I was contemplating the meaning of life, as I always do when college football season is near, when this interesting thought floated into my brain: What would everyone say about Urban Meyer if Charlie Weis leads the Fighting Irish to the national title. To me its simple, Meyer would be considered chicken for passing up Notre Dame for Florida in 2005.
Let's get one thing clear here. Those of you who believe that Meyer chose Florida for family related reasons are full of it. Meyer dissed Notre Dame for one reason; he did not believe they could win a national title, and did not think top players wanted to attend a college where you actually had to graduate.
I give Meyer credit; he knew the landscape at Notre Dame and knew that it would take much more work to attract top talent to South Bend. Deep down he believed that the Notre Dame of old was long gone. No longer did it have the exclusive television advantage allotted by its NBC contract. Every week all the top talent in the country from all the top programs would be seen on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and on, and on, and on... well you get my point.
He also knew that if any of his top players got busted for assault, theft, DUI or dug possession, there would never see the inside of Notre Dame stadium again.
So when Meyer sat on the couch to ponder these Notre Dame truths, he called his mentor, Earl Bruce, who told him he would be crazy to take the Notre Dame job, and told him to go to Florida and win a national championship. He has now won it two of the last three years. God bless him for that, Our Holy Mother can at least take solace that he was Catholic.
On the other side of this media soap opera is poor Charlie Weis—beaten down like a dead horse by every media outlet in the county for his poor performance the past two seasons.
For sure, he has deserved most of it. He had no clue how to handle freshman players, and he failed to recognize the deficiencies of his first coaching staff. Make no mistake, had he given the ball to Evan Sharpley with full confidence in 2007, the Irish could have won seven games easy. But this quarterback fiasco killed the confidence of every offensive player on that team.
Then he stopped calling plays in 2008, thinking that Mike Haywood could actually lead an offence to three Super Bowls. Bad mistake. Had he kept that duty, 10 plus wins would have been easy, says Phil Steele, who has the Irish highly ranked this year as well.
So if Notre Dame wins the national title what would that say about Charlie Weis? He would be considered the best coach in college football. No question. He is by far the best recruiter in the country, having attracted top 10 classes in three of his four years, having to recruit nationally in the face of the most negative press against any college program. Not to mention, once again, that his kids have to graduate and stay out of jail.
Urban Meyer did not have the guts to take on the rebuilding challenge left behind by Ty Willingham. But I assure you that Meyer is a great coach and I believe even he could win a national title with the group assembled in South Bend. But if Charlie bets him too it, he will have wished he had not listened to his wife’s nagging about the cold winters in Indiana. He would have sold himself short.
No matter how many titles you win in Florida, they would never compare to winning the title in South Bend. Just ask yourself; who do you remember, Lou Holtz or Barry Switzer. Enough said.