Frustration. Hope. Despair.
I defended Charlie Weis and his coaching staff this entire season. Sure, I've speculated about who ND should hire if they fired Weis.
However, with the overall lack of effort and poor play for more than 75 percent of the game against Pittsburgh, I'm no longer backing Weis.
Everyone knew the importance of this game, yet the team came out flat. It took up until the middle of the fourth quarter in an otherwise ugly game to get the team going (though Golden Tate's heroics should get the bulk of the credit). That can't happen during important games, especially coming off a loss to Navy.
To be fair, Weis improved the program—but he can't get results. At the end of the day, that's what matters and it just isn't there.
Zero wins against teams finishing with fewer than three losses. A terrible record against teams with winning records. (Anyone following ND has heard the bulk of these stats, and I'll leave it at that.)
As a ND alum, I want to see fellow alums succeed. It's painful to watch a fellow graduate fail to get over the hump.
I feel bad for the guy, but you can't feel too bad when he makes close to $4M a year, yet fails to achieve the kind of positive results other highly paid coaches do.
Even Lou Holtz said he's disappointed in the way ND played against Pitt. That's about as negative as he'll get. Even he can't sugarcoat the negativity surrounding the program.
Let's just end it already so we don't have to do this whole dance on the hot seat again next year.
After all, this was supposed to be at the very worst an 8-4 season—and that's the best Notre Dame can do now. This was supposed to be a potential BCS team.
Instead, it feels like a lot of wasted potential. When does potential turn into reality?
Weis' performance seems eerily similar to Ron Zook's. Recruits well. Makes an early splash. Frustrates. Then, everyone is ready for a new coach.
Everyone at ND is ready. I think even Weis is ready. Let's stop wasting all that talent (even if it might be lacking on the defensive side of the ball).
Now that Weis stocked the cupboard to lure a proven college coach, it's time to strike. We have all heard the different options.
Notre Dame doesn't have to make the call now; we can wait until after the regular season. That will give us time to gauge the interest of the prospects. Perhaps even wait until after the BCS decides who won its lottery.
That night, TCU or Cincinnati might lose more than just a title shot. Going undefeated and missing out on the title game makes it easier to jump to a team that can become overrated with a few wins easier than any other team in the nation.
Even Irish haters know that an undefeated Notre Dame team will get a BCS championship invite. It's an easy pitch to make: Come to Notre Dame and you'll never have to worry about missing out on the title game with an undefeated team.
Regardless, Notre Dame needs to put its consulting company to work now. Find out who will accept the job so we'll have a smooth transition once Swarbrick announces the firing (or thankfully a resignation) at the end of the regular season.
Find a big name coach and the recruits will stay; a shiny new coach could persuade some of the uncommitted ones too.
I tried to keep the faith in Weis. It's tough to fire an alum coach. Ask UVA. It's like dating a good friend and realizing that it isn't going anywhere. You try to avoid ending the relationship because you really want it to work out with the friend. It's time to break up with Charlie Weis, so both sides can be better off. Weis can return to being a good offensive coordinator and the Irish can try to return to glory.