Notre Dame's loss at Boston College on Saturday night may end up costing the program a lot more than a shot at credibility this season, as it's already started the campaign to fire Charlie Weis in the local newspapers. Neil Hayes over at the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a column today stating that the Weis Watch has begun, and if things don't turn around quickly in South Bend, Charlie could find himself in the employment line come January. Now when I first read the column I dismissed it as an overreaction to a very bad loss for the Irish.
I mean, sure they were shutout by Boston College, but the Eagles do have the 10th ranked defense in the country and it's not Weis' fault that Jimmy Clausen threw four interceptions. Yet, after I finished reading the column I thought about it for a while and I began to change my mind. I don't want to fire him right this very second, but it's probably something that the school should start thinking about.
Charlie had success early in South Bend, but that success came when he still had Brady Quinn and Jeff Samardzija on offense, two leftovers from the previous Tyrone Willingham regime. Ever since it's been Charlie's players on the field, the Irish have gone 8-13. Really, not much has gone right for Notre Dame since Weis took over the program and promised to return it to it's previous glory. In fact, since Weis took over the Irish are 1-14 against teams with winning records. Now I'm not mathematical genius, but I think I'm qualified to say that a 1-14 record is not a good one and one hell of a way to return to glory.
Now one of the benefits of having Weis as the head coach at Notre Dame is the recruiting classes he's brought in. Year after year Notre Dame has had one of the top recruiting classes since Charlie came to town, yet for some reason, despite the mountain of talent the Irish supposedly have, the Irish keep losing. You know what that tells me? Those talented players aren't getting the greatest coaching in the world. I think that much was obvious to Weis before the season started when he brought in John Tenuta to help coach the defense and yielded his play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Haywood. Now, while the defense hasn't been horrible, Weis has decided that maybe he should start calling the plays again.
Whether that will make a difference remains to be seen because, after all, Weis called the plays last season and the team finished 3-9.
This Irish team does have talent, especially on offense where Clausen has two wonderful weapons in Golden Tate and Michael Floyd to throw the ball too. So maybe the offense's struggles last year under Weis had more to do with a freshman quarterback getting his feet wet behind a suspect offensive line than it did the playcalling. So I think we should give Weis a chance to finish the season, and really, he should be brought back next season -- and I'm sure that ten-year deal he signed will help make sure that happens -- as well. That doesn't mean all of his coaches should return with him, however.
Weis needs to find a new offensive coordinator for next season -- especially since Haywood probably won't want to return if Charlie takes his playcalling duties away -- and he probably needs to find more new coaches than just that. Something is missing in South Bend right now, and I don't think it's talent on the field. If Weis can't find somebody to bring in and maximize that talent, or do it himself, then maybe it would be better for both sides to move on.
Just not right now.