The Charlie Weis Era: Is There Anything Left To Defend?

Jim CowanCorrespondent INovember 30, 2008

I don’t know if there are any redeeming qualities about the play of our beloved Irish anymore. I’ve read for the past five years about how Tyrone Willingham destroyed the program, how Bob Davie started an era of losing, and how Charlie Weis would turn it all around.

At what cost, and more importantly, at what time is this transition going to occur?

If I were a betting man, well, I’d put my wallet away because it just ain’t happening.

The argument was made for the off-field improvements Willingham made, which no one can discredit.

I believe he had the highest graduation rates ever. And through it all, as conservative as he was, he was a stand-up guy.

But guess what?

That and 50 cents will get you a coke when it comes to saving your job as head football coach at the University of Notre Dame. It’s about winning football games. It’s about beating our rivals. It’s about upholding tradition. It’s about bringing national championships to South Bend!  Thus, Willingham was cut loose.

So let us talk about winning.

Bob Davie’s Notre Dame coaching career ended with a .583 winning percentage. Tyrone Willingham’s was cut short with a .583 winning percentage. Before Saturday, Charlie Weis’ winning percentage was, you guessed it, .583.

Now he holds the sole third turd position at .571, behind Joe Kuharich and Gerry Faust at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

So, how can anyone in an official capacity support Weis’ continuance with a worse record than his past two predecessors? Davie had a 30-19 record at this point in his career. Weis is 28-21.

Willingham didn’t even get a forth year to worsen his record. Records aside, from what I can remember, Davie and Willingham’s losses were not as bad as the ones we’ve witnessed over the past two years.

I look at virtually every other major college football program and changes they’ve made in the past that led to their recent success.

While there are a few more recruiting restrictions and maybe a few more challenges that come with the job, there’s no conceivable reason Notre Dame should not be able to have a coaching staff that breeds success and produces championship-caliber teams year in and year out.

It’s an unfortunate decision Swarbrick has to make, but a necessary one nevertheless.

I’m not talking about the decision as to whether to keep Weis, but the one that will factor into choosing the next boss. I’ve never heard of the forth time being a charm, but let’s hope that is, indeed, the case.