NFL.com writer Mike Huguenin posted a list from 1-128 of all the college QB situations heading into the 2014 season, and the Arizona Wildcats check in at No. 86 overall.
Yep, based on the criteria, Arizona should definitely be down here at 86 based on no one on the roster having any real game experience in college football. Huguenin lists the starter as "Jesse Scroggins or Anu Solomon", and offers up this explanation for the ranking:
"This is the final go-round for Scroggins, who began his career at USC. Solomon, a redshirt freshman, is the better runner, but Scroggins is the better passer and has at least a modicum of mobility. Arizona has a nice group of wide receivers, so it makes sense for Scroggins to win the job because of his arm."
I get the point on Scroggins, but leaving Connor Brewer out of the discussion seems a little disingenuous to the situation, considering he has game experience, albeit in high school, with DaVonte' Neal, and has spent the last two years with Cayleb Jones at Texas and on the Arizona scout team.
But back to the list itself. Arizona ranks just behind Miami (ok), Boston College (wut), and...oh, UNLV is at 81. We all know how great UNLV's offense looked last year, with Nick Sherry going 6-of-22 for 111 yards and two picks. Sherry was benched after that, and UNLV made a bowl game. So having Sherry back makes them better? Ok.
Here's a look at how the rest of the Pac-12 teams stack up on this list.
2. Oregon Ducks
6. UCLA Bruins
31. USC Trojans
60. Utah Utes
Cal definitely feels too high. Washington State and Stanford maybe a little bit too. And USC a little low.
So that makes Arizona last in the conference by a lot. What this doesn't take into account is the offensive line and the receiving corps. Arizona's offensive line has the most experience in the Pac-12 South, and only trails Washington and Oregon in the North.
Combine that experience with the new group of receivers, and whoever plays quarterback should be able to succeed. The running game won't be the same as it was with Ka'Deem Carey, but there are speed threats with either Neal or Cameron Denson or Samajie Grant getting sweep plays out of the backfield to counteract whoever becomes the starting tailback.
But this isn't the same quarterback situation Arizona had heading into last season. Scroggins, Brewer, and Solomon have all been in the RichRod system longer than B.J. Denker had been, and they all have stronger, more accurate arms.
Whoever does win the quarterback job has all the pieces set up around them to succeed and maybe surprise some people.