I’m well aware that people either love Notre Dame football or hate it—there is very little grey area there. I happen to love the Fighting Irish, but I think everyone can agree on one thing in regards to Notre Dame football: Charlie Weis needs to go.
In 2005, the University decided to extend Weis’ contract through 2015. Estimates from ESPN.com predict his end of that contract to come out between $30 and $40 million—and ESPN guesses he’s on the higher end of that scale. That makes him one of the highest paid coaches in college football. And for what?
I’ll concede that Weis is a terrific play-caller, and has been since his NFL play-calling days, but that’s about all he’s working with.
He has no control over his team. For those of you out there who live and die each Saturday afternoon by the Fighting Irish, you’re also looking forward to not sweating out the last few minutes of a nail biter with the Irish’s bye on Saturday. But USC is coming up—along with Pitt, Stanford and Boston College. These are not pushover teams.
The way I see it, these past four games, which have all either been decided in the last minute of regulation or over time, could and should have been different. The Irish are a better team than they’ve been playing—they just don’t have a coach.
If Weis were serious about winning games, he would’ve gotten their penalties under control after the Michigan loss, but he hasn’t. The Irish continue to take late hit personal fouls and off sides calls—at home. That is absurd.
Think about how many 10- and 15-yard losses the Irish have taken. They are killing themselves. They are a better team than Michigan, and should’ve buried Purdue, Washington and Michigan State (although I was happy to see ‘little brother’ beat the Wolverines for the second year in a row).
All the talking heads are saying that Weis is on the hot seat, but for me, his chances are up. He took Ty Willingham’s players and had a few great seasons, then came in his class.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Jimmy Clausen is a terrific quarterback and Armando Allen can catch just about anything, but that doesn’t mean much when your line is taking penalty after penalty.
A football coach worth keeping around would have spent the Monday after every eight plus penalty game running his team until they understood, without equivocation, that if they wanted to stay on the field, their total number of penalties needs to come down.
Either Weis isn’t doing this, or the team doesn’t care what he thinks, and neither is a good thing.
Weis should go back to play calling in the NFL, his attempt at head coaching college football just isn’t working out. Notre Dame has the potential to be a ranked team—they just need a leader with them to guide them through the final steps. Until they are willing to take this final step and get a coach who the players know is for real, and who can keep them from shooting themselves in the foot week after week, they will continue to simply be the most overrated team in college football.