Your team's backup QB is practically irrelevant, at least up until the moment he becomes your team's new most important player.
Just ask Oregon. The Ducks were a top-10 team with a healthy Vernon Adams Jr. at QB last year. Without him, they were mush -- see the second half of the Alamo Bowl against TCU.
This also is pretty timely as Washington State backup QB, Peyton Bender, will be academically ineligible this fall, as first reported Cougfan.com and confirmed by ESPN.com. So it becomes even more pressing for the Cougars to protect All-Pac-12 QB Luke Falk this fall.
So who do things stack up at backup QB?
Well, for one, with seven teams uncertain who will be their starter behind center, there's a certain either-or aspect that makes potential injury seem not as calamitous as if UCLA lost Josh Rosen or, as mentioned, Falk were to go down.
Arizona: Anu Solomon is a returning two-year starter, though some view Brandon Dawkins as offering a legitimate challenge. If that is true, you'd think the Wildcats feel pretty good about whomever ends up as the backup.
California: The spring battle to replace Jared Goff was pretty much down to sophomore Chase Forrest and redshirt freshman Ross Bowers, but the arrival of Texas Tech transfer Davis Webb likely makes that a contest for the backup job. While the lack of experience is obvious, the competition and sharing reps this past spring should be a benefit.
Colorado: The Buffaloes' murky QB situation cleared up in a negative way when Webb, who committed in February, opted to go to Cal. That means coach Mike McIntyre really, really wants three-year starter Sefo Liufau to get healthy and to be backed up by either redshirt freshman Steven Montez or senior Jordan Gehrke. Otherwise, the options are pretty limited.
Oregon: Montana State graduate transfer Dakota Prukop was widely viewed as the heavy favorite entering spring practices, but redshirt freshman Travis Jonsen apparently kept things interesting. If Jonson wins the job, Prukop gives the Ducks an experienced backup. If Prukop wins the job, you'd guess Jonsen's positive reviews indicate that QB depth isn't as dire as it was in 2015.
Oregon State: Utah State transfer Darell Garretson is the starter. Sophomore Marcus McMaryion, who saw action in seven games last year, is going to be the backup. While McMaryion didn't put up impressive numbers when he played, the Beavers at the very least have two guys with playing experience.
Stanford: The starter is going to be Ryan Burns or Keller Chryst. The backup is going to be Ryan Burns or Keller Chryst. Both are big dudes who were big, talented recruits. There doesn't seem to be much panic over the position on The Farm.
USC: While it would have made things easier on the coaches if Max Browne won the job outright in spring practices, the consistently strong play from redshirt freshman Sam Darnold that prevented the naming of a starter is a good thing in this case. Both guys have played well, so the backup is going to be pretty solid.
Utah: JC transfer Troy Williams probably remains the favorite to win the starting job, despite his missing much of spring due to injury, but the strong spring performances from finally-healthy junior Brandon Cox and true freshman Tyler Huntley indicate they have improved the depth at a position where they've struggled.
Washington: With senior Jeff Lindquist moving to tight end, sophomore K.J. Carta-Samuels is entrenched as Jake Browning's backup. He played in eight games last year and started one (Stanford) when Browning was hurt. Pretty solid situation.
Washington State: As noted, the Cougars' depth took a big hit with the loss of Bender, who started the Apple Cup last year in place of an injured Falk. The backup now figures to be redshirt freshman Tyler Hilinski. JC transfer Anthony Gordon, a recent signee, also could be in the picture.