Top 25 playoff teams: Missouri

Tigers have a rising star at QB, but defensive losses are a lot to overcome

Updated: June 6, 2014, 4:37 PM ET
By Ryan McGee | ESPN Insider

Maty Mauk, Sam WrenKevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsMaty Mauk could be one of the SEC's most prolific QBs in 2014.

From May 27 to July 3, Insider's college football experts will preview the season for the 25 teams with the best chances to make the inaugural college football playoff, based on Brian Fremeau's post-spring projections. This is the entry for Missouri.

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Fremeau's projection

Projected finish: 9-3 (5-3)
Chance to make playoff: 3 percent
Chance to win SEC: 6 percent
Toughest games: Sept. 27 at South Carolina (26 percent), Oct. 11 vs. Georgia (53 percent), Nov. 15 at Texas A&M (44 percent)

Why they'll make the playoff

1. Maty Mauk is really good

You remember Mauk, don't you? He's the quarterback who filled in for James Franklin when the face of the team was out with injuries, throwing for 1,071 yards and 11 TDs versus a mere 2 INTs. He also ran 229 yards and a TD. He set records in high school that people still tell tales about, looked stellar in Mizzou's spring game, and should run neck-and-neck with Auburn's Nick Marshall for the track meet that will be the SEC's total offense crown. Even with big questions at wide receiver, Mauk has the kind of talent to be a Band-Aid on that gap.

Ryan McGee | email

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