So, when will Notre Dame fire head coach Charlie Weis?
Oh, what? Huh? You mean they won’t? But, but, bu…
Weis was smart enough during the offseason not to fully close the door on returning to the NFL, which made Notre Dame panic and fork over a crazy 10-year, loaded contract with a massive buyout clause.
Surely, now that we’re all looking back on things, it isn’t hard to postulate that maybe, just maybe, Weis saw the writing on the wall, knew what he had coming back and what he didn’t, and baited the Domers to call his bluff.
Then again, considering how lost he and his team look on Saturdays, maybe he really isn’t smart enough to pull off such a nasty trick.
The not-so-Fighting Irish are 1-9 now after losing to two of the service academy’s teams and could face the ultimate embarrassment should they lose to mighty Duke this weekend. (No offense, Devils, but you’ve won one conference game in, what, three years? Surely you see that you beating Notre Dame wouldn’t exactly sit well in South Bend, right?)
So what will happen to Weis as a result?
Oh, probably nothing, which should be news to Tyrone Willingham.
Willingham was unceremoniously ousted from Notre Dame after three seasons and a 21-15 record.
Willingham started with a 10-3 record in 2002 and a loss in the Gator Bowl and then struggled while getting what the “experts” said then were good recruiting classes. But Willingham’s Irish slumped to 5-7 and 6-5 the nest two season and was run out of town for the savior Weis, who was happily showing off his three Super Bowl rings he got while serving as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator.
Almost immediately, Weis got off to a hot start, going 9-3 with a blowout loss in the Fiesta Bowl in 2005. He followed that with a 10-3 mark and a blowout loss in Sugar Bowl in 2006, and then, according to the “experts”, welcomed in what was supposed to be another stud recruiting class.
Except that it isn’t. At least it doesn’t look that way. The Irish are now 20-15 under Weis with no end to the misery in sight. The Irish are second-to-last in Division 1 in rushing. They are second-to-last in scoring and have been shut out twice.
So why isn’t Weis in serious trouble? Why isn’t there at least the specter of a buyout a possibility, as big as it would be? Why? Why? Why?
It’s not because of the promise of top 10 recruiting classes.
It’s not because Weis is a lovable guy who is warm to alumni and fans.
It might be because of the money, though one would think that Notre Dame, of all places, could absorb any cost.
And it’s not because of the “academic standards.”
Navy and Air Force aren’t exactly easy to get into, and those guys out there on the field? They’ll probably be in Iraq in a year or two. Don’t talk about standards.
Could it be that Weis is, well, white, and that Willingham isn’t?
Or maybe Notre Dame is trying not to make the same mistake again by giving Weis the time to turn things around that it didn’t give to Willingham.
Hard to say. The problem is, it’s a question that has to be asked.
So when you start to feel sorry for Notre Dame, don’t. The university brought this mess onto itself.