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A Few Thoughts on Weis, Notre Dame

Should I stay, or should I go?

As I am sitting here watching the first half of the Notre Dame-Stanford game wind down, I thought I’d offer up an opinion piece.  An Edgitorial if you like.  A lot is being said of the Notre Dame situation in the second half of this season, and I thought maybe it’s time I let my tongue (fingers) wag a little.

Before we began our season at OTP, we took time to analyze the upcoming season, and against all advice from fans and non-fans alike, I predicted at most a three-loss Notre Dame team this year.  In no certain terms, I was labeled crazy and a “hater”.  I’m sure if I had the FBS crystal ball in my hand at the beginning of the year and found out the Irish would lose five (possibly six after tonight), even I would have thought that was crazy.

As I’ve stated, I’m a fan of Notre Dame.  The Irish have an incredible history and a program rich in tradition.  I admire that, much more than a flash-in-the-pan team that might have a good four or five years. But even empires have to fall at some point (2000-2008 Yankees?).  I really think Notre Dame is in that era right now, and it’s a painful thing to watch.  But one thing is for certain: win or lose tonight, Weis has to go.

Therein lies another argument.  Notre Dame would have to buy out a pretty fat contract with Weis, some reporting upwards of $18 million.  Does the whole city of South Bend even operate on that kind of a budget?  That’s where it gets tricky: pay Weis and essentially suffer in mediocrity for a few years, or get out now?  My solution: get out.

I know financially this probably wouldn’t make sense to most programs, but at this point, Notre Dame needs the defibrillator.  With a program like Notre Dame, there is no excuse to sit back and wait and see what will happen next season.  Thankfully, the Irish alum have deep pockets, and I really don’t foresee money being that big of an issue.  Maybe at Ball State, but not at Notre Dame.

One of the most recent reasons I think Weis should go is directly related to the Clausen “cold-cocking” incident at a bar early Sunday morning last weekend.  First of all, let’s assume he was sucker punched and in absolutely no way instigated the altercation.  It’s a long shot, but just try to believe that.  I know Jimmy is of-age, but at what point does a head coach have to say, “Look, we’re in season.  No unnecessary risks, no poor decisions, and from now until the season ends, I’m your parent.”  Seriously, has Charlie never seen The Program and the downfall of Joe Kane?

I understand the players have rights and all that, but there is no excuse a public figure, a leader of your team, is out at a bar at two in the morning after a game.  Yeah, it sucks if you’re a player, and maybe it’s a little extreme to institute a four or five month curfew, but it really should be the nature of the beast.  Weis should have some semblance of control of this team, and incidents like Clausen got himself into Sunday morning just prove that he might not have much control over that team.

Another reason he has to go is both his record (worse than Davie and Willingham) and questionable play-calling.  I can’t get into all the instances of this year and keep this under 700 words, but there’s no way you “Weis can do no wrong” fans can argue with this.  Just as easily as Notre Dame could be 9-2 at this point, they could also be well below .500.

 Hopefully I’ve opened the can of worms just enough to let some of you comment on what you think would be best for Notre Dame in 2010.  You know my opinion, so what’s yours?  Does Charlie stay or does Charlie go?

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