From May 27 to July 3, Insider's college football experts will preview the season for the 25 teams with the best chance to make the inaugural college football playoff, based on Brian Fremeau's post-spring projections. This is the entry for Arizona State.
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Projected finish: 8-4 (5-4)
Chance to make playoff: 2 percent
Chance to win Pac-12: 7 percent
Toughest games: Oct. 4 at USC (37 percent chance of winning), Oct. 18 vs. Stanford (37 percent), Oct. 25 at Washington (51 percent)
Why they'll make the playoff
1. QB Taylor Kelly is really good
Just how good is Kelly? This week a column written by Brad Denny said that by season's end, the senior could replace Danny White, Jake Plummer, Andrew Walter and Rudy Carpenter as the greatest quarterback in ASU history. The numbers back up that argument. In 2013, he threw for 3,635 yards and 28 touchdowns, adding another 608 yards and nine TDs on the ground. He's also a winner, posting an 18-9 record that trails only White in career ASU winning percentage, this after taking over a team that was still a post-Dennis Erickson mess and after a 2012 rookie season as starter that brought big struggles in big games. Last year, he and the Sun Devils knocked off Wisconsin, USC, Washington and archrival Arizona.