Top 25 playoff teams: OK State

The young Cowboys will have to grow up fast to make a playoff run

Updated: June 10, 2014, 12:35 PM ET
By Travis Haney | ESPN Insider

GundyAP Photo/Sue OgrockiCoach Mike Gundy & Co. have talent on the squad, but much of it is unproven.

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 Oklahoma State.

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Fremeau's projection

Projected finish: 8-4 (6-3)
Chance to make playoff: 4 percent
Chance to win Big 12: 15 percent
Toughest games: Aug. 30 versus Florida State (26 percent chance of winning), Nov. 1 at Kansas State (47 percent), Dec. 6 at Oklahoma (24 percent)


Why they'll make the playoff

1. The Big 12 has little depth and, of course, no title game

One of the primary reasons we have several Big 12 teams listed among our top 25 potential playoff teams, and why they have semi-favorable odds, is because there is no dominant team in the conference. Oklahoma and Texas' regressions have been well documented, opening the door for programs such as Oklahoma State and Baylor to rise. Also, there's the fact that the Big 12 has stuck to its 10 teams and therefore plays no championship game. Its champion plays 12 games rather than 13 for the other leagues' champs, and that 13th and final game often presents an elevated challenge.

Oklahoma State will not enter the season as the preeminent league favorite, but even on the Big 12's next tier, the Cowboys become a fringe playoff candidate.

• Joined ESPN as Insider's national college football writer in April 2012
• Previously wrote for The Oklahoman and The Post and Courier