Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Irish Blogger Gathering: Aftermath Edition

Subway Domer hosts this week's edition of IBG, and he brings a somber tone befitting the embarassment of a loss to 2-8 Syracuse en route to a shellacking at the hands of U$C.

1. Regardless of what you may have heard and what may happen, what do you think should be the fate of Charlie Weis? Please give an explanation in detail along with a possible replacement if you said... FIRED. No Urban Meyer bullshit here. He's not coming. Get over it.

I'm on record as saying that Coach Weis' fate should be that he resigns as head coach of Notre Dame. He knows this school as well as anyone, and knows he should walk away and accept the fact that he couldn't get it done. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Coach and the entire Weis family. But ultimately, I think that he is just another Faust in Notre Dame's history. If he is not gone after the season, I will drag myself back onto the bandwagon next year, as I have no choice - this is my school. But I don't have to like it.

As replacements go, I'd be very aggressive if I were to lead this search - this team can't afford to miss on another coach. Pick a coach that has shown the ability to win, and win the right way. Consistently. In college (sorry, Gruden).

My very first call would be to Bob Stoops. He probably won't leave Oklahoma, but the level of success he's had as their coach is exactly what the Irish need.

My next calls would be to Spurrier and Tressel. I don't like either coach, and would feel sick to my stomach when hiring them, but I know they could win. Tressel's not going anywhere, but Spurrier is a possibility.

We can't poach from a rival, so Carroll is out. And Urban Meyer is not going to happen. That ship has sailed. Mangino is a little too rotund to follow up Weis (I can't stomach several more years of fat jokes about our coach). And Mack Brown may as well be chained to Texas.

The next group of coaches to look at: Richt, Pinkel, Tuberville, Kelly, Bellotti, and Peterson.

If we have to move past that, then we are getting into some risky territory. If it doesn't pan out, it could relegate ND football back to the middle of the BCS pack for good, where we can be content to battle Georgia Tech, Pitt, and Boston College, rather than USC, Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio State.

2. Recruiting. Colin Cowherd has been murdering the recruiting services and Notre Dame. He thinks that the recruiting services rank Irish recruits higher than what they should be because of a marketing plan. Everyone else on the outside is falling in line with this thought. What are your opinions? Please explain and provide a solution.

I think that Cowherd has a point when he says that Notre Dame is the Bermuda Triangle of great recruits, but I think he oversteps when he starts claiming some kind of conspiracy.

Notre Dame has not been successful in developing the massive amount of talent that comes into the program, however, and that is the biggest weakness in our last three coaching hires.

3. I made a comparison in a poorly written post about this team mirroring the 2004 team. I generally don't like doing comparisons to other years, but I felt it was valid. What is your take? Is the 2008 version of ND like the 2004 team, and do you think the 2009 team could have similar results to the team in 2005?

I think that no matter who the coach is next year, the beginning of the season will feel like 2005.

But then we play USC.

If there is anyone in the entire country that truly believes that Weis can beat USC, I'd like to know what evidence they are basing it on.

Problem is, this year's team is worse than 2004. And that hurts.

4. Is Michael Floyd the Notre Dame team MVP? Why? If not, who then?

My vote is for Mike Anello. The kid plays balls to the wall every time he gets on the field, and if his passion would rub off on Jimmy Clausen and the running backs, we might have a halfway decent football team.

But Anello plays on special teams, so the conventional choice for MVP would be Golden Tate, who almost single handedly beat Syracuse and saved the season.

5. What is Notre Dame's biggest problem schematically and mentally?

Schematically, the biggest problem is our blocking scheme. And it has been for the entire Weis era. It does not allow us to take advantage of our athleticism on the front lines, and puts too much pressure on assignments and not enough on strength and conditioning.

Mentally, the problem with this team is it's ability to learn complex schemes. And I put that on the coaches. Weis brought in an NFL playbook, and tried to teach these kids like he taught the professional athletes. There is a reason that the spread option and run 'n shoot offenses work in the college ranks, but not as much in the pros. They are easy to learn how to run, and relatively difficult to defend on short notice. In the NFL, however, the time that the players spend preparing for opponents is on a different level. The spread option and run 'n shoot are easy to defend if your full time job is to study it. Weis treats this team like an NFL team, and then looks flabbergasted when they miss assignments and constantly shoot themselves in the foot.

While I'm not advocating that we run a gimmicky offense, I am advocating that we find someone who runs a manageable scheme and runs it well.

6. Notre Dame is a 30 point underdog to U$C. It's safe to say that none of us thought that ND would ever be that big of an underdog in this rivalry game. Your thoughts and please include a prediction for the game.

For the first time that I can ever remember in my lifetime of cheering for the Irish, I have no confidence in this team's ability to win this game.

As Holtz said, you gotta believe. But for the first time ever, my faith is shaken and I don't believe.

And it was that realization on Sunday that led me to ask for Coach's resignation.

Even under Willingham, I believed every single week we had the chance to win the game. And he occasionally showed flashes of greatness.

But after watching the Irish lose to Syracuse, I have trouble believing we can win. And that feeling brings tears to my eyes, as I have always been an optimist when it comes to Notre Dame football. I am as homer as they come, and I don't see any way Weis can coach his way to victory.

I know that these players have the talent and (mostly) the heart to win on Saturday, but unless the Coach that hobbles out onto the field next week has experienced some kind of epiphany, I don't believe he can.

If ever there was a time for prayer, it is now. May God's will be done.

USC 56
Notre Dame 14


Mackay Rippey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Stoops? Tressel? I hope you were being sarcastic and mocking the hordes of Irish fans who still think the ND job is still the crown jewel of the CFB world. Maybe 20 or 30 years ago... Anyway, Stoops and Tressel have built programs that contend for MNC's year in and year out, they're worshipped in their respective states, and it's not like ND is a step up in $$, prestige or tradition over OU or OSU. They'd probably piss their pants laughing if ND offered them the job.

I think our best bet is someone like Brian Kelly. The guy's got 15 years HC experience and has won almost immediately everywhere he's been. He's known to be both a great motivator and an amazing X's and O's guy. Being from Cincinnati, I can vouch that it's absolutely amazing what he's done there, even taking into account the foundation Dantonio laid for him. But I'm sure the AD and BOT will find a way to fuck it up somehow, or else he'll go somewhere like Tennessee or Clemson.