Charlie Weis on the hot seat at Notre Dame
By S.C. Zuba
After a devastating double-overtime loss to Connecticut last Saturday (Nov. 21) in South Bend, Ind., all fingers point to Notre Dame’s head coach Charlie Weis.
Weis has been on the hot seat all season as the Fighting Irish fought to regain their once-dominant place atop the BCS standings.
There was a time when Notre Dame was at the top of the college football world, right next to schools like USC, Florida and, at the time, Michigan. But now, the lowly Irish are looking for answers.
The Irish currently sit at 6-5—a record Weis stated simply wasn’t good enough when he was hired as head coach in 2004.
“I still agree with that,” Weis said Sunday, Nov. 22. “If they decide to make a change, I’d have to say I’d have a tough time arguing with them. Because 6-5 isn’t good enough.”
He is right; 6-5 just doesn’t cut it for Notre Dame. Weis also pointed out many of the team’s losses this year have been close games.
“We’ve lost five games by a touchdown or less, and several three-point games right down to the wire,” Weis said. “My intent is to be here. But if that were the rationale, it’d be tough for me to argue with that point.”
Before the start of the Connecticut game, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Weis’s future had not yet been determined. But after the loss Saturday, I would say it would be tough to argue that Weis will be in South Bend next season.
Next year could be a big transition year for the Irish if juniors Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate choose to skip their senior season and enter the NFL draft.
Neither player has publicly announced his plans for next season.
“I don’t know,” Tate said after setting new single-season receiving records with 83 catches and 1,295 yards so far in 2009. “I’m just trying to get wins. Just worrying about next week and, come December, (Weis) and I, and my family, we’ll talk about what the future is and all the different possibilities. Right now, I’m trying to get it done for the seniors.”
Clausen offered similar sentiments.
“I haven’t talked to my family, coach Weis or anybody about the future,” Clausen said. “I’m going to go in, watch the tape, see what I could have done better in the game, and get ready to go out to California and play Stanford.”
If both players decide to enter the draft, the Irish could fall into a long and painful process of rebuilding with a brand-new head coach.
Share your thoughts with S.C. Zuba via e-mail at email@example.com.
From the November 25-December 1, 2009 issue
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