward slope heading into bowl season. 

Don't be surprised if the Wolverines finish the season on a much brighter note than they started it.

 

No. 18 Texas Longhorns (8-2)

Another elite team, the Texas Longhorns weren't able to answer national championship calls heading into the season. But they've turned things around as of late and seem to be one of the hottest teams around at the moment.

The Longhorns' only mishaps this season were to West Virginia and Oklahoma—both of whom were ranked in the Top 15 at the time. They score nearly 40 points per game and have shored up some defensive problems after giving up 50 points to Baylor weeks ago.

Texas has two tough games remaining on their schedule, as they face TCU and No. 7 Kansas State. But after the way they've played in the past month, the Longhorns could stand a chance against the Wildcats in their final game of the season.

 

No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies (9-2) 

Behind the swift leadership of redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M Aggies are lighting up the SEC in their first season in the nation's premier conference.

After starting out their season 0-1, not even head coach Kevin Sumlin would've believed you if you told him his Aggies team would be in the Top 10 with just one game remaining on their schedule. But the SEC is unpredictable, and Sumlin's team learned that much this season.

The Aggies are one of the hottest teams in the nation right now, and they proved that with an unprecedented victory over Alabama last week. Add in a Heisman favorite at quarterback, and the Aggies are one of the most attractive teams around.

 

AP Top 25 – Week 13 (ESPN)

1. Notre Dame

2. Alabama

3. Georgia

4. Ohio State

5. Oregon

6. Florida

7. Kansas State

8. LSU

9. Texas A&M

10. Florida State

11. Stanford

12. Clemson

13. South Carolina

14. Oklahoma

15. UCLA

16. Oregon State

17. Nebraska

18. Texas

19. Louisville

20. Michigan

21. Rutgers

22. Oklahoma State

23. Kent State

24. Northern Illinois

25. Mississippi State

25. Utah State

 

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