NDN Features

Rock's House | Cartier Field | Back Room | Political | Career | The Pit | Alumni Events | McGraw's Bench | Jake's Field | Jackson's Rink | Olympic | Fantasy Sports | Chat

NDNation.com Staff: Scott Engler - Michael Cash - John Vannie - Mike Coffey - Kayo - Bacchus

Friday, August 07, 2009

Past Performance, Future Results

posted by Scott Engler

(The Rock Report) - Of the many challenges confronting businesses, one of the hardest is how to accurately forecast the future to make business decisions now. So many variables have changed that our old reliable indicators aren't much use right now. Many indicators, which traditionally have been forward looking indicators, are, because of the economic shifts and nature of the recession, probably now lagging indicators. For instance, consumer spending has traditionally led us out of recessions, but given how over-extended consumers have become, they're probably going to lag the recovery this time.

Likewise so many things have changed about Notre Dame Football from 2007 to 2009, I'm finding it hard to look at 2007 and 2008 and extrapolate forward. We've just come through the worst senior talent level deficit I've seen (and most have ever seen) on a Notre Dame team. I can't find one instance of any team performing well with so few and untalented (by recruiting standards) upperclassmen on the roster. One can certainly make a very valid case, as I have before, that Notre Dame should have performed better than it did, but I can't find a relevant comparison point... anywhere. The closest I can come to is death penalty teams.

In other words, I have a very low degree of confidence that 2007 and 2008 are good indicators of coaching success going forward because there's no comparable benchmark. And coaches who did perform well in the past aren't exactly lighting it up on the field now. For example, Notre Dame fans were very high on Steve Spurrier in the past, but it doesn't appear Spurrier is at the top of anyone's coaching wish list now

Whispers of a whole new level of talent on the field, a better attitude and player strides are pretty normal fare for this time of year, but the difference is, that for the first time since 2005, those whispers are actually supported by the facts. The numbers of upperclassmen are double what they were and the talent in them is at a level that exceeds 2005.

We've made coaching changes that many of us have been clamoring for. Jappy Oliver and John Latina are rightly out after years of under performance. Mike Haywood is a great guy, but he and Weis did not see eye to eye and that affected the team's cohesion. Importantly, there are now upperclassmen who can assume leadership roles; the prior classes just didn't have the talent and numbers to effectively lead. It's hard to lead as a class when everyone knows the future is in the underclassmen ranks, there was a distinct separation on this team between the upper and lower classes.

Given the large upgrades in talent, coaching and maturity, even cynical watchers who've endured the pain of the last two years, are raising expectations. The fundamentals are there for a turnaround.

Additionally, Weis and his staff seemed to have survived the news vacuum that led to a wave of negative recruiting against Notre Dame. In the absence of any other news, opposing coaches (led by Urban Meyer) hammered ND for having an unstable coaching situation. You would think Urban would be able to recruit on his own positive performance at this point, but all's fair and he'll pay the price for playing that card if things turn around. We're, without winning on the field, in the top 10 in recruiting right now. If Notre Dame starts winning (and we're still in on five-star players at Running Back, Wide Receiver, Defensive Line, Linebacker and Defensive back) the Irish could very well land another top 5 class.

In other words, the worst appears to be behind us. Even the schedule looks favorable. I'm expecting cautious optimism to be replaced by enthusiasm around the country (even those ESPN guys) and Notre Dame to emerge as a dark horse pick in many circles, which should have a positive effect on recruiting in the coming month.

I don't expect this to be a year without some tough spots, but a 2-3 loss year or better is looking increasingly likely. I'd say the odds are pretty high Weis will be back in 2010. The challenge is to identify what matters now as an indicator. The talent level is unquestionably high. The schedule isn't daunting. Was Weis in 2005 the real indicator of potential or Weis in 2007 and 2008? Tough to call, but what's obvious is that he's playing a much better hand in 2009.

Of course, all of this is speculation, but it's all we have right now.

"I read this book when it first came out and it had a very powerful impact on me. Recently my daughter was going through a rough time and I thought this book would be just the ticket to help her and guess what? She called and thanked me after she read it and passed it to her sister who also got a lot out of it and she just gave it to her husband to read. Now my other 2 daughters are demanding to read it. It can have a pretty powerful impact on the young and the not so young."

"As a son, a father and now a grandfather I found ten secrets a truly inspiring book. I read it cover to cover within an hour. My only regret is that the book was much too short.":

"""""""This book is one of the best that I have read. It is simple, meaningful and life changing. It was recommended to me by a priest as one of the best books that he has read. Not a religious book- but many positive, powerful thoughts."
| More


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we're in for a big surprise this year. We're going to be at least as good as 2006... maybe better.

8/07/2009 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we do what we did in 2006, 3 loses that will not surprise anyone. Vegas has Notre Dame going 9-3 this season. This is what is expected of Notre Dame this season.

This season will be huge for Weis. We should know for sure what type of coach he is after this season. If Weis loses 4 or more games this season he should be fired immediately. There is no excuse for losing that many games against what's probably the weakest Notre Dame schedule in a long time. If on the other hand Weis goes 11-1 or 10-2 he deserves to hang around.

What I'm worried about is the following type of season: Notre Dame goes 9-3 but gets blown out by USC and loses two of the following games: michigan, michigan state, pitt, stanford, boston college. At the same time we struggle to beat a couple of teams and then lose our bowl game. If that happens would Weis deserve another season? If we continue to struggle running the ball and our offensive line does not improve I think Weis should be canned under this scenario.

There is nothing that could happen this year that would surprise me. Notre Dame could win anywhere from 7-11 games. It all comes down to how good of a coach Weis is. We shall see by November.

8/07/2009 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, 2006 results would be just great with this schedule. Then again.................

Why has the bar been lowered so much that now 2005/6 are considered good years. 3 losses is never good enough at Notre Dame, and especially with the talent we have on hand.

3 losses should merit conversations about replacements IMO.

8/07/2009 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

I predicted on UHND two years ago when we signed Clausen that we would have 2 dominant years for Charlie and Co. during Jimmy's Junior and Senior seasons. I think this team has the talent and makeup and hunger to run the table. I believe a 9-3 season would be a disapointent. The biggest game of Charlie Weis's career is this years USC game. The Irish need to play smash mouth football combined with an aerial attack to give USC defenders fits. We need to keep them on the field and beat the crap out of them a la 93 Florida State. If they stay focused and hungry which I think they are we are going to witness the start of the next Notre Dame Dynasty! GO IRISH WIN TITLE!!!

8/07/2009 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you enthusiasm, David, but that kind of ridiculousness is what gets ND fans in trouble in any national discussion about football. Title? Cmon. We need 9 wins to stay relevant; 10 wins puts us back on the national radar. Talk of Titles just lacks any reasonable objectivity.

8/07/2009 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous DB said...

You can overanalyze as much as you want. Own the line of scrimage and we win 10 games easy in 2009. The problem is, Weis does not subscribe to that theory, which is why such talent is 10-15 the last 2 years. Don't try to tell me that low numbers or talent level caused us to lose to Navy and Syracuse. 50% of the coaches in the NCAA could have taken 22 of our best players and won both of those games.

8/07/2009 05:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notwithstanding the beaten-wife syndrome too many ND fans seemingly suffer from -- the Rock included -- 9-3 is simply not good enough (as Weis himself has noted) and frankly, neither is 11-1; a national championship is the only goal and anything else is a failure, especially at this point in time. So, can somebody please explain how Weiss will ever find a way to win a NC if he cannot find a way to do so this year -- a year in which he has tons of veteran talent, an experienced and talented QB, and an easy schedule (which even includes a home game against a USC team that is replacing its QB and many guys on D)?

8/07/2009 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Big Chuck loses more than 1 game this year, I no longer will support his retention as head football coach at ND. I've gone from CW supporter to fence sitter to put-up or shut-up (....please.)

K Camblin '88 ND

8/07/2009 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an interesting indicator, the Notre Dame 2004 season. A lot of quality comparisons to the 2008 squad. 6-6 season, 3 close loses to BC, Pitt, & BYU, a blowout loss to USC (not much of a comparison there since it seems to happen every year), a 3.3 ypc average, 1529 total rushing yards compared to 1426 from the 08 squad, and very similar QB statitics such as TD/INT ratio and completion percentage.
I hope ND makes the same improvement as it did from the 04 to the 05 team. For that to happen a lot of attention has been given to the OL, but if you look at the 05 season the team's ypc only increased from 3.3 to 3.6. However the team significantly improved and I think that has almost all to do with the huge step forward that Brady Quinn took. That's why I believe the 09 season hinges on Jimmy Clausen. The pieces around him our better than they were with BQ, but if his IT factor doesn't develop I don't know if we'll see the same results.
God I hate this time of year. The excitement is overwhelming, but if there is one tried and true season indicatior during the Weis Era it's the very first game of the season. We'll know what we're dealing with after Nevada.

8/08/2009 02:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous who questioned David's enthusiasm. Why should we not be thinking title? Lou took the team from 8-4 to 12-0. It's certainly plausible with the right coaching, leadership from the players, and this schedule, we should be talking about it. Hell, we are Notre Dame. Winning it all should ALWAYS be the goal.

Go Irish! F#ck Michigan! Beat Everyone!

8/08/2009 03:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just as big a ND fan as everyone on this board, but some of you are insane.

Fire him if we lose once? Please...
I'm no die-hard Weis-supporter, but those are the kinds of insane expectations that get coaches like Tuberville fired.

If we go something like 7-5 or even 8-4, I can see discussions about moving on. But fire him at 11-1 or 10-2? Insanity.

B Marley '05

8/10/2009 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone said anything about firing him for one loss. But, 9-3 is simply unacceptable. Weis has been terrible the past two years and he has personally lost several games with this fair weather squad.

If Weis doesn't go 10-2 or better he should be replaced, it is that simple. I'll never understand why ND fans won't just admit that we were probably wrong about this guy. Don't take it so personally, we were wrong and ESPN and everyone else was right. I hate ESPN too, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Oh, and if those clowns we have at RB don't step it up a bit this year, I'd like to see Cierre Wood early and often. Enough with Armando Allen running into tacklers like he is a tackler magnet. Seriously, have you ever seen a guy with less field vision?

8/10/2009 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

I want to disagree with the commment that Weis has been terrible the last 2 years. I don't think he has been terrible. We all know the about the Willingham Effect just look at poor Washington going 0-12. Now let's give Charlie a clean slate. 2 good years and 2 bad years now lets see what he does with his defensive players before we make any conclusions on his ability as a big time College Head Coach. My thoughts are that this team needs a real spark like the fight that happened before the Miami game back in the day. I'm looking for Olsen and Toryan Smith to lead the way in this department because this team needs to play with a nasty streak and channel some Zorich/Bill Laimbeer energy and just beat the crap out of Mich, Mich St, Purdue, BC, USC and everybody else. The hunger is there now we need more fire! Charlie is our coach a ND Alum, I would rather trust him in our most dire hour than someone like Pete Poodle or Urban Meyer, you people lack faith and its disturbing. I suggest getting off your asses and going to the Grotto and start praying so you can make a spirtual contribution to this teams 2009 Championship Season. Go Irish Kill S*#^ All Year!!!

8/11/2009 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"9-3 is simply not good enough (as Weis himself has noted) and frankly, neither is 11-1; a national championship is the only goal and anything else is a failure."

That was the post I was referring to.

I guess my larger argument is you can't gauge a coach or a season simply by your W's and L's at the end of the season. If Weis looks like Willingham (which he has at times) and we go 9-3, then yeah, I will continue to support moving forward. But it'd be foolish to move on if we are 9-3 with a win over USC or something of that nature.

B Marley '05

8/11/2009 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year, a day or 2 after CW said 2008 was the year to 'pound it,' UND.com interviewed Schwapp. Schwapp was asked how excited he was to be the starting FB on a team with a 'pound it' philosophy. Schwapp had not heard the goal for 2008 was to run the ball. That told me it isn't about the players, it's about the coaches getting the team prepared.

8/11/2009 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone wants to be an apologist for the poor performance of Weis' last two teams. Man up!!! The fact of the matter is the Notre Dame let Urban Meyer slip through their grasp and wound up with a guy who is well-suited to the pro game but not well suited to picking coaches, recruiting or coaching college kids. Was ND bereft of talent the last two years? Sure. But a great coach finds a way. ND's schemes the last two years have been awful. The O has no imagination and doesn't appropriately leverage its greatest strengths. The D doesn't intimidate anyone and would likely get pushed around by South Bend H.S. And the worst part? How arrogant Coach Weis is. But pride, as they say, comes before the fall, and Weis and N.D. have fallen. They are no longer part of the national discussion and rarely land prized recruits like Teo.

8/12/2009 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

WOW! Anonymous you are really a glass half full kind of guy aren't you! When regimes change there is turmoil. Charlie had the benefit of the better Willingham recruiting classes. Once Willingham bottomed out with his last two classes that spelled doom for ND the last 2 years. Football is won in the trenches and Ty left us with nothing resembling a good offensive line. If you can't block you aren't going to be able to pass or run the ball which means you aren't going to win. We have arguably the best 5 offensive line players in a long time on the line right now. I am excited to see how Duncan, Stewart, Olsen, Robinson, and Young dominate opposing defensive lines. Your pessimism is unfortunate and you obviously don't follow recruiting because if you did you would realize that we have a ton of top notch talent. Let see, Dayne Crist, Cierre Wood, Jimmy Clausen, Michael Floyd, Golden Tate, Chris Martin, Kyle Rudolph, Mike Ragone, Sam Young, Armando Allen, Harrison Smith, Darius Fleming, Ethan Johnson and the list goes on! These recruits were all highly sought after so I really don't know where you are coming from. Frankly there is no need for Irish Fans like you, if you are even an Irish Fan as you seem more like a BC guy. As far as the D being intimidating just watch this next season. Charlie finally has HIS Defensive Players. Defense wins championships and we finally have our Monsters that will strike fear into opposing teams. Look out for Ian Williams and Hafis Williams to have a great year in the middle. Brian Smith is the heart and soul of the defense and I can guarantee you he will wreak havoc in Tenuta's system. GO IRISH!

8/12/2009 12:28:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home