Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The Pac-12 has very few quarterback controversies, with at least nine starting quarterbacks returning in 2014. Among them is USC's Cody Kessler, who was embroiled in a springtime competition with since-transferred Max Wittek.
Despite finishing 2013 strong, Kessler may again be competing for his job with the arrival of a new coaching staff and changes coming to the offense.
New USC head coach Steve Sarkisian alluded to a competition in an interview with ESPN.com, via College Football Talk.
I think it’s a great opportunity for Max [Browne] to feel like there’s a crack in the door and let’s see how far he can take it. I think it’s a unique opportunity for Cody [Kessler] to continue to improve because Max is going to give him all he’s got.
The spring season marks one full year for Browne in the program, so he should be much further along than when he was a distant third to Kessler and Wittek in preseason camp. It's also worth noting Sarkisian recruited Browne to Washington.
This is a competition of production vs. potential. Browne's ceiling is high, but Kessler improved each week last season and was a more than capable game manager by year's end. The quarterback who can master the intricacies of Sarkisian's hurry-up play-calling will have the upper hand.
This isn't necessarily USC's most intriguing position battle, but it will gain the most attention.