What is becoming increasingly clear from the early preseason polls is that most so-called pundits see the Pac-12 as a five-team race.
In the North Division, it's Stanford and Oregon. Or is that Oregon and Stanford? Oregon State and Washington might be top-25 teams, but nearly every projection neither team is viewed as being good enough to jump over both the Cardinal and Ducks.
In the South, it's more fluid. You have your UCLA folks. And your Arizona State adherents. Others still can't let go of USC.
So let's break this down in a nuanced way.
Which team has the fewest -- or least alarming -- questions?
Answering this depends on how you view the big picture. For example, you might think new Oregon coach Mark Helfrich will do just fine replacing Chip Kelly, but you also might think that's the biggest issue among all the contenders.
Or you might see Lane Kiffin's hotseat as the biggest issue. The Trojans still might have the conference's most talented roster -- Phil Steele seems to think so -- but many might not trust Kiffin to get his players to reach their potential (see 2012).
Others might go with returning starters: UCLA has just 13 starters coming back. Arizona State, Oregon and Stanford have 16 apiece, and the Trojans have 17.
Arizona State has big issues at receiver and a tough early schedule. Stanford is replacing nearly all its pass-catching production from 2012, and it has a rugged, notably back-ended schedule.
In fact, schedule could play a major role here. There's no question Oregon has an an easier road ahead than Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State.
This isn't completely about who you think will win the Pac-12. You might see Team X being able to answer its major questions, but you acknowledge their primacy.