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

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Irish Fall in Second Overtime

posted by John Vannie
Andre Dixon waltzed into the end zone in the second overtime period to give the University of Connecticut a 33-30 victory over the beleaguered Irish on Senior Day at Notre Dame. The hosts started fast and held a 14-0 lead early in the contest, but the determined Huskies wore down the Irish with steady, physical play after Jordan Todman’s 96-yard kickoff return tied the score at 17 in the third quarter. Notre Dame dropped to 6-5 on the season and removed any doubt that Charlie Weis will coach his last game for the Irish next week at Stanford.

The game followed a familiar script for Notre Dame. I was reminded of the November 2008 losses to Pittsburgh and Syracuse in which the Irish failed to put away blue collar teams and paid the price late in the closing moments. UConn stayed close enough to maintain its game plan of smash mouth football, which kept undue pressure from quarterback Zach Frazer.

The Huskies were clearly the better team from the second quarter until Dixon brought down the curtain, but it took a gift from the Notre Dame defense to get them jump-started. Trailing 14-0 early in the second period, UConn was about to go three and out when a personal foul penalty on Sergio Brown turned a punting situation into a first down near midfield. Todman burst through the arm-tackling Irish moments later for a 43-yard touchdown to get his team back in the game.

UConn’s secondary covered well and forced the Irish passing game to the outside where Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate and Michael Floyd could inflict only minimal damage. The result was that Notre Dame could not sustain a drive in its three possessions during the second quarter. Meanwhile, the Husky running game began to pick up steam after a slow start, and UConn added a field goal before halftime to trail by only 14-10.

It appeared that the tide would turn back toward the Irish in the third quarter. They took the kickoff and quickly moved downfield before running into a fourth down and short yardage situation. Armando Allen burst through the line for 26 yards into scoring territory, but the drive stalled and David Ruffer came on to kick a short field goal. This felt like a victory for Connecticut, who may have had to take more risks if they trailed by two scores instead of one. As it turned out, Todman tied the game seconds later when he brought back the ensuing kickoff.

As the game moved into the fourth quarter, a promising effort by Notre Dame to regain control hit a snag when Michael Floyd fumbled at the Husky 14 yard line. The defense held and the Irish got the ball back in good field position, but a Clausen pass to Floyd on third down fell incomplete inside the red zone. Once again, Notre Dame could only gain a three point margin with 10:47 remaining.

The Huskies fought back in a most unconventional way – through the air. After a fourth down conversion near midfield on a gutsy call by Edsall, Frazer uncorked a deep sideline pass to Marcus Easley. UConn’s hopes of taking its first lead in the game died on the next play when Brian Smith stepped in front of Frazer’s pass in the end zone to preserve Notre Dame’s 20-17 advantage.

Despite the fact that its defense was on the field for most of the second half, UConn stuffed the Irish once again and regained possession at their own 48. The Husky ground game was in high gear at this point as Todman and Dixon ripped through Notre Dame’s backpedaling defenders. Dixon appeared to score on two separate plays during the drive, but each was called back due to a holding penalty. The result was that the Huskies had to settle for a tying field goal with 1:10 left in regulation.

The stage was set for Clausen to drive his team to victory in the closing seconds, but Allen was stripped of the ball from behind after catching a screen pass in his own territory. UConn recovered at the Irish 41 and had 49 seconds to get into position for the victory. The first phase of the plan worked when Dixon covered 21 yards in two plays, but Dave Teggart hooked the potential game winning kick from 37 yards as the fourth quarter expired.

Both teams scored touchdowns in the first overtime. Frazer, who had accuracy problems throughout the day, surprised everyone with quite possibly the most important play of the game when he hit Kashif Moore with an 11-yard touchdown pass. This well-thrown ball came on a third down play when memories of his previous interception were still fresh. Clausen held serve with consecutive passes to Floyd that tied the game at 27, and the Irish started the second overtime on offense.

UConn’s secondary came through again with a pass breakup on third down, so Notre Dame settled for a 36-yard field goal by Ruffer. The crowd was uneasy despite the 30-27 Irish advantage, and UConn’s offense trotted onto the field with palpable confidence. After an incomplete pass intended to catch Notre Dame off guard, Edsall kept the ball on the ground. Todman covered nine yards on second down and Dixon converted a third and one before scoring untouched two plays later from the four yard line.

Once again, the winning team played more physical football on both sides of the ball. UConn operated at a disadvantage with the relatively shaky Frazer at quarterback, but Todman and Dixon bridged the gap by rushing for 244 yards on 46 carries. While Clausen and his receivers were statistically productive, Notre Dame managed only six points in the final three quarters of regulation.

As has been the case throughout the Weis era, the opponent enjoyed a distinct edge in the performance of its special teams. Todman’s kickoff return and the explosive punt returns by Robert McClain were evidence of good coaching in this area. UConn’s coverage units were also outstanding in stark contrast to their Irish counterparts.

Let’s review the questions we raised in the preview that helped determine the outcome:

Will the Irish be able to keep Witten from adding to his impressive sack total? Witten had only one sack, but the Huskies were still able to rush four linemen all day and drop into coverage. A fourth quarter sack by Kendall Reyes enabled UConn to tie the game at 20.

Can Frazer control his nerves and deliver a quality performance? Frazer was only 12 of 25 and looked to be shaky under the blitz, but his touchdown pass in overtime was a big time throw.

Will Clausen be asked to throw 40 passes? Clausen threw exactly 40 passes in regulation, while the Irish ground game managed only 123 yards in 35 attempts.

Can Notre Dame’s defense neutralize UConn’s rushing attack? Yes, but only in the first quarter. After that, the dogs were out and barking up a storm.

Will the Huskies be able to capitalize on their distinct advantage in the punting game? Notre Dame’s Ben Turk actually out-punted his acclaimed Husky rival. It was the return game that killed the Irish in this contest.

Will the importance of Senior Day be sufficient motivation for the Irish to match UConn’s all-out effort? Notre Dame showed solidarity and emotion at the start, but UConn was a more determined bunch at the end.

The 33-30 loss was a bitter pill for the Irish players, but it will have no impact on the future of their head coach. All signs before and after the game pointed to a change at the helm, and the Notre Dame fan base is already swimming in speculation. The next head coach will likely have to move forward without Clausen and Tate, but the bigger problem will be a restoration of physical play and mental toughness that has been absent in recent seasons.

Stanford is the last stop in this season of unfulfilled expectations, and a 6-6 finish seems almost certain. An 0-4 November would not be surprising given the team’s poor fundamentals, but the reality of losses to programs the Irish should beat routinely is clearly unacceptable. The larger question is whether the stewards of the program at Notre Dame have the wisdom, courage or even the inclination to fix the problem. The clock is ticking, and we are waiting for an answer.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a bitter, bitter, time. Only an admin that chooses a path of mediocrity could make it more bitter. Is it time for changes in fundamental ND football philosophy in addition to a coaching change?

11/22/2009 01:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sort of ironic that in Willingham's last Spring at ND, Charlie Weis visited the school and told the team they were soft.

11/22/2009 04:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A suggestion: If ND owes Weis $18 million.....Charlie should take $9 million, and ND & Charlie should jointly announce that the other $9 million will be given to Food Banks in major cities throughout the U.S. prior to Christmas. ND wins, Charlie wins, and all could feel good about the events of the next two weeks.

An ND Alum

11/22/2009 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous James said...

For the 9th time this season, we had the lesser talent on the field. Outside of the 3 guys we have on offense, UConn is much better than we are.

For the 11th time this season, CW shows he really just does not know!

I thought CW had reached the low point in his halftime interviews earlier this year when he talked about the 'wheel route' that has beaten us many times this year, but yesterday's attempt at humor and cuteness over the "I was the last to know' about the inter-locking arms parade at the beginning of the game was a new nadir for ND coaches. At least BS didn't stomp through the UConn players like he did last week.

The clip on NBC of him making his '6-5 is not good enough' speech from the time of his hire was timely and a reminder of how terribly cocky he was. Amazing how humble he appeared yesterday when explaining how badly he felt for the seniors.

The bottom line is that we have bad football players with a few great ones. Please ignore all future recruiting news that shows us signing all these great kids. Remember when CW said that JA was going to be a superstar? I think he was in the backfield for one play yesterday. CW does not know!

My father was right ten years ago when he said we should join the Ivy League. This is the depth to which we have fallen.

Go Irish!

11/22/2009 08:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all know that we have been cheated out of a number of plays this year from the replay booth. Yesterday's game, however, showed us that officials are unable to handle the pressure. Did you notice the measurement after on the first series of OT, when the ball was clearly marked over the 15 yard-line? Under what circumstances could this not have been a first down? At least it showed that the first down chains exactly match the distance between the 25 and 15 yard lines!

Of course we never hear about this kind of stuff, but this crew should be forced to explain this decision.

Also, why must we always agree to have the opposition's conferences officials?

11/22/2009 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sad, but I recall the last game of Faust's tenure (yeah I am an older alum) when Miami humiliated the Irish 51 or 56-7 in the Orange Bowl. I fear that is how the Weis era will end next week at Stanford. But just as Lou was hired to resurrect the program, maybe Jenkins and Swarbrick will find the right man to return the Irish to glory. We can only pray. Oh and don't feel too sorry for CW -- he will be laughing all the way to the bank.

11/22/2009 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous DillonDomer94 said...

I would like to see Coach Weis leave with some dignity and to accomplish that, he should resign today or tomorrow, showing that he truly does care about his alma mater. The question is: has that thought even entered his mind? Does he even possess the self-introspection necessary to realize that he is ultimately responsible for Notre Dame's football failures? I don't know that he does . . .

11/22/2009 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Sergio committed yet another useless personal foul, I commented to anyone listening that this was the Weis era and now CONN will close the gap and ND will struggle to win the game. However, it should have been ND winning by 30 or more without the penalty, but such blown plays collapsing the team are a trademark of Weis football.

I can imagine Weis landing at Cleveland in some offensive capacity in an attempt for the Browns to save face for Brady Quinn. I was shocked at his delivery against Baltimore, when did he change his release?

ND AD, please do not even offer Urban Meyer the job. Run a pro style offense where the quarterback is not at risk from running and get the offensive recruits who see pro football in their future, as Weis showed is possible at ND. Find a real defensive coordinator or offer someone like Saban the head coaching job.

The Weis legacy is precisely what is should be-arrogance signals insecurity and he leaves with some of the worst stats in ND coaching history, to include two losses to Navy when they are not a national power, the worst start and most losses for an ND team in a season, etc. The only thing really nasty about ND football (I don't want a coach who needs players to be nasty, as highly competitive is sufficient to win) is Weis' attitude and the gaping hole he leaves in the sports budget.

11/22/2009 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never get upset when Notre Dame loses to better talent and coaching, and my most pleasurable moments are when Notre Dame teams with less talent upset the favorite team. In the last few years we have the talent but have lost the leadership to create the will to win called "The Luck Of The Irish". Paul Hornung won the Heisman with a team having a mediocre season. I think history should repeat. I will leave the decision of what changes should be made to FR. Jenkins and our A. D. but I stongly suggest they check the turf, in my opinion its slippery conditon cost our loses to USC and Uconn.

11/22/2009 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Harry Collins said...

I've joked previously that what CW meant in his introductory presser about ND being "nasty" was an acrononym for "Not As Sorry As Ty." Well, today, they are not NASTY, officially sorrier than Ty, just a crappy middle of the road D1 program, which they have been for a long time. The heralded recruting class of Clausen Tate and Allen is now 16-20 for their careers, which underscores the fact that the ND recruiting classes are as perennially overrated as the team itself. I swear if ND took a piss the AP voters and NBC would marvel at the thick stream. Amzaing.

11/22/2009 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also ironic that Charlie started his career here by saying that "6 and 5 isn't good enough..." Another game where the team seemed to be going through the motions. I watched the team from home. So if someone who was there can correct me please do. But I felt no urgency or motivation from the team yesterday at any point of the game. Also, I think what frustrates me the most is the players continued support of Weis. I understand their feelings for him. But shouldn't they also be upset at their continued lack of performance and mediocre program? Jimmy came here wanting 4 championship rings. This team couldn't even win the Commander in Chief trophy! I don't get it.

11/22/2009 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlie Weis has got to go, the guy may be good on offense but he is a terrible head coach, Notre Dame is not better than they were in Charlie's first year. It is time for a change.

11/22/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone is an expert. A commentator on one of the ESPN shows Saturday night asked the question why would Kelly at Cinci leave a position paying $2-3 million to go to ND for $5 million where the wolves are just waiting to tear him apart. Whoever takes the position is going to have a drastically depleted team and a mediocre recruiting class coming in. I want Weis to leave for his own health and well being. The same fate awaits his replacement. At best the 2010 Irish Team will be 8-4, but a lesser record is probable.

11/22/2009 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger pete said...

When Charlie came in he said one quick way to improve a team is Special Teams play...we are still waiting.
My vote is for Jim Harbaugh.

11/22/2009 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In some ways, this all comes to a just end for CW. There is a kind of bizarre synchronism at work here. CW as a student called Fr. Hesburgh and asked for a meeting to complain about Dan Devine after a 2 or 3 loss season??? Gimme a break. CW has had more chances than anyone to get this program back.The arrogance and narcissism that characterized CW's coaching career at ND were on full display when he was a student. Somebody should have taken notice of that before offering him a 10 year contract.

11/22/2009 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The larger question is whether the stewards of the program at Notre Dame have the wisdom, courage or even the inclination to fix the problem."

THAT is the real question, isn't it?

I'm done here for the season. Keep it real, NDNation. And for you posters who "pray" for this or that to happen: save your prayers for life's important matters.


11/22/2009 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the discussion here about our overrated recruiting classes- many casual ND fans should do themselves a pretty big favor and become familiar with the concept that recruiting rankings exist only to sell recruiting magazines and subscriptions to recruiting sites. That's why ND, USC, Texas, Miami, etc. never drop too low. The fan bases would get annoyed and stop spending money to read about all the awesome players their team just picked up! I'm not saying this means classes from those schools are always overrated- sometimes they might be, and other times they might not be. But please understand that recruiting classes get ranked for one reason and one reason only- so people will spend money to read about them. It sure seems like CW's classes are overrated at this point, doesn't it?

11/22/2009 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an ND fan no matter what the case. I am tired of all of these 'fans' that need to switch teams. I am in the stadium for about all home games and as I look around and I come to the realization that people just want to complain and not cheer. Why do we get loud a couple times a game and even then we wait until the quarterback already has the play in and called to get loud. Is it so hard to cheer for more than a minute? How long does it take to complain about everything going on in the program? As 'fans' we are giving these boys no emotional lift, I would say that as fans we could have helped win a game or two. Charlie Weis's comments about the team being soft under Willingham should have been twoards the fans, as well as the Boston College fans chanting at our team that they have no heart. It is the fans that have no heart and it is being reflected in the program.

The philosophy of the fans needs to change, do expect mediocraty and do not just berate the team that is for the opponents.

I believe there is a statement that all true fans know and should start adhering to:
"Cheer Cheer for ol NOTRE DAME!!!'

Fan for Free

11/22/2009 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Has Notre Dame won an important 3rd quarter this year or in any other years under Charlie? Uconn beat us in the 3rd, Michigan did, Washington did, USC (obviously) did, BC did, Navy basically did, and Pitt did. Do I have to even mention our 3rd quarter performances last year? Does anyone care to remember 3rd quarters against UNC, MSU, Pitt, BC, USC, and even SDSU!? (Note: in many of these instances, Notre Dame was held scoreless.) Do we give up after the first half or just decide to show up every Saturday in the last 15 minutes of the game? What could our lack of peformance in the 3rd quarter be attributed to? Is Notre Dame making ANY adjustments in the locker room? If they are making adjustments, are the adjustments they are making not the wrong ones? Are the opposing coaches making better adjustments? Is Charlie just being out-schemed and out coached? What is said in that locker room at half-time can never be known and nor should it; however, quite frankly, I'm tired of sitting through half time, nervous that the game is still in question because of horrendous 3rd quarter performances... I'm also sick of watching Peter King at half time. This is just my plea for heart, hustle, or anything in a 3rd quarter from a Notre Dame Football team.

11/22/2009 01:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As there is little chance Weis will return, I hope this site offers a short list of replacements soon.

I note that Swarbrick states money will not be an issue, which suggests Weis may have already agreed not to hold ND accountable for the full payout. It is his alma mater and the damage may be too severe if he does--possibly just one year and if he gets hired somewhere else not even that.

Apparently Meyer still holds the door to ND open, if the press is right. I believe Kelley at CINN would take the job, but maybe he is third choice. Probably a coach who has Pro experience is best, as the top players dream of a pro career and Weis seemed to use that effectively, from accounts of his recruiting.

11/22/2009 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Irish Sting said...

Let see, we better lock
Charlie up for ten more years less the Pro teams take him away from us. Hummm! Would they come now! Charlie out foxed the Ad for a lot of $$$$$$$$$$. Will he now step aside and donate toward the next coach and assistants coming in? Who do you vote for as a replacement?

My vote goes for Brian Kelly a true Irish Winner.

11/22/2009 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:03 and the rest of the crowd that thinks that we do not have good recruits. ND is not always highly ranked in recruiting. Under Ty and the last couple Davie years, we were ranked very poorly. Also, do you think the recruiting analysts are lying, or are they just wrong? Also, are recruiting evaluators accurate when evaluating USC, FLA, Texas, Alabama, and OK and inaccurate when it comes to ND? That makes sense. Also, please note that the recruits are rated BEFORE they commit to various schools. So are you suggesting that the recruiting evaluators are able to predict ahead of time where the kids will commit, thereby enabling them to selectively overrate particular recruiting classes by overrating the kids? That also makes sense! If that is the case, I'm not even mad. I'm impressed. I think it is more likely that our players are not taught any blocking or tackling technique because CW was too busy teaching them his decided schematic advantage.

11/22/2009 02:31:00 PM  
Anonymous John Moore '69 said...

Am I the only one who thinks Ga Tech Coach Paul Johnson could turn around the fortunes of the Irish? He did very well at Navy and is having a great season at Tech. I vote for him!

11/22/2009 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word "hubris" comes to mind whenever I think of CW: the "excessive pride and ambition that leads to the downfall of a hero in classical tragedy." Hmmmm... sounds like ND football. CW arrived flashing his SuperBowl rings and expectations that he would lead his 20-somethings to the BCS Promised Land. They all bit. And the hubris was contagious: Jimmy C held his now-embarrassing press conference in beautiful downtown South Bend announcing his commitment to ND and promising 4 national championships in 4 years.

More hubris? Kevin White & the new pres, Fr JJ offering CW a panicked, ridiculous 10 year contract.

Even the city of South Bend drank the CW Kool Aid, going on a hotel and retail building frenzy in anticipation of becoming the Mecca of college football and the destination of thousands who would come simply to soak in the college football greatness.

So now it has all come crashing down. CW was not the genius he purported to be. Much like the Wizard hiding behind the smoke and mirrors, he has been revealed as not a Wizard at all but a man desperately pulling levers and blowing smoke.

As an authentic heroic action, however, I suggest he keep enough $$ to put Charlie Jr through college (I bet it won't be ND) and return what he is not owed. God knows it isn't $18 mill!

11/22/2009 05:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, we'll pray for whatever we want to pray for, we don't need you to tell us what we should, or should not, pray for when we are on bended knee. Thanks anyway, though.

As for the clown complaining that ND fans are complaining about the embarrassing and sorry state of our beloved alma mater/football team. We don't need you to tell us what a true fan does and does not do. Notre Dame fans/alumni have taken this bull long enough. It is absolutely ridiculous that this program hasn't hired a decent coach since Holtz quit. It is absolutely ridiculous that this Offensive line is softer than Charmin. It is absolutely ridiculous that these players get penalties that you don't see in 9th grade football.

All of the above issues are directly attributable to coaching, laziness, and a coaching staff in chaos. If the fans/alumni want to complain about being a national joke, let them. No one made you the final arbiter of what is and isn't considered the actions of a true fan.

All of us fake fans are sick of the ineptitude and laughable lack of fundamentals at Notre Dame over the last decade.

I also wanted to respond to the person who noted that ND always loses the 3rd. I have been complaining about that very issue all year, the Michigan game in particular was lost due to the other coaching staff making real adjustments and ND doing nothing. Weis simply does not make adjustments quick enough, which is one of the many reasons he is done at ND.

Brian Kelly, a coach who has actually won National Championships at the college level, will instantly improve this teams record, with or without Clausen and Tate.

Losing to Navy twice at home. Give me a break.

11/22/2009 05:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Montana Irish said...

Here you go guys. My short list:

Brian Kelly
Bob Stoops
Chris Peterson
Mark Richt
Urban Meyer (Only an act of God will get him here, but we can always hope)

In a bind:
Skip Holtz
Al Golden
Turner Gill

11/22/2009 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Harbaugh is currently doing to Stanford what Charlie did to ND - leveraging his "hot commodity" status for a bigger check. Although the Chicago ND fans would love it, I fear Harbaugh would be Ty II.
I might believe Kelly is the real deal if he beats Pitt, but I doubt that happens.
Of the guys commonly mentioned, I prefer Patterson. I don't know if Urban meyer would take the job, but I suspect he would demand some concessions on admissions, and I don't believe ND's reputation as a University should be compromised by a desire to have a great football team.
But if I can pick any coach I want, I would take a guy no one talks about - Houston Nutt. He's no stranger to pressure, he recruits well, and he wins big games. I can only imagine what he could do with on a big stage like Notre Dame's.

11/22/2009 06:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy Clausen did not promise 4 championships in four years. Please do not continue to repeat that lie.

You are right about Charlie's contract, though; there is no way the University didn't slip some type of reasonable (compared to $18,000,000) buy out into that contract.

The last administration dis a terrible job with the last few (embarrassing) coaching searches, but I'm sure the lawyers did a better job with the buyout language.

11/22/2009 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Irish73 said...

There is an opening in the coaching ranks. Move CW to the booth as Offensive Coordinator and bring in Tony Dungee to be the head coach.

11/22/2009 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger HammerG said...

I can make a real short list of possible candidates. Obv leaving out the dream ones who have no interest in ND. Saban, Meyer, Carroll

1. Paul Johnson

He is the best coach in football and has proven he can win without talent. If you give him the talent that ND can recruit he will bring ND in the top 10 in no time.

2. Mike Stoops

He has built Arizona to a PAc 10 powerhouse in a short time. Ariz is a very hard school to recruit for football and he is making it happen. His teams are always prepared on game day. Once again with the recruiting stage ND can deliver he would win here big time and is an incredible football mind.

3. Mark Reicht.. I love his style and he might be tired of competing week in and out in the SEC. He can recruit and coach and would be a great fit for ND. Would take a big payday to get him to leave GA cause his job is very secure there.

4. Brian Kelly. I am not that high on him compared to the others. I am not convinced he can recruit on the big stage cross country that ND presents. I think he would be a good candidate and would certainly be a step up from Weiss in game prep. I am not sure ND wants him enterring the living room of the nations best prospects cause i dont feel he can deliver them.

11/22/2009 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Weis should be fired. But those people who decided to sign him to a 10 year contract before he had even proven himself should also be fired. As long as those “geniuses” are around, you should not expect too much from the football program.

11/23/2009 01:10:00 AM  
Anonymous cinciirish84 said...

While there is no doubt that the Weis promise has officially come to an end, you are all missing a critical piece of info regarding replacing him this year:
With Clausen going pro (highly likely) and Crist out with an ACL, there will not be a single QB at spring ball. How in the world will you get a world class coach convinced to take over a high profile, pressure cooker program without a QB enrolled until the fall?

Maybe Brian Kelly would take the plunge, but I can't imagine many others.

11/23/2009 08:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, i am as frustrated as anybody about this season. Saturday night I was cursing the that Weis was born. I supported him for this season because I like the guy and he is one of our own. I would like to see someone new come in, but i got to thinking whether that would be the best thing. Next year, if we put the pieces together right, we could have a championship team. But if Weis goes, the Clausen and Tate might go, and they are our best chance at the big time next year. I don't know, its just a thought. Obviously whether Weis stays or goes some chances need to be made.

11/23/2009 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think the program is headed in the right direction.
Brian Kelly will inherit a fairly strong team even if Clausen and Tate opt to go pro. Floyd may be the best receiver in the country and when Seantrel Henderson commits to the Irish,
all will be well.

11/23/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"While there is no doubt that the Weis promise has officially come to an end, you are all missing a critical piece of info regarding replacing him this year:
With Clausen going pro (highly likely) and Crist out with an ACL, there will not be a single QB at spring ball. How in the world will you get a world class coach convinced to take over a high profile, pressure cooker program without a QB enrolled until the fall? Maybe Brian Kelly would take the plunge, but I can't imagine many others."

One of Brian Kelly's greatest strengths is his ability to coach kids up. Andrew Hendrix has the ability to start as a true freshman and rock the house under Kelly's high throttle, high percentage offense.

11/23/2009 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

Next year, if we put the pieces together right, we could have a championship team.

Please stop this talk.

We are a below-average team and lucky enough to have 3 guys who could play on any team in the country. Most of the rest would be lucky to play for lower Big Ten schools and some wouldn't even play for D2 schools.

We have coaches who would rank at the bottom 25 percentile by any measure of performance.

I am now convinced that New England won Super Bowls despite CW. They continued to win after he left and compete at the highest level every year. What exactly did CW contribute?

We are nowhere near being able to compete at a national level. Could you imagine what the outcome would be if we had to play Alabama, Florida, and Georgia over the final weeks of the season?

I don't know what the answer is, but I would rather lose games playing like men and showing true sportsmanship than acting like we do on the field now.

11/23/2009 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fat lady has sung! It is time for ND to hire a real head football coach on the merits, without regard to his religious affiliation or lack of past connections to ND.

11/23/2009 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Terrence said...

Weis came in as the tough NJ guy, now he feels sorry for his players, his family, and he doesn't say it, but for himself as well. I think the guy must have some mental problems, b/c he could move the ball his 1st 2 years, and now has so many weapons as on offense but can't score more than 20 points against mediocre teams. Clearly, and I've seen people post this before, he can't handle the braod responsibilities of being a headcoach. He's so overwhelmed, he can't even run the offense anymore, and his defense looks like a mid-tier WAC team's. Might sound cheesy, but all I can say is . . . "Sorry Charlie!"

11/23/2009 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Urban Meyer says he's not interested in Notre Dame job.


Watch for Bob Stoops and Nick Saban to follow suit shortly.

11/23/2009 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For an offensive minded coach, I think CW made a tactical mistake in not going for a winning two point conversion in the first overtime. ND defense had not been able to stop the run in the fourth quarter, and was lucky to have two touchdowns called back and a field goal missed. Easy to say in retrospect, but if the coach had faith in his offense, he should have gone for the win when the advantage was his. Recall the Fiesta Bowl 2007 overtime when Boise State went for the win over Oklahome, a brilliant tactical decision and play call which resulted in a huge upset win.

11/23/2009 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scratch Tony Dungy off the list.


11/23/2009 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couple o'comments:

1. Looks like the alum who put up the billboard above The Linebacker (wishing Charlie well on the 5th year of his college coaching internship) knew EXACTLY what he was talking about.

2. For those who think ND, or any other school, needs a highly-vaunted recruiting class to be good, just look at what Stanford has done this season... equal or TOUGHER academic standards than ND and no recruiting powerhouse, yet they beat 2 top 10 teams, including dismantling USC. Or look at Cincinnati - kind of like what Urban was able to do at Utah to earn his spot at Florida. A bunch of 5-star recruits don't always turn out to be the best "team" -- and a quality head coach makes a team better than the sum of its parts. ND needs to find a head coach that knows how to recruit "beyond the numbers" -- you look for coachable, smart kids who actually believe there is no "I" in team. Those kids always excel and play well above their talent. Then again, as arrogant as Charlie is, he probably can't grasp that concept.

11/23/2009 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous irishkevo@yahoo.com said...

Great piece by John Walters of FanHouse:


It's a shame that this guy - bravado and all - has to walk away with is head hung low after putting so much into this job. You can be sure that he is referring to a number of regularly-contributing jagoffs on this site when he talks about the pain his family has endured. So much pain that his son, who walks the sidelines with his Dad week-in and week-out and probably bleeds more blue and gold than any one of us ever will, won’t even consider Notre Dame as his college.

Our revered Coach Holtz, a guy we’d all believe if he told us it was raining while he was pissing down our backs, even told him privately, "you guys are so close." But we, the Notre Dame alumni and loyal subway alums, can't give the guy the time needed to return the program to glory on – ironically - our own terms. We all want to compete and be able to hold ourselves to a higher standard academically. Just ain't happenin' in five years – not even if Urban comes here.

We should all hold ourselves to that same standard when it comes to being human beings. One of our own did his very best and now has to worry about the pain his family endured during that tenure. We should all be ashamed.

11/23/2009 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We should all hold ourselves to that same standard when it comes to being human beings. One of our own did his very best and now has to worry about the pain his family endured during that tenure. We should all be ashamed."

You can put up with a lot of pain for the $30 mil Weis walks away with, and believe me, no one have suffered as much as the Notre Dame students and fans as a result of this pompous, overrated egomaniac.

11/23/2009 05:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Irish Sting said...

The party is soon to be over. A season that started out to be a run at the top is now "how low can you go".

Charlie is facing the ultimate in humble pie. He took the challenge of Notre Dame and oh what a challenge, to be the best of the best.

Urban Meyer knew better than to come to ND for the ultimate challenge. Why go somewhere where every team you face will fight to the death to beat you for the entire game. Name me a team in college football that is hated more than Notre Dame? The teams that beat ND with less talent have won their Super Bowl when they do.

To expect the Irish to go 10 and 2 consistently with every team out their wanting to kill the Irish is one Tall Order.

Hats off to Charlie for trying to do the superhuman job of facing the other teams and his own alumni and sub way alumni. The abuse he has recieved for his efforts one can only imagine. He knew this job is not for the weak.

For the most part all coaches face firing, some more than others. That goes with the territory. To coach at Notre Dame takes a truly rare individual.

I cast my vote for Brian Kelly an Irishman with a true BRAVE HEART willing to face all odds, the Alumni and the Schedule.

11/24/2009 08:41:00 AM  

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