With Or Without Charlie Weis, Can Notre Dame Salvage Its Season?
Another Saturday of Notre Dame football resulted in another four hours of my new weekend traditions—frustration, hair-pulling, and vulgarities coming from every corner of my living room.
What followed one of the worst losses of recent Irish memory was more of the same as the Notre Dame fan base and myself grabbed our pitchforks and axes, and began the end of the Weis era a few weeks early.
Now, the trending topic across the quantified fan base is not whether Weis should be fired or not, but rather who shall replace him on the throne in South Bend.
With that said, the program faces many more questions that have been swept under the rug as the talk of Brian Kelly, Urban Meyer, and Touchdown Jesus himself are meanwhile all being named as successors.
What's left to play for?
Get your lifesaver and whistle, Jimmy. It's time to save your football program.
After all, Clausen is the same quarterback who said on the front of The Sporting News that he wouldn't let it be his fault that Weis was fired.
The Irish face a daunting schedule for the remainder of the season. A trip to Pitt this weekend looks tougher every time its analyzed. Not only do the Panthers get the Irish at home, but they get them while being ranked No. 12 in the country and in the middle of their own hot streak.
Next on the slate would be Connecticut and Mr. Zach Frazier himself. UConn has had an up-and-down season, yet can not be taken lightly. Especially after a 47-45 shootout loss with Demetrius Jones and the Bearcats of Cincinnati.
Jim Harbraugh coached his team to an upset victory of Oregon last weekend and has his Cardinals in the Top 25. Not only do the Irish face them in a pivotal end-of-season game, they also must make the West Coast road trip.
Winning two of the games will be considered a season-saving end to the year. All three opponents are quality teams and match up with Notre Dame quite well.
If the Irish can manage to finish the year with an 8-4 record, they will find themselves with a Gator Bowl invitation waiting in Jack Swarbrick's mailbox. Accepting that bid would most likely match Notre Dame up with Miami in Jacksonville.
Anything less than eight wins and Notre Dame will be scratching their head on where they would be headed in the cold depths of December. Outside of the BCS bowls, the Irish only have contracts with the Gator and Cotton bowls this season.
It may seem unimportant to win these remaining games for some fans as a BCS berth is out of the question, but there are reasons left to play for.
Regarding the present players, the Irish are still playing for the life of Clausen and still possibly Golden Tate in the Heisman race. Even though they probably will not win the award with a disappointing season in South Bend, they are both serious contenders for having a seat reserved for them in the Big Apple.
Also for Clausen and Tate, they are playing for their future in the NFL. It will be interesting to see how these situations transpire over future months, especially with Weis being almost pushed out the door.
Regarding the future, the Irish still must play for the 2014 recruiting class. With many five-stars left on the board, they must show that the program is still on the rise, even after a few disappointing losses on their resume yet again.
If Notre Dame can manage to salvage their season, they will have a top three class coming in next year. Again, this is all assuming Weis is still somehow the coach until National Signing Day.
How will Weis handle the heat?
How will the team react to the negativity surrounding their season?
The true colors of this program will be shown over the next month of football.
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