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.