Sunday, July 31, 2005

Is Charlie Weis the Right Man for Notre Dame?

He was supposed to be the savior of Fightin' Irish football. Tyrone Willingham was lured away from Stanford, who had defeated the Irish in 2001 to capture the Legends Trophy, to the Golden Dome to resurrect the mess Bob Davie had created in five years since Lou Holtz's departure. Davie had won 9 games twice during his tenure but had also suffered through two five loss season, the final one ultimately costing him his job. Expectations for Willingham's ND teams grew dramatically when the team finished 10-2 in the regular season and a loss to N.C. State in the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day. However, the Irish fell back to Earth in 2003, finishing 5-7 including an embarassing 38-12 loss to Syracuse to end their season. 2004 didn't prove to be much better for Willingham as the Irish finished 6-5, including a loss at BYU to open the season. Despite wins over Michigan and Tennesse, the season cost Willingham his job as was fired before ND's loss to Oregon State in the Insight Bowl. Willingham didn't last long on the open market, soon accepting the head coaching position at Washington following their 1-10 season under lameduck coach Keith Gilbertson.

The ND coaching search couldn't have begun any worse than it did. When Willingham was fired, it appeared as though the Irish already had his successor chosen, Utah coach Urban Meyer. Then came the big blow, almost as embarassing as when George O'Leary was fired only days after being hired to succeed Davie, Urban Meyer chose Florida over Notre Dame. The Irish were suddenly left scrambling to find a coach. The Irish were so desperate that at one point it looked as though ex-ND QB Tom Clement would become the next head coach. Fortunately for Notre Dame, New England Patriots offensive coordinator fell into their laps and suddenly became the savior of Notre Dame football. Ask any ND diehard, Charlie Weis is going to resurrect the Irish and make them winners again.

Personally, I like the hire. Weis brings great NFL experience and Super Bowl rings with him, two sure things to impress any recruit. So far it has worked out well for Weis and ND, having already received a verbal commitment from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania QB Zach Frazer. They are also in the mix for Springdale, Akransas QB Mitch Mustain. Weis never had the most talented players on offense in New England, he simply got the best out of what he had and that's what has made the Patriots so successful over the past several seasons. That's exactly what he's going to have to do at ND for now. QB Brady Quinn and tailback Darius Walker are ND's only two offensive weapons. Weis will have no problem getting talent to ND and and his quality coaching staff should have no problem molding that talent into wins. Weis made a brilliant decision bringing in ex-Cincinnati Bearcats coach Rick Minter as his defensive coordinator, a position Minter held at ND in the early '90's.

My outlook for ND this season isn't overly positive. This team is capable of winning 6-7 games and anything above that would be overachieving. The schedule is brutal but they do catch a break getting USC at home.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Hobert Leck said...

I have some great ideas :) Nevermind. Next time.

Monday, January 09, 2006  

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