The 2015 season isn't far away; we can see the light at the end of the offseason tunnel already. It's time for a quick Pac-12 knowledge refresher.
Here's how we do this. Every day features a new position group. We provide three categories and place each conference team accordingly: "Great shape," "Good shape" and "We'll see."
Earlier today we looked at the quarterbacks of the North Division. Now we turn our attention to the ultra-competitive South.
Arizona: The Wildcats and Anu Solomon could probably qualify as being in "Good shape" as much as "Great shape." But we're giving Solomon the benefit of the doubt that he's going to be even stronger in Year 2 as a starter. And the fact that he's got a lot of really talented weapons around him. His completion percentage (58 percent) needs to rise, but his 28-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio was outstanding for the redshirt freshman, who threw for 3,793 yards. There's not much experience behind him. But Jerrard Randall did see time in five games last year.
Arizona State: Mike Bercovici is not Taylor Kelly. In some phases of the game, he's better than his predecessor. In others, he's not. But the offense is unquestionably his, and he proved his worth last year during a three-game stretch against No. 11 UCLA, No. 16 USC and No. 23 Stanford where he led the Sun Devils to a 2-1 mark. For the season, he completed 61.8 percent of his throws with 12 touchdowns to four picks. But what Kelly had -- a solid backup -- Bercovici lacks. Just freshmen behind him, which bodes well for the future of the program, but not much for the present. Still, with the weapons he has around him, Bercovici showed us enough to qualify for "Great Shape."
USC: When your quarterback is in the Heisman conversation before he's thrown a pass in the upcoming year, you automatically qualify for the "Great Shape" category. That's the case with Cody Kessler, who returns after posting outstanding numbers in 2014. He completed nearly 70 percent of his throws with 39 touchdowns to just five interceptions while throwing for 3,826 yards. The knock on Kessler is that he has to be consistently stronger against top competition. He won't and hasn't argued that. But he's a perfect fit for Steve Sarkisian's offense and should be even more productive in Year 2 of the scheme. Waiting in the wings is Max Browne, who no doubt has his eyes set on starting opening day in 2016 against Alabama.
Colorado: Given Sefo Liufau's experience, there wouldn't be anything wrong with bumping him up one category. But the Buffs have also won just four games under his watch. That's not to say it's all on him. After all, he set numerous school records last season and the Colorado offense was as productive as its been in more than a decade. What helps his cause is having his primary receiver back in Nelson Spruce. He completed 65.3 percent of his throws for 3,200 yards with 28 touchdowns to 15 picks. Save the 15 interceptions, those are solid numbers. And the Buffs were competitive in almost every game last year. He and the Buffs could be poised for a nice breakout. There is a little experience behind him, with Jordan Gehrke seeing some playing time last season.
Utah: Say this for Travis Wilson -- he plays the game with reckless abandon. Despite a head injury in 2013 that almost sidelined his career, there he was, flinging all 6-foot-7 of his frame all over The Big House. He threw 18 touchdowns to five interceptions last year, but the coaches would like to see his completion percentage up in at least the mid 60s (60.7 percent last year). His agility is vastly underappreciated, and he showed it off last season, rushing for 309 yards and five touchdowns. He's got an outstanding running back, four of five offensive linemen returning and the best special teams unit in the country. With consistent quarterback play out of Wilson, the Utes could contend for the division. Worth noting, however, that a healthy Kendal Thompson could enter the race. But Wilson did a fairly good job solidifying his spot at the end of last season.
UCLA: The Brett Hundley era is over … and oh what a fun era it was. Time to move on. Most people seem to think that at some point -- be it the season opener against Virginia or soon after -- true freshman Josh Rosen will get his shot. If it's not immediately, then Jerry Neuheisel, the hero of the Texas game last year, will keep the spot warm. Neuheisel has very limited experience, but knows the offense and has the respect of the clubhouse. Rosen is oozing with talent, but is unproven. Whoever gets the call takes over a team ready to win now. The Bruins are stacked on both sides of the ball with the quarterback spot the only significant question.