Chaos has been crowned king on the campus of Notre Dame.
A dark cloud descended upon South Bend Monday morning as a gray haze and a cold early fall drizzle filled an atmosphere once ripe with Irish football optimism.
Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick read a brief three-minute statement and then left the podium without taking questions after explaining that, “the Notre Dame family needs time to heal, to recuperate, and to establish its redirection.”
That redirection will not include head coach Charlie Weis, leading tackler and starting strong safety Kyle McCarthy, or dynamic receiver Michael Floyd
Weis was dismissed from his oft-discussed ten-year contract late Sunday night, less than 48-hours after their devastating last second 39-33 loss to Michigan State.
Swarbrick also announced that McCarthy had left school, fully withdrawn from classes, and reportedly moved back to his home in Youngstown, Ohio.
In addition, it was reported Sunday afternoon that Michael Floyd had broken his collar bone and would be out for the rest of the regular season.
Notre Dame must now try to regroup over the next five days and prepare for a trip to West Lafayette to play a hungry Purdue team coming off a disappointing loss to Northern Illinois. Without Weis, McCarthy, or Floyd the Irish now look both completely beatable and altogether irrelevant, two true horrors for everybody from the NBC front office to the legions of ND fans nationwide.
The spark that ignited the flame came with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter Saturday when an ill-advised Kirk Cousins pass on 2nd down from the Irish 18- yard-line bounced into, and then out of the hands of McCarthy. The fifth-year senior crumbled to the turf of Notre Dame Stadium bringing both hands to his head and the look of devastation to his face.
After a Cousins sneak on third down positioned the ball on the right hash, Brett Swenson knocked home a 34-yard field goal to tie the game at 33.
The ensuing kick-off caught the Irish off guard as Swenson dribbled his second surprise onside kick of the day. MSU receiver Blair White came up with the ball after a mad scramble among six Spartan players. The ND return team remained motionless and looked on helplessly, suddenly flashing back to the '08 Navy game, before apathetically sauntering off the field.
Two plays later White blew by McCarthy on a well executed post pattern and hauled in the winning 42-yard touchdown pass as time ran out on the game, the Weis era, the career of McCarthy, and maybe the Notre Dame mystique.
The storm continued in the post-game press conference when Weis responded to the first obvious question: “What do you want me to tell you? Kyle makes that catch and we win the game. That one’s on him. I haven’t seen hands like that since I told Charlie Jr. to put down the headset and jump into receiver drills.”
When told of the Weis crack, McCarthy said, “How ‘bout mixing in a nickel package or two. We blitz the freakin’ lunch lady, the bus driver, and the meter maid. Everybody knows it! How ‘bout we find a coach who can teach us to cover an onside kick. That one’s on me? 3-9 and 6-6 are on him. Clock management is on him!”
From there, news of Floyd’s season-ending injury hit ESPN bottom lines from Altoona to Albuquerque and Notre Dame Haters had finally hit their weekend trifecta.
Dr. Lou Holtz has reportedly flown to Los Angeles to massage the ego of Pete Carroll and to reconsider his own college football allegiances. He was last seen hanging with Snoop at Matt Barkley’s new 4000-square foot “apartment” that Barkley swears he’s paying for.
Mark May has been promoted to lead College Football Gameday host, replacing the fledgling Chris Fowler. May is rumored to be planning a complete makeover of the CFG set with Pitt grads Tony Dorsett and Mike Ditka and a new musical introduction sung by May lookalike and "icon of love," Barry White.
The torrid ripple effects continued with news this afternoon of a self-imposed Brittany-esque head shave of Fowler's flowing quaff in a pathetic attempt at both self-mutilation and national sympathy. Herbstreit was reportedly at the hospital for the birth of his fifteenth blond-haired male child. Lee Corso couldn't be reached at the Bristol Alzheimer Institute but his publicist claimed he was, "fit as fiddle and achin' for action if Notre Dame needs an interim guy!"
And in the last news of the evening, WNDU 16 in South Bend announced that Charlie Jr., so affected by Charlie Sr.’s comments, has actually decided to try out for a real, live football team that wears pads and plays games.
Swarbrick has scheduled a noon-time press conference for Thursday where he will announce the next steps for the Irish program. Jay Leno is said to be preparing for the introductory monologue, Neil Patrick Harris has agreed to host, and the five Cowboy cheerleaders who were up in that cage thing Monday night will be performing live over Swarbricks right shoulder throughout the event.