This is my mailbag. There are many like it, but his one is mine. Follow the fun with me on Twitter.
To the notes!
Jim in Los Angeles writes: Seems to me as a UCLA fan, that Klemm should be out of a job. With the offensive line's production being lackluster all three years he's been the coach, his one redeeming quality was that he could recruit. Now it looks like he couldn't even do that without breaking the rules.
Kevin Gemmell: Not even going to speculate as to what Klemm did until the facts are out there. That he’s been suspended suggests it was probably more than buying someone lunch or making an extra phone call. But to what extent? I don’t know. So I won’t pass judgment on someone else’s employment.
Interestingly enough, if you look at the quarterbacks sacked the most over that stretch (2012-14), the “bottom” 21 also includes Sean Mannion (73), Connor Halliday (72), Marcus Mariota (66), Keith Price (65), Cody Kessler (62) and Jared Goff (58). UCLA’s 125 is a huge number, but the list of Pac-12 quarterbacks also suggests that there are some pretty aggressive defenses in the Pac-12. And in the last three seasons, the league has averaged 2.58 sacks per game. The ACC is the next closest with 2.26 sacks per game.
Also, I think it’s worth noting that in 2012, Johnathan Franklin rushed for 1,734 yards, 123.9 yards per game and 13 touchdowns, with an average of 6.1 yards per carry. And last year, Paul Perkins led the Pac-12 with 1,575 yards, a 6.3 YPC average and 121.2 yards per game. It can’t be all individual effort. There has to be some decent offensive line play if you lead the league in rushing.
Offensive line can be an easy scapegoat. Easier still when you have an unconventional quarterback like Brett Hundley whose electric style of play can also lend itself to more sacks. For sure, UCLA’s offensive line lacked consistency -- injuries and youth played a huge role in that. But when you look at the production, (wins, a top-5 rushing offense in the conference all three years, etc.) it’s probably not as bad as you think it is.
Sean in Tacoma writes: Now that Cyler Miles is suddenly 100% out of the picture. Who is your best bet for starting QB, at least for the first game against Boise St? I always figured Cyler wouldn't be the starter next season but now with him off the team, is KJ or Jake the next big thing in Washington? I tend to see it fairly 50/50 based on neither having college play time and both with excellent high school careers.
Kevin Gemmell: I wouldn’t say that Miles is “100 percent out of the picture” just yet. 96.4 percent? He’s not suspended. His leave is voluntary. But as Ted hit on in his mailbag last week, and as Adam Jude reported, Miles doesn’t plan to play for Washington next year as of now.
Rather than regurgitating Ted’s response from last week, which I thought was right on point, I think it’s worth noting the difficult hand Chris Petersen has been dealt since coming in.
I think some expected Washington to instantly be a national contender merely by Petersen’s presence. A good friend of mine who writes for a national publication even picked the Huskies to win the North.
But look at what Petersen had to cope with in Year 1: Losing a tremendous leader and probably underappreciated quarterback in Price, a Doak Walker finalist in Bishop Sankey and the Mackey Award winner in Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Yes, he inherited a monster defense. But in this league, you have to score points. It's that simple.
Now in Year 2, the bulk of that defense is gone and he’s starting from scratch again on offense. So he’s already one year in the hole. I hope the Washington fan base gives him time to build things his way and get his team into place, because I believe the long-term trajectory for this program trends up. But 2015 is probably going to be a tough transition year, regardless of who is at quarterback.
Addison in Washington, D.C., writes: I've enjoyed your spring breakdowns by position. Who do you think is going to be the offensive and defensive players of the year next season?
Kevin Gemmell: In this league especially, I think you have to look at quarterbacks first for offensive POY honors. This might be the first time in a while that the Pac-12 trends away from dominant dual-threat guys with Marcus Mariota and Hundley out of the league. Obviously, all of these guys are athletic and can run when chased. But I’m not sure we’re going to have the 500-yard rusher at quarterback this year.
Cody Kessler seems like an obvious first guess, because he returns after putting up big numbers last year and has talented receivers. But I wouldn’t sleep on a Mike Bercovici or a non-quarterback in Paul Perkins.
Defensively, the award has recently gone to hybrid OLBs who get big sack and TFL numbers. What made Scooby Wright so outstanding is that he was getting those numbers -- plus traditional middle linebacker numbers to boot. If he can repeat that production, it will be hard not to give it to him for a second year in a row.
Dave in Salem, Ore., writes: You're my go to analysts/commentators for PAC 12 football...why not PAC12 basketball?
Kevin Gemmell: Because we spend all year working on becoming your go-to analysts for Pac-12 football. That said, I think what Dana Altman has done pretty darn good things. And I think Wayne Tinkle has OSU moving in the right direction. (Not sure which Oregon school you favor, so I gave you vague and non-expert analysis on both.)