All day, I've been perusing the Internets while I nurse my hangover, reading everything I can get my hands on about the Irish loss yesterday and the future of the Notre Dame football team.
While initially I was willing to give Coach Weis one more week to right the ship with a win over U$C, I no longer believe that.
When you look at the game yesterday, this program has reached an all-time low. All-time. Worse than Kuharich, worse than Willingham, worse even than last year.
I pulled these stats from ESPN:
• For the first time in school history, Notre Dame fell to an eight-loss team.
• The Irish have now lost five games this year after dropping nine in 2007. The 14 combined losses are the most ever by Notre Dame in a two-season span
This is unacceptable, and Coach Weis set the expectations for himself when he walked in the door. He told his team walking in the door that if they went 5-7 and 6-6, that he wouldn't survive as head coach. He's gone 3-9 and 6-5 in back to back seasons.
Yes, he has recruited well and put together a strong foundation for this program going forward. The next two years will have the strongest combination of talent and experience in history on the roster.
Which makes now the time to make a change.
If I were a successful college coach and Notre Dame asked me if I'd be interested in the job, I would have to take a good hard look. Loaded with talent and a favorable schedule, that coach could compete for a championship next year if he can install his system. Think Miami at the end of the Butch Davis era, when Larry Coker walked into a championship team.
The problem with our current situation is that the Weis contract has a gargantuan buyout that will have to be negotiated in order to terminate him. The new athletic director may not be prepared, as his first major move, to recommend the termination of a coach that has done so much in recruiting talent to bring ND back to the top.
So, despite the fact that I am sure Coach Weis will never read my words, I am putting my request out to Coach Weis.
Please, coach, step down.
I'm deeply saddened that it has come to this. I think Weis could have been a great coach. He works hard, he cares deeply, and he is a true Notre Dame man. I know how good of a man Coach Weis is. I know how committed he is to the community that I call home. I know how deeply he feels these losses, as he is as die-hard a Notre Dame fan as there is out there.
And that is why he should step down.
He knows that he has not been able to take this team to the levels of success that the almuni and fans expect from the football program, and he needs to do what is best for the University. He needs to put aside his ego and do what is best for this program.
I don't need Weis to call a press conference and quit tonight, but he should go to Swarbrick, inform him of his decision to step down and waive his buyout, and work with Swarbrick in finding a new coach and assisting in the transition.
If Weis is truly the Notre Dame man I think he is, we won't have to fire him.