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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Sometimes, it's better to be lucky than good.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy knows that. And he believes a healthy dose of good fortune will help his team in its quest for its first South Division title and first BCS bowl appearance.
All of those goals appeared to be pipe dreams when Gundy arrived three seasons ago.
His team is making steps to get to the level where it can be competitive every season.
"I've never strayed away from saying you need a few breaks and you need to get a few breaks at times," Gundy said. "If you look at the teams that have not been in the top five and then won it all, they were all extremely lucky."
Look back to the 2000 Oklahoma team that won the national championship. That Sooner team did not have a starter miss a game during the entire season.
The Cowboys are closer to matching the talent of traditional South powers Texas and Oklahoma.
But Gundy is smart enough to know that his team could not withstand a devastating run of misfortune and have any hopes of being ranked -- much less keep its lofty preseason ranking that ranks as the best in school history.
"I don't think we have enough depth to play a season if we had some unfortunate luck and some key injuries," Gundy said. "But we do have enough players to be in every game on Saturday."
That wasn't the case when Gundy first arrived in 2005. That Cowboy team struggled to a 4-7 record that included four conference road losses by an average of 26 points.
The talent has been upgraded with All-American starters like Kendall Hunter, Dez Bryant, Russell Okung and Perrish Cox in place. Quarterback Zac Robinson rivals Gundy and Josh Fields as the greatest Oklahoma State quarterbacks of the modern era.
But depth will be the biggest factor in determining if this Oklahoma State team lives up to its lofty early expectations.
"Our depth is much better than it was three years ago," Gundy said. "But to say we're two-deep across the board, we're still not there yet. And that's ultimately where we would like to be."