Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

31 Oct 2007

Is Charlie Weis the Problem at Notre Dame?

In the press conference following Notre Dame's October 20th beatdown at the hands of USC, head coach Charlie Weis challenged the media members present and anyone else listening to "Get your shots in while you can." Jonathan Chait of Slate.com eagerly jumped into the ring and blasted Weis as "The Worst Football Coach in the Universe," detailing the epic failings of the 1-7 Irish team. The Blue-Gray Sky blog responded, both to being called out in the Slate article and to echo the sentiments of many ND faithful who believe that a return to glory is still in Weis' future, so long as he learns from his mistakes.

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 31 Oct 2007

54 comments, Last at 11 Nov 2007, 6:32am by NevadaTrojan

Comments

1
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 5:35pm

Well, of course we're going to get our shots in while we can.

Because, pretty soon, Charlie ain't going to be the Notre Dame coach anymore.

2
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 5:49pm

Was Weis ever any good? or did Belichick and Brady make him look good (health warning applies to Josh McDaniel)?

Seriously, if Weis were to return to the NFL as a coordinator would he thrive again? (maybe in Bears blue and orange)

3
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 5:54pm

Is there a food shortage at Notre Dame? If not, then no.

4
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 5:56pm

I guess it's also safe to say Jonathan Chait is the "dumbest writer in the Universe". No intelligent writer would look at a coach's career in a box where nothing that occurred before the current season matters. It's a self defeating argument to blame a guy for not winning, then disregard his earlier wins because they didn't beat USC, Michigan (once), LSU, and Ohio State (BTW, last time I checked those were DAMN GOOD teams). Weis can't win an argument under those terms.

I'm a ND fan and I've got no reason to support Weis if I thought he was a horrible coach. I've seen him elevate the level of performance of players who had talent, but had never taken it to the next level (Quinn, Samardzija... Maurice Stovall might be the best example). I would be more critical of Weis if I didn't see the talent in the freshmen class. Plus, I didn't have ANY expectations going into this year. There were too many players who NEVER played who found themselves now starting. In addition, there's 6 (SIX!) upperclassmen on the team I would call good... just 6. One of those guys is the punter and 2 of the others have been flat out awful.

Somehow, "the worst coach in the universe" got a Top 100 player's verbal commitment (yes, I know there near worthless) after watching USC destroy ND in person. The only 2 schools with more Top 100 recruits committed are USC and Ohio State. If he's so bad, why do kids keep wanting to go there?

5
by Andy (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:03pm

I hope nobody brings up the myth that ND's academic standards are more stringent than other schools.

6
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:18pm

#5... I don't know how much of a myth it is. Based on the most recent numbers, the only division 1/sub-bowl division/(I have now clue what they're calling it now) schools that graduate a higher percentage of it's players than ND are Boston College and Navy.

However, there maybe no connection between that and the academic requirements to get in, even for football players. Regardless, I would say location is a bigger problem than academic requirements. That's why they struggle to compete with the USC and Ohio State's of the world, but it's no excuse for a 1-7 season.

7
by Michael (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:19pm

Don't worry Andy, we won't. After all, Weis has done a fantastic job recruiting, which is one of the many reasons that he's not going to get fired this year.

Chait's article was the worst kind of sports journalism: blatant homerism and bias masquerading as disinterested journalism.

If we're being honest here, ND fans have known for years that 2007 was going to be ugly. We knew a while back that the classes currently making up our upperclassmen were weak; they've been weak since they came in. The seniors were part of the exhibits against Willingham, just one of the many reasons that we wanted him gone. The juniors are Weis' guys, but they also came from his first year, where the Pats went to the playoffs and thus he didn't have a full recruiting session. Both seasons where he's had a full recruiting season, he's done a fantastic job, and he's continuing that trend this year.

As for his coaching, well, I think there have been ups and downs. When he had a veteran team, they looked great, but he's struggled with teaching younger guys the basics. To a degree, that was to be expected; he hasn't dealt with anything other than vets for a long time now. The interesting question will be whether or not he can turn that around, and currently, I believe he can.

8
by Buddons (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:23pm

re: 5
Notre Dame's academic standards aren't much different than other schools. Michigan, Ohio State, USC all have similar standards. What I've heard though is that they make far less exceptions and are less willing to bend their academic requirements than other schools. I think thats why this myth is perpetuated. They don't have stricter rules, they just strictly enforce the ones they have. I think it may also help the high standards myth that they've been graduating an awful lot of their football players (north of 90% I think), but this may just be because none of them are good enough to leave early for the NFL.

9
by Tom (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:28pm

Re 2:

Blue and orange?! Don't you mean Navy and orange? The Lions wear blue.

10
by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:30pm

#4: I think Weis is good at convincing kids to go to ND. I think he's bad at coaching those kids, and I think his pedigree is very, very inflated.

Mostly, I think the myth that he has bad recruiting from Willingham is hugely flawed, that Willingham got a really raw deal, and that Weis got way too much credit for Willingham's successes.

It's not just that ND has lost. It's that ND has looked utterly inept in their losses.

11
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:39pm

#9

Give me a break, I am colour blind. Isn't it navy blue anyway, which would still leave it blue?

12
by Eddo (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:44pm

9: Navy is a shade of blue, so #2 made a true statement. In fact, it makes very much sense when you figure that George Halas used the University of Illinois colors for the Bears, and that in U of I's "Alma Mater" the lines "Hail to the orange / Hail to the blue" are sung, then I'd say referring to the Bears' colors as "orange and blue" is even more correct.
Of course, referring to the Packers' colors as "green and gold" is just flat-out wrong still. The 49ers and Saints wear gold. The Packers wear yellow.

13
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:52pm

#10... Too much credit for Willingham's successes? If you believe that to be true, then Willingham got too much credit for Bob Davies' successes. The only time he won was with Davies' kids. Weis deserves the credit because he coached players above and beyond levels they had played at previously just like Willingham deserves credit for coaching up Davies' recruits.

Willingham deserves the bad recruiting tag for his final season because only 1 of those players has been even the slightest bit good. That player, Darius Walker, was a slow college RB who left school early and went undrafted. The only good upperclassmen are 5th year seniors from Willingham's second to last class. If none of those players stayed, this team would be even worse.

14
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 6:59pm

I think everyone knew Notre Dame was going to be bad, but I don't think anyone knew they were going to be this bad (on offense, defense has been solid).

15
by dmb (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 7:19pm

So I don't follow college football terribly closely, but wasn't it just last year that a lot of people were dismissing Brady Quinn's performance as simply a result of Weiss's coaching?

Interesting.

16
by strannix (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 7:34pm

wasn’t it just last year that a lot of people were dismissing Brady Quinn’s performance as simply a result of Weiss’s coaching?

Was that a big factor? I remember Quinn's performance downgraded to some extent because of the crappy competition he played against, but as I recall most expected him to be very highly drafted and a decent pro.

17
by seven year lion (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 8:10pm

The Willingham-didn't-recruit argument doesn't explain nearly as much as some people want it too. The two "bad classes" are ranked 27th and 30th in their respective years by scout.com. That's not a definitive fact, obviously, but it was the appraisal I found first and most scouting services had them ranked similarly. If ND was struggling towards a mediocre 5-7 season or something like that I could understand blaming the recruiting. But this team's offense is legitimately awful. They only have 1.1 yards things per rushing attempt.

All things being equal shouldn't the 27th and 30th best recruiting class yield something like the 27th or 30th best team, or at least the 50th or so? I'd think so, unless a lot of those recruits left due to the coaching change. But wouldn't Weis deserve some of the blame for that were it the case? I don't follow the Irish that closely, have there been enough injuries to make their fall to 100th best team reasonable to expect?

Calling Gastric Charlie the worst coach in the universe is clearly overstating things. But this season raises some legitimate questions about his coaching abilities, or at least his ability to develop college players.

18
by Vern (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 8:13pm

This is all a scheme by Bill Belichick to prove that it was he all along, and not his great assistants that made him great.

19
by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 8:36pm

The two “bad classes� are ranked 27th and 30th in their respective years by scout.com.

I'd be curious to see a listing of each college team's recruiting ranking from 2002-2005 and then its final BCS ranking for 2006. In an effort to see how an accumulation of recruiting rankings translates into on-field performance.

20
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 9:30pm

#17... I disagree with your premise that recruiting class rankings automatically translate into production on the field.

I think the best criticism of Weis is one I heard recently from Gary Danielson... like pro coaches, Weis RARELY played his backups the first 2 seasons. A lot of the upperclassmen now playing are seeing the field for the first time. In Weis' defense, many of those players look worse than the undersized true freshmen so maybe they just aren't any good. Another problem could be the NBC contract. Most teams, faced with a rebuilding season, would allow themselves early games against the Florida Atlantic and Northern Arizona's of the world. Through 8 games, who's the worst team ND has played... Michigan St, UCLA, or Penn State? While other teams have certainly played more top heavy schedules, I can't imagine another team has played a schedule with no teams under .500. It is too early to say Weis can't develop players.

BTW, they average 1.1 yard a rush due to the fact sacks are included in rushing statistics. Carries by RBs or FBs are averaging 3.13 yards... not that this number is good either.

21
by seven year lion (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 9:51pm

-19
I used the pre-bowl BCS rankings because I figured the BCS rankings were the closes to being accurate. Hopefully leaving out the bowl games do not compromise this highly scientific study.
Teams are listed in rank order and the numbers that follow are recruit rankings from 2002-2005 in order. Sorry about the formatting.

1. Ohio State: 3-25-11-7
2. Florida: 20-4-8-11
3. Michigan: 19-8-5-3
4. LSU: 15-2-2-19
5. USC: 12-1-1-6
6. Louisville: 66-48-54-43
7. Wisconsin: 53-36-37-35
8. Boise State: 75-73-72-73
9. Auburn: 11-16-31-22
10. OK: 2-3-7-5
11. ND: 13-5-30-27
12. Arkansas: 24-23-27-32
13. WVU: 33-57-53-33
14. Wake Forest: 58-42-61-60
15. Va Tech: 45-21-26-18

That's the top 15. I'm going to go back and look at the last place team from each conference now, since that will give more info towards the question I'm interested in (How often do teams greatly under perform their recruiting)

-20
Not automatically, and the recruit class rankings are pretty speculative on their own, but going from 30 to 100? If that is because Weis didn't play them that that is entirely his fault. As far as schedule strength, I might agree with you if these were close games. But only two of their losses were even within 14 pts (14 against Purdue and 13 against BC), and three were by 30 or more. And I know that sacks count against rushing. The OL is Weis's job too, and 1.1 is historically terrible.

22
by Ryan (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 10:05pm

#13: Of course his best season was with another coach's players. He got fired before his players had a chance!

23
by Duff Soviet Union (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 10:39pm

So, um, remember when Jason Whitlock wrote that giving Weiss a massive contract extension after a handful of games was ludicrous since he hadn't done anything Ty Willingham didn't do? And for pointing out this obvious fact he was called a "racist"? I think Whitlock is an idiot by and large, but a lot of people owe him an apology on this one. Ty Willingham too.

24
by Michael (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 11:21pm

Except Whitlock was pretty much entirely wrong, because Weis has done things he hasn't. For example, Weis has moved the recruiting back to the elite level. He's managed to stay off the golf course, and he's generally shown that he understands that coach at Notre Dame is not something you can be one day a week, or a few weeks a year. Willingham never seemed to get that.

25
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 11:40pm

It is not like Willingham is making it big at Washington either (what the hell happened there? Talk about falling off the map...)

I liked Ty, but I doubt Notre Dame would be any better under his helm then it is now nor have the same future it might have with Weis.

26
by seven year lion (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 11:43pm

Slightly different methodology from post 20; I included the 2006 recruits to capture the true freshmen. These are teams that won 3 or less games in 2006. The first class listed (2002) would include any redshirt seniors still on the team and the last class (2006) would be for the true freshmen. 2006 overall record in parentheses. Sorry again for the shoddy formatting.

Team (record): 2002-2003-2004-2005-2006
Duke (0-12): 60-76-65-31-36
NC State (3-9): 38-9-20-23-42
UNC (3-9): 35-13-18-34-25
Colorado (2-10): 22-19-49-44-50
Illinois (2-10): 47-31-44-45-28
UAB (3-9): NA-97-101-87-68
Memphis (2-10): 64-68-80-72-67
Army (3-9): 85-79-100-107-107
Temple (1-11): 100-115-94-101-85
Miami-Ohio (2-10): 90-110-78-116-84
Buffalo (2-10): NA-92-114-102-114
Eastern Mich (1-11): 90-110-92-112-105
UNLV (2-10): 89-71-93-85-88
San Diego St. (3-9): 64-55-50-74-85
Stanford (1-11): 30-26-46-38-38
Miss State (3-9): 17-20-60-39-39
N. Texas (3-9): NA-104-98-81-108
Florida Int'l (0-12): NA-NA-NA-NA-108
La Tech (3-10): NA-49-108-97-97
Utah St. (1-11): NA-101-67-88-118

For comparison ND's classes from 2003-2007 go: 5-30-27-5-11

Some thoughts in the next comment.

27
by Boggle (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 11:49pm

As a Pats fan who hopes we can keep our current coaching staff intact, I am quite happy with the performance of the Belichick disciples.

Charlie Weis - Having a disastrous season at Notre Dame

Eric Mangini - Having an equally bad season with the Jets

Nick Saban - Managed to plunge the Dolphins into an abyss which will take years to climb out of

About the only guy who is currently having some success is Romeo Crennel (but he is still only 14-25 with the Browns, so difficult to call him a great success yet).

Hopefully NFL teams will be a bit cautious before raiding the Pats coaching staff in the future.

28
by seven year lion (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 11:53pm

Comments from 26

1. The records are not directly comparable and there is definitely a pretty wide swath of team quality represented here. I don't think anyone would argue that Miss St.'s SEC 3-9 is the same as North Texas' Sun Belt 3-9.

2. I think the Colorado team that year was too crazy to draw anything meaningful from.

3. There's a quirk with Scout.com when dealing with recruits who play both football and basketball. Imagine Joe Jock is a 5-star QB recruit who is also a 4 star basketball recruit. If he decides that basketball is more important to him and signs with Syracuse, they'd get an awesome football recruit they otherwise had little chance at. I'm not sure whatveffect this would have. Realistically, the only teams on this list that might apply to are Memphis and Duke, who's classes are terrible anyway, and UNC, Stanford, and Illinois. Maybe NC State, but I doubt it, or Temple, who also has horrible classes.

4. After you get to around 65 or so the difference between class rankings seemed to flatten out somewhat, though it does continue to decline.

I'm not sure what, if anything, this all amounts too. Terrible teams generally have terrible recruiting classes. Duh. UNC, NC State, to a lesser degree Illinois, Stanford, and Miss State are all instances where, record wise at least, teams seemed to dramatically underperform their recruit status. Though, ND's classes are still better than any of those places. I didn't look at anything other than record, so it's possible that that UNC was a particularly awesome/unlucky 3-9 or that there was a very fortunate 4-8 team kicking around somewhere. Possibly of interest, John Bunting (UNC), Chuck Amato (NC State) and Walt Harris (Stanford) all were fired after the 2006 season.

29
by Greg (not verified) :: Wed, 10/31/2007 - 11:59pm

Did y'all read Chait's article? He didn't base his argument just on Notre Dame's abysmal performance this year. He also pointed out that for all the credit Weis gets for developing Brady, innovative game planning, etc. New England's offense actually performed BETTER once he left, even with retreads like Caldwell and Gaffney replacing the younger Troy Brown and Branch at WR.

I don't see any evidence that Weis remotely deserves his "offensive genius" label, since he's never done anything when he wasn't riding Parcells' or Belichick's coattails.

30
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 12:32am

#27
Saban kind of won a national championship at LSU. And Michigan State had a 10 win season and is busy resurrecting Alabama.
And Miami may be bad now, but he was 15-17 in 2 seasons there with Joey harrington at QB for a season....

31
by Todd (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 12:34am

I have to agree with some earlier posters. Ty's last recruiting classes were 27th and 30th. That's not bottom of the barrel talent. That shouldn't equate to a 1-7 record, and a team that may be worse than their 1-7 record to boot.

32
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 1:24am

#23... Other than being totally ignorant to the reason Weis got the extension, Whitlock was 100% correct! The reason Weis got the extension was it made it extremely difficult for an NFL team to buy out the ND contract. After his first season, NFL teams actually wanted Weis creating a competitive market for his services. Ty Willingham didn't have that. Therefore, Ty didn't get any extension. Whitlock isn't racist, he's just a moron.

#29... Have you ever heard of Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, Maurice Stovall, Anthony Fasano? Those players weren't doing anything before Weis arrived and they all left as first day NFL draft picks (Samardzija obviously would have). The idea that the guy has never done anything is totally asinine.

#31... Highly ranked recruiting classes don't automatically mean they turn into the best players. Do the top ten picks in the NFL draft always turn out to be the best players? Of course not. USF doesn't have any top 100 players or highly ranked classes, but they have quite a few damn good players.

33
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 2:26am

Weis did the amazing job of making Junior and Seniors play better!

I think Weis is not a terrible coach, but I think he gets too much credit for the maturation of the skill set players on his roster. again recruiting stars do not mean the world, but Fasano, McKnight, Quinn and Stovall were 4 star players coming out of high school. Samardjiza was a 3 star. Not many youngsters light the world on fire right away.

Again I agree with the general idea: Weis was definitely hampered by the last couple of Willingham's recruiting classes, but I think he gets too much credit for the maturation of some of the skill set guys the last 2 seasons.

34
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 3:45am

#33... I don't know if you're a ND fan or not, but you have to be honest about a few things. I always liked Brady Quinn and thought he had a lot of ability, but there's literally nothing you can point to in his freshman and sophomore seasons that would've led one to think his junior and senior seasons were possible.

Maurice Stovall is the best example. He looked like Terrell Owens with his shirt off and played like Jennifer Owens. Are we supposed to think it's a coincidence that after three years of not being able to catch the football, he suddenly had a MONSTER season as a senior irregardless of Weis?

Jeff Samardzija went from catching 25 passes his first 2 seasons to being an All-American TWICE under Weis.

Is it coincidence that all these things happened under Weis? These three became BIG-TIME college football players. There's not much to point to prior to Weis' arrival to show these things were possible. Weis deserves a ton of credit for this.

35
by Greg (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 3:48am

32- Lionsbob beat me to the point. How do you know those guys didn't improve simply as a result of getting older, more experienced, and more physically mature? How do you know the same improvement wouldn't have occurred with Willingham coaching them? And if you're going to credit Weis for "coaching up" up those players, why won't you blame him for "coaching down" the current crop (as the recruiting class rankings and ND's current miserable on-field performance apparently suggest he's done). Fact is, he won games during his first two seasons at ND mostly against lousy competition, and his teams got waxed whenever they faced a good opponent (exhibit A: USC). Now, he's not even winning games against bad teams. I've got nothing against the guy, but I stand by what I said - I see no evidence whatsoever that he's a good coach.

36
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 4:02am

Because I can point at other QBs like JaMarcus Russell, Andre Woodson, and Vince Young who also suddenly made that leap between their sophomore and junior season. I am not saying every QB makes a leap and I am not saying Weis played no role in the leap. I am saying it is overstated as the reason why Weis is a good coach. I think maturation may have played a bigger role then given credit. Is there a limit to who Weis can coach up then? Only 4 star QBs and 4 star WRs?

37
by RickD (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 8:57am

Jonathan Chait isn't exactly a football writer. But I guess since his record on foreign policy is such crap, perhaps he's seeking a new gig.

38
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 9:29am

#27, Boggle

The Pats might have lost some coaches, but they kept Scarnecchia (Oline coach) and he is probably their most important coach after Belichick.

39
by Joe (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 10:15am

Yes.

40
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 10:29am

Another example of a player going from "supposedly lots of potential, but doing nothing" to "incredible" in a single year, was Carson Palmer - going from highly-recruited, yet underperforming, for three years at USC (including a season under Carroll), to having an incredible year and winning the Heisman Trophy.

Did Carroll and Norm Chow have something to do with that? Most certainly. But it's ludicrious to also not consider that he'd had years of experience as a starter at that point, too.

There's all sorts of examples of players who, by dint of experience, were better during their fourth year than their first.

Did Weis have something to do with Quinn doing well? Certainly. But giving him "all the credit" essentially gives Quinn no credit for his experience.

41
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 12:11pm

At what point do ND fans stop blaming Ty Willingham for the problems at Notre Dame? Next year, 2010, 2020.

This is Weis' THIRD year at ND. This is his team and his system. If Ty's recruiting was so bad, why does the defense look pretty good out there, or at worst, competent? The offense is on a new level of bad (7 offensive TDs and 59 offensive points in 8 games) There has been no development of any of the underclassmen from what I've seen and that falls squarely on the offensive coordinator. Even worse, I don't think they've improved at all between the Georgia Tech game and the USC game. Does Clausen look better to anybody? What about the O-line?

42
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 12:26pm

I think it is too early to make any definitive statements about Weis. His most talented players are freshman and sophomores right now.

If they fail to be competitive next year, then he is really a bad coach. I don't see it happening. He will have had three extremely good recruiting classes, and I think he is a good coach. He has had huge flaws on his teams the past two years and been able to conceal it-- this year, he couldn't. The flaws were too big.

The article is a horrible representation of journalism, however.

43
by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 12:44pm

Re 23:
I think it's interesting that so many people that think Willingham got a raw deal are using Weis's bad year as proof - the implication being that ND should fire Weis.

In on of the college rambling threads I posted some numbers and basically Weis's teams average more points than Willingham's team while allowing a similar number, Weis has two BCS bowls opposed to a Gator Bowl and some other tiny one and only one bad year as opposed to Willingham's two bad years. If Weis is still bad after this year then I certainly think he will get fired, but the calls for Weis's head started at the beginning of October which I think is a bit absurd.

44
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 12:56pm

#42

Florida says it does not care for any excuses about how young the players are.

And Georgia who was running a RS Freshman behind a left side that starts 2 freshman with a true sophomore QB seem to be doing alright.

45
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 1:33pm

I think a lot of the anti-Weis blowback is due to his arrogance, saying things like "His team will have a significant edge over there opponent" because of coaching, and "Once the Xs and Os start", that's when his teams are going to shine.

If you're going to make loud, bold, boasts like that, you'd better back them up. Basically, Weis has been saying since he got the job that his team may not get the studs that USC or Florida get, but he and his staff are good enough to make up that gap and then some. That simply hasn't happened.

I don't know if he's the worst coach in the universe, but he could be the most over-rated. I'd like to see them play 10 games against Syracuse (speaking of teams in decline with a new coaching staff) and see how many wins each gets.

46
by MTR (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 1:45pm

Re 43: you hit the nail on the head. Weiss got the 10 year contract because he reached two big money games. It's about the $ folks.

47
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 2:57pm

"chools that graduate a higher percentage of it’s players "

That seems like the worst way possible to judge which school is more stringent with its athletes.

48
by AlexSmithJoe (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 3:43pm

#46:

Weis got the extension before he'd reached a single bowl game. Keeping his name off the annual NFL head coaching vacancy rumor mill was the big motivator. Right or wrong, the administration saw the fast start he got off to and was concerned he might jump ship to return to the NFL if/when the chance arose. In order to prevent this, they made a statement by giving him the big extension. It's not like the NFL was banging down the door to talk to Ty Willingham in 2002. If Ty had Weis's NFL resume, ND would have faced a similar decision about making a statement back then. Clearly, the situations were not as similar as some Ty-defenders have argued, even based on the evidence at the time Weis was given the extension.

49
by MdM (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 4:17pm

Doesn't it strike anyone that coaching is incredibly overrated--somewhere along the lines of CEO "performance"?

All the great coaches "coincidentally" have the great coaches. Bellichek--Brady; Walsh--Montana; Dungy--Manning. I heard some brainless sportscaster saying Shanahan hasn't done anything since Elway. Duh--who has...that is, what coach gets results out of dreck? Coach seems to be a hugely inflated position.

50
by The Boilermaster (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 7:34pm

@49:

Add to that list Bill Callahan + Rich Gannon. Has Callahan really done *anything* since Gannon's MVP season?

51
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2007 - 7:52pm

Damn you Shanahan and your one losing season since Elway has left! You have done nothing since then.

Add Gruden/Brad Johnson to that list as well.

52
by sundown (not verified) :: Fri, 11/02/2007 - 5:37pm

Just a note regarding Weis' best players being freshman and sophomores. Earlier this season, Mel Kiper Jr was asked during a radio interview what was wrong with ND. He grades all college players, by class, and said his biggest concern for the future was basically none of ND's young players were ranked well, even in their own classes. (Thus, not only were they inferior to older players they were facing but they were inferior to other teams' freshmen and sophomores, as well.) Granted, Kiper might be 100% wrong, but that does rain a bit on the Irish parade of great expectations.

Weis might end up being really good at ND. But I find it funny how his defenders: 1) Scream about how Willingham only succeeded with other people's players, yet give Weis complete credit for doing the same. 2) Gripe about Willingham's recruiting when Weis's doesn't appear to have been much better so far.

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by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/06/2007 - 6:42pm

After the Navy debacle, I can't wait for the Duke game.

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by NevadaTrojan (not verified) :: Sun, 11/11/2007 - 6:32am

As a USC fan, I'd be delighted to see Charlie Weis stay at Notre Dame for the full 10 years ...