The whispers have been growing louder in South Bend, Indiana and now they’ve become to a roar. It shouldn’t be long before local Notre Dame fans are in full torch and pitchfork mode, chasing after the gigantic monster inhabiting the head football coach’s office. Let’s just hope the beast doesn’t try to run away, since I don’t have earthquake insurance at my condo in Bloomington.
After Saturday’s embarrassing, program-crushing, facade-crumbling 23-21 loss to Navy, Notre Dame can forget about going to a BCS bowl this year. That fact alone has probably spelled the end of Charlie Weis’ time at his alma mater. The guy came in with huge fanfare, big promises and a hurricane of hubris but so far his signature achievement was a 34-31 loss to USC in 2005. Weis originally inked a six-year contract when took the Irish job in 2004, but earned an extension just seven games into his tenure. That extension, a 10-year pact worth between $30 and $40 million runs through 2015 and reportedly has a poisonous buyout figure of between $4 and $5 million. Weis’ monstrous, poorly-conceived contract may be the only thing that saves his job this offseason.
Before this season pundits claimed that because of their laughably favorable schedule, the Irish could possibly make a BCS Bowl. At worst, the Domers should have finished with two losses. Notre Dame currently has three losses with three games remaining. In two of those games (at No. 12 Pittsburgh, at Stanford) the Irish will almost certainly be underdogs.
So what record will save Weis’ job? Or can it be saved at this point?
What more does Weis need? He’s had top recruiting classes, top quarterbacks, skilled wideouts, highly-regarded running backs, etc. Where are the results? Is he just awful at developing talent? Sure, at times the Irish have looked great on offense this year, but Weis is a head coach, the offensive side of the ball is just half of the equation. His job is to run an entire team and program. A “decided schematic advantage” means absolutely nothing if your team can’t tackle or plays with absolutely no passion.
He showed up in South Bend talking tough and showing off his Super Bowl rings. Since then he’s produced a 35-24 record, with a 1-2 record in bowl games. The Irish finished ranked No. 11 in 2005, No. 20 in 2006 and haven’t finished in the top 25 since. He also sports an 0-5 record against the hated USC Trojans.
Weis can’t blame anyone but himself for this situation or the fact that the rest of the college football world is reveling in it. After all, he’s the one who talked tough before he’d ever coached a single college football game.