Parity, it appears, will rule the Pac-12 this season. Could the Pac-12 miss out on the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row?

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HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Washington and Washington State are two of the more intriguing Pac-12 Conference title contenders this season in part because they return established questions.

Few in the Pac-12 can boast that.

The Huskies and the Cougars are two of just four teams in the conference that return their starting quarterback — UCLA and Colorado being the others — making the Pac-12 race as unpredictable as ever.

Of the 24 players chosen to represent their programs as the Pac-12 media days event here this week, only one (Colorado’s Sefo Liufau) is a quarterback.

Stanford was chosen as the conference favorite in a poll of media members — the first time in the 56-year history of the poll that that’s happened — but it’s not an overwhelming one in a year many see parity as perhaps the Pac-12’s distinctive quality.

The Huskies were picked second in the Pac-12 North and received four votes (out of the 33 voters) to win the conference championship. USC (with 5 votes), UCLA (3) and Utah (1) also received votes to win the title.

“I am confident that nobody has as many good teams as the Pac-12,” commissioner Larry Scott said.

The question is whether there is one Pac-12 team good enough to emerge as one of four teams bound for the College Football Playoff? Or will the Pac-12 miss out on a shot at the national championship game for the second year in a row?

“Well, with only a four-team playoff, of course you worry about teams beating each other up,” Scott said. “But the philosophy in our conference and amongst our schools has always been to schedule tough, take on all comers, and if a team deserves to be in the playoff, they will be.”
>> Quarterback questions
UW’s Jake Browning and WSU’s Luke Falk were both named Thursday to the watch list for the Davey O’Brien award, presented to the nation’s top quarterback at the end of each season. UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Arizona’s Anu Solomon also made the list.
Solomon, however, is part of a two-man quarterback competition that will continue at Arizona when fall camp begins next month — one of eight QB battles around the league.
Solomon, who has thrown 48 TD passes the past two seasons, is competing with sophomore Brandon Dawkins, and Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez said he’s open to playing both.
Former Washington QB Troy Williams is part of a three-man competition at Utah, along with Brandon Cox and Tyler Huntley.
Williams, who started one game at UW in 2014 before transferring to a junior college, had impressed during the first two weeks of spring ball before he was shut down with a shoulder injury. He’s expected to be ready for the start of fall camp.
“Troy Williams was beginning to separate himself from the other two quarterbacks right when he hurt his shoulder,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.
At Cal, redshirt freshman Ross Bowers, a Bothell High product, is competing with Chase Forrest and Davis Webb, a senior grad transfer from Texas Tech.
Skyline High School product Max Browne is the presumptive favorite to start at USC, but he will continue his competition with Sam Darnold during camp.
“Coming out of spring, like I said, after that spring game, if we had to finish that day and played the next week, it probably would have been Max Browne, but the separation between Max and Sam Darnold was not great, and if we talk about competing at every position, it’s got to b e the quarterback position, also,” USC coach Clay Helton said.
Oregon, meanwhile, plucked a QB transfer from Montana State, Dakota Prukop, to compete with Travis Jonsen and Terry Wilson.
Stanford will choose between Keller Chryst and Ryan Burns, and rebuilding Oregon State appears to be leaning toward Darell Garretson, a transfer from Utah State.