Pac-12 preseason quarterback rankings

Cal's Jared Goff and USC's Cody Kessler give the Bears and Trojans two of the best quarterback situations in the Pac-12. USA TODAY Sports

We're ranking the Pac-12's quarterback situations entering the 2015 season. Not all starting battles are set yet, but here's our first stab at it:

1. Cal: It's been fun watching Jared Goff practice over the past two weeks. He's delivering the football with pinpoint precision and setting the table beautifully for what may be the deepest -- and best -- wide receiving corps in the Pac-12. Goff's targets glow about his ability to consistently place the ball perfectly -- on the correct shoulder to eliminate defensive threats -- even on pass patterns more than 30 yards downfield. Goff is a junior now, and all indications suggest he's ready to become a bona fide star.

2. Arizona State: Mike Bercovici started only four games last season, but we saw enough to firmly believe in this fifth-year senior. He has patiently waited his turn in Tempe, so coaches say his command of the offense is superb. Despite losing his top 2014 receiver in Jaelen Strong, Big-Armed Berco has a bevy of weapons at his disposal. Expect ASU's stable of running backs to provide receiving valves that'll open up the whole field for him.

3. USC: Cody Kessler registered some spectacular numbers last season -- 39 touchdowns against only five interceptions should grab anyone's attention. But the jury is admittedly still out on USC's main man until he performs better against the Trojans' best competition -- he tallied only four touchdowns and three interceptions against teams that finished in the Top 25. With a veteran offensive line and electric receiving talent returning around him, Kessler should be good again in 2015. The Trojans, though, need him to be better.

4. Arizona: Yes, Anu Solomon was a bit inconsistent last season. But he was also a freshman, so ups and downs weren't much of a surprise. For the most, Solomon led a productive Wildcats offense, and coach Rich Rodriguez has seemed pleased with his progress this offseason. Top receiver Cayleb Jones has returned 16 pounds stronger -- he's now a 6-foot-3, 224-pound mismatch -- so Solomon should be comfortable with his arsenal, which should be considered deep even by the Pac-12's lofty standards.

5. Stanford: This piece provides an interesting comparison between Kevin Hogan and Kessler from the final three games of last season, when Hogan actually led the nation with a 76 percent completion rate. Even Cardinal coach David Shaw has said it would be foolish to expect Hogan to sustain that ridiculous clip in 2015, but a sharp camp performance so far has indicated the fifth-year senior is ready to carry over last season's good vibes. Hogan certainly seems to have the weapons to do that: The Cardinal will be stacked with four tight ends, Devon Cajuste, and Christian McCaffrey.

6. Washington State: Though Luke Falk brings a different skill set to the table than his predecessor, Connor Halliday, he can be expected to continue the Mike Leach tradition of pumping out big offensive numbers. Expect the Cougars to line up under center much more frequently this season. That should establish a downhill running threat and allow Falk to work out of play-action. He has the veteran offensive line and receiving talent necessary to feast on defenses that'll bite on fakes.

7. Oregon: We can't rank the Ducks in the top half of the Pac-12 here until they at least name a starter, and that still appears to be at least a few days away. As most of the college football world already knows, Jeff Lockie and transfer Vernon Adams are the two candidates here. It's highly unlikely either can replicate Marcus Mariota's production, but that much won't be necessary. Oregon simply needs a quarterback who can distribute the ball to a stockpile of weapons. The option who most effectively does that will win this battle and very likely climb up these rankings.

8. Colorado: Buffs coach Mike MacIntyre recently said this: "After this year is over, I think people are going to say Sefo Liufau is one of the best junior quarterbacks in America." That statement will obviously be received with skepticism, but Liufau certainly wasn't an absolute weakness on a bad 2014 Colorado team. He did throw 15 interceptions, but expect that number to drop if the Buffs' defense improves and doesn't force Liufau to play nearly constant desperation football.

9. Utah: This much hasn't changed since last season: Travis Wilson and Kendal Thompson are the Utes' two guys at quarterback, and neither has proved to be a particularly dominant force at the Pac-12 level. But both do bring strengths to the table, and in an offense built around stud running back Devontae Booker, they won't be asked to deliver superhuman feats. Coach Kyle Whittingham just needs someone to deliver stability and open a little breathing room for the rushing attack, and that much seems possible in Salt Lake City.

10. UCLA: Maybe true freshman Josh Rosen will immediately fulfill massive expectations, extend a veteran UCLA team's home schedule by one game, and rename the Rose Bowl by adding an "n" to the first word on Jan. 1. Or maybe not. We know the kid is talented, but he hasn't officially prevailed over Jerry Neuheisel for the starting job yet, so we're putting UCLA in wait-and-see category for the time being. The competition has generated drama. So far, though, that's it.

11. Oregon State: The questions surrounding the Beavers' quarterback battle will extend into the season opener: Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin announced that early favorite Seth Collins and late charger Marcus McMaryion will both see action against Weber State. This should be intriguing to watch. Both youngsters are talented, and it's always fun to track a guy who flips and hurdles over defenders in his first college appearance. Still, Oregon State's future is uncertain at best right now.

12. Washington: There are indications the Huskies' quarterback battle may also last into the regular season. Jeff Lindquist is the only option with at least a smidgen of game experience, while K.J. Carta-Samuels and freshman Jake Browning are also lobbying for the nod. There's uncertainty here, and there's pressure: Washington did not get steady play from the quarterback position last season, and that'll have to change for the team to beat expectations in 2015.