Every year it seems that there are teams surprising the college football world and rising through the ranks to shock the status quo.

Normally, these teams don't tend to last more than a couple of years when their star players move on (Auburn anyone?), but occasionally, some teams stand their ground and develop gradually towards elite status (Boise State).

This takes more than just a decent coach and a few good recruits, often the whole university's mindset needs to alter too.

The teams I have chosen may surprise a few, but all are in a solid position to move up the rankings, or have already begun to.

My initial list had about 25 teams on it, so cutting it down to five required some further assessment. As a result there are, of course, some rules: 

1. They have to have a decent recruiting budget and facilities.

2. They have to be able to hang onto their coaches (i.e. no MAC teams)

3. Former elite teams are on the list, but they have to be off the radar for a while.


Read on, teams are in alphabetical order.