Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Curtain Closes

And there it is.  Anyone looking for reasons as to why Charlie Weis must be replaced as head coach of Notre Dame need only watch what took place in South Bend today for their answers.  This was precisely the type of game which has plagued the Irish throughout Weis' tenure; particularly the last two seasons.  In spite of jumping out to a big lead and dominating many of the game stats, Notre Dame found a way to lose.  All of the old issues were there: horrendous tackling, stupid penalties, poor special teams play, ineffectiveness in the red zone, etc.  If the Irish wanted to pay tribute to their beleagured coach, they could scarcely have done better than playing a game which highlighted so many of his coaching deficiencies.
At this point, there's no use going over the actual events in the game.  The reasons for this loss are the same as the losses which preceeded it.  Instead, a few quick hitters on bigger pictures items:

  • First off, congratulations to the UConn Huskies.  This has been an incredibly difficult season for them both on the field (five losses by a total of 15 points) and, more importantly, off with the tragic murder of their teammate, Jasper Howard.  In spite of all that, the Huskies never got down, kept motivated and continued to play hard.  They are to be congratulated.
  • A big thanks to the Notre Dame seniors who played their final home game today.  This game, much like so much of their time with the program, was frustrating.  Still, it was these guys who enabled a program with incredibly thin ranks to slowly build itself back up.  Whomever replaces Charlie will have them to thank for believing in the school and helping to, once again, bring top-flight talent back to South Bend.
  • Speaking of Charlie, a special thanks to him as well.  Obviously, on the field, his teams never became that for which we'd all hoped.  It wasn't for lack of effort, however.  I think it's fair to say that Weis gave his all for this program and his results in recruiting, player academics and overall human decency are laudable.  Unfortunately, those are only a few of the things expected of Notre Dame's head football coach.  While winning eluded him, seeing Weis walk onto the field, arm-in-arm, with his players, a tear falling from his eye showed just how much this team and program mean to him.  All the best, Charlie; sorry things couldn't have been different.
  • For whatever it's worth, Oklahoma got pummeled, 41-13, by Texas Tech today.  I would have to imagine in light of his loss and Notre Dame's impending opening, the Irish might look like a pretty solid option to Bob Stoops. 


Nicolas said...

BH--just a quick apology. You predicted ND would finish 6-6 and I told you you were crazy. Nice work, it appears you were right on the money. Please predict ND at 12-0 next season as you appear to be prescient.

Jay-A said...

Nicholas -
Thanks for the note. No need for apologies. Believe me, after I wrote that post in July, I was hoping to be proved wrong. Now, in November, I'm devastated that I wasn't. While I 12-0 might be tough to predict with so many question marks regarding coaching and personnel, I absolutely think happier days are coming. Hang in there!


roland said...

Agree with the above. Now is time for patience. Wild speculation about future announcements will not help the search process. Hope springs eternal...

Clay said...

Ditto on the apology. At the beginning of the season, I expected at worst an 05 or 06-ish season. I thought you were way off and I still don't know how anyone could have predicted this, especially with at least four first round draft picks on offense alone. But you were right, as you usually are.

I'm actually glad UConn won. There's life and there's football and those kids needed it a lot more than our team. It's not like a win would have done us any good.

I agree again with Roland. Please no rumor-mongering during the coaching search. We'll get plenty of that from from The View-I mean espn.

Jay-A said...

Thanks, Clay. Again, apologies are unnecessary. Respectfully disagreeing with one another is part of the fun of these exchanges.
I think you make a nice point about life v. football. It's easy to forget about those types of things sometimes. As a fan, it's tough to see ND lose. As a person, I think the right team won.