Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Charlie's Gone

Notre Dame fired Charlie Weis yesterday. It's been odd to watch the ongoing demise of what has been one of the most famous and successful football programs in college history. Weis was always a bit of a gamble as a coach -- he's a brilliant offensive mind but he had limited head coaching experience; he's the sort of guy that you would expect to see coaching at someplace like Rutgers, where he'd have to prove himself worthy as a head coach before he'd get a plum job.

My suspicion is that Notre Dame isn't such a plum job any more. After the Domers had fired Tyrone Willingham a few years back, the coach they wanted was Urban Meyer, who eventually spurned the Irish for the University of Florida job. The rumors are afoot that maybe Meyer will come to Notre Dame this time, but I don't see any reason to believe that he would.

The particular irony is that the Notre Dame model -- finding top athletes who can still succeed in an elite academic environment -- is alive and well elsewhere. Stanford is having an excellent year under Jim Harbaugh and Northwestern finished comfortably in the first division of the Big Ten. If I were Notre Dame, I'd be talking to Harbaugh or NU coach Pat Fitzgerald, who have demonstrated that it can be done.

Update: The ever-amusing Sisyphus has compiled another good list of potential candidates over at Nihilist in Golf Pants. And the Nihilist himself weighs in (so to speak) over at Fraters.


CousinDan54915 said...

I like Fitzgerald. Met him at an NU event after they beat the Badgers a few weeks ago. High energy, positive, Irish. Would like him out of the Big Ten, too.

Mr. D said...

Would like him out of the Big Ten, too.

You and me both, Dan.

Bike Bubba said...

Faust! Faust! Faust!

Mr. D said...

Exactly, BB. He's tanned, rested and ready. Faust -- now more than ever!

Anonymous said...

Notre Who?

Bike Bubba said...

Now my question is whether Charlie Weis has achieved the rarified air of Faust; the only man besides Billy Graham who could get whole stadiums to stand up at once and shout our Savior's name.


I liked Nihilist's suggestion of Barack Obama as the new head coach. Sure, he'd stink up the field far worse than even Faust, but at least he'd only be stinking up the Golden Dome instead of the whole nation.

Mr. D said...

I saw those suggestions, BB. I added a few over there, too. Actually I thought the best one on the original list was Kate Michelman.

Mike said...

Went and saw a Notre Dame game last year. It was a wonderful experience. The campus is beautiful, the stadium is a classic, and the pomp and circumstance surrounding the game is something to behold.

Watching Notre Dame lose to a 20-point underdog (Syracuse) made it all the better.

This will be an incredibly interesting coaching search. Buying out Weis apparently was pretty expensive, so it will be interesting to see how much they will throw at a new coach.

Anonymous said...

They should be able to throw a lot at any coach. No other Universities have the luxury of having their own television deal. I like the idea of Fitzgerald, but he's not a big enough name.

This is pure speculation with nothing to back it up, but do you think Barry Alvarez would leave his cush job at Wisconsin to get back in to coaching?