Weis A Good Bet In Crucial Games; Nine Make-Or-Break Games Reveal Coach's Mettle

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Weis A Good Bet In Crucial Games;  Nine Make-Or-Break Games Reveal Coach's Mettle

The bad news for Charlie Weis' Fighting Irish is that the final quarter of the 2009 schedule poses two road challenges against currently-ranked opponents. The good news reads much the same: The Irish will have an opportunity to erase the humbling loss to Navy and play their way into a top-tier (non-bcs) bowl against upstart Pitt, Uconn and Stanford.

It's well documented that Weis' teams have experienced highs and lows throughout his tenure. Unfortunately the Jersey guy's Glory Days of '05 and '06 feel like... truthfully, like a different coaching era— due in large part to the programs' recent struggles to regain respect and mediocrity.

Along Weis' recent ascension back to ND standards, there have been quite a few pivotal games that have proven formative in creating the enormous stage for tonight's Pitt game.

Some of these games even the most fervent ND supporter would be unable to identify as "must" games—but in hindsight, more often that not, Weis' boys have delivered clutch performances.

Believe it or not, the reason that Weis has been able to resurrect a team that experienced complete futility just two short years ago, is attributable to his success in dire situations.

It's true that Charlie continues his quest for a "Signature Win," but he's not devoid of victory when the mission's critical.

Here's a look back at the significance of Weis' 5-3 mark in "Statement Games."

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