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Heartbroken Notre Dame: Coach Charlie Weis to Blame?

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17: Jimmy Clausen #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is consoled by teammate Dayne Crist #10 during a game against the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 34-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Clashmore MikeCorrespondent INovember 15, 2009

Well, what's left to say after the disaster at Pittsburgh?

To call this a disappointing season is perhaps the most banal understatement you could come up with. So how does this Fighting Irishman feel about the state of  the program that he loves so much? Anger. Disgust. Bewilderment. Fed-up. But most of all, heartbroken.

It's over, Coach Weis.

You began this season with not one, but two legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates (It might have been three if Michael Floyd hadn't gone down). You have a top-three offense. Truly explosive. Over the last four years, to your credit, you have out recruited the entire nation.

It's true, you inherited a ticking time bomb from Willingham, and that earned you patience from both the fanbase and the administration. But those guys are all gone now, and this team…and record…is all yours. 

Given the trajectory of not only our team, but of our remaining opponents, I fully expect the Irish to now finish 6-6. How can this be happening?

I know you don't own all the blame. Never, ever, have I been as disappointed in a coach has I am of Coach Tenuta.

I remember his defenses at Georgia Tech—a team that has rarely had the same talent level as Notre Dame. They were aggressive, attacking, and seemed to confuse and confound offenses.

But here? Tentative play, terrible tackling, no pressure up front, and worst of all, we hear the Navy coach confess that his team that relied on the Irish lining up exactly as we did two years ago. Deny it all you want, but he said it, and their play against us backed it up. Unbelievable.

Then there's the penalties.

There's two things to say about this. One, never have I seen more biased officiating in my 38 years of attending Notre Dame games as I have this year. Case in point: Clausen's "fumble" at the end of the Pitt game.

It's been happening all season. Obvious touchdowns overturned. A refusal to call flagrant pass interference. Phantom holding calls. And an utter lack of flags for opponents.

Don't tell me Pitt's only infraction was a late off-sides call. Balony. You could see the holding. But, you know what? Whatever...there were plenty of actual penalties on our part to do us in. How can this Notre Dame team play so undisciplined? So stupidly? I swear, if I see Sam Young draw another holding call I'll scream.

The bottom line is, under Coach Weis, our overall record has fallen to 35-25 (.583), the exact same winning percentage predecessors Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham had when they were put out of our misery.

Charlie, you are a good guy. I've met you, I know your heart is in the right place. You are a good, no…great, offensive coordinator. I know that 90 percent of the criticism is pure, personally cruel, biased hatred of Notre Dame. But under your stewardship, something is missing. It's missing! Everything is in place to win…but we aren't winning.

It's time to turn the page.

NOTE: To my Bleacher Report friends…it's good to be back.

I had a professional writing obligation that took all my spare time. I've still been to every home game (and will be in the House that Rock Built next week for one final nail in the coffin). Perhaps the book deadline was a blessing…it kept me from dwelling in writing on the disaster that this season has become. Anyway, it's good to be back!

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