Notre Dame Rumor of the Day: Jon Gruden Replacing Charlie Weis?

Fired Tampa Bay coach garnering farfetched whispers

After Notre Dame's mediocre 2008 season, rumors about head coach Charlie Weis -- would Notre Dame buy him out? would he want to leave? what does Touchdown Jesus think about all this? -- threatened to paraylze a historic, prestigious football program. In many ways, the Irish made a sensible choice: Give Weis another year to prove himself, save money on the buyout, and decide then. Makes sense.

What's not so sensible is the idea that Notre Dame would suddenly abandon that choice and hire recently fired Tampa Bay Buccanneers Jon Gruden, no matter how attractive the fiery Gruden might be to Irish fans. And yet, that's the rumor:

• By the way, one of my Bucs peeps tells me that the word around the Bucs is that Gruden could be going to Notre Dame to replace Charlie Weis. Sounds a little farfetched, but as the theory goes: The school will buy out Weis as soon as he signs his recruiting class, in two or three weeks, and hire Gruden. Heard from someone close to the Notre Dame program that there's a weird vibe around the football offices. Hmmm.

Hmm, indeed. Again, it's merely a whisper, and as Matt Hinton writes at Doc Saturday, it is incredibly unlikely that this will happen, at least in 2009. And yet, the attractiveness -- the gravity of it -- is undeniable. Gruden is one of those, if not iconic, than incredibly recognizable NFL faces, his gruff demeanor the a seemingly ideal fit for a college like Notre Dame's.

Alas, the rumor is, again, just a rumor, and so Weis is probably safe. For now.

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