Buckle Up, It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Ride

With each mounting loss, its starting to look more and more likely that a coaching change could be on the horizon for Notre Dame. Should the Irish make a change, the new few weeks is going to be a rough time for Notre Dame fans searching for information.

While Jack Swarbrick is saying he won’t evaluate the football program until after the season and Charlie Weis is saying that he is going about business as usual this week, the business going on at Notre Dame is anything but usual. Rumors are swirling of a coaching change on the horizon and Charlie Weis’s once hot heat might be down to a pile of smoldering ashes in the very near future. One thing is certain though, the next two weeks or so is going to be a roller coaster of emotions for Notre Dame fans around the country.

If there’s anything I learned during the last two coaching changes that took place while UHND.com has been around, it’s that there isn’t anything other occasion that brings out more bad information from “unnamed sources” than a coaching change. The bad information that comes out close to Signing Day or during fall camp when reports of previously unproductive players “tearing it up” doesn’t even come close.

Coaching changes at most schools are the same way, but at Notre Dame, it’s a whole other ball game. All around the country, opportunistic coaches’ eyes light up when it looks like there will be a coaching change. Why? Because they can use the media to leak their names as possible candidates only to publicly deny their interest. After, of course, they announce that new contract extension they just signed after the news “broke” of Notre Dame’s interest in their services.

In fact, it’s probably about time Gary Barnett holds a press conference that he is not a candidate for the job.

Remember the line of coaches who “removed their names from consideration” the last time around for the Irish? It got to the comical point when Kansas’s Mark Mangino said he wasn’t a candidate for the job fresh off his 4-7 season with the Jayhawks. Mangino’s career record at that point was 12-24.

This time around coaches like Brian Kelly and Bob Stoops are already being asked about the Notre Dame position even though Charlie Weis is still the head coach for the Irish for at least another two games. Heck, even Tony Dungy has been asked about the potential Notre Dame opening already.

Considering the number of blogs that have popped up since 2004 – remember back then UHND and ND Nation were still really it for Notre Dame fan sites – this time around figures to be much, much worse. The Notre Dame head coaching position isn’t even technically available yet, but the message boards are already getting bent out of shape because someone heard from someone they know who knows someone who knows a guy who serves someone “in the know” their morning coffee that one coach or another isn’t being considered or that another coach is being considered.

Should a change occur, the number of blog and message board posts dissecting every tiny bit of information out there will be head spinning – if they aren’t already. There will be cases made for and against every imaginable candidate for the job. Again, considering there is a job opening. Everyone seems to already be forgetting that Notre Dame still has a coach.

A good general rule of thumb to keep in mind during these times is that no one posting on any of these sites really has any good idea of what is going on, when it’s going to happen, or who may or may not be a candidate despite the countless posts that start off with “according to my source” or “from what I’m told”. Anyone who knows what is really happening isn’t talking right now.

If things are going on in the background right now, and Notre Dame is doing things properly, the information that “leaks” out won’t be of much value.  If Jack Swarbrick is on top of his game, the chances of learning anything definitive until after the Stanford game are slim to none.  In the meantime, however, there is going to be a whole lot of bad information and misinformation leaked to the media from all over the place.

If you want to keep your sanity during this time, realize that you can’t take anything another coach says at this point too seriously. Most coaches won’t comment one way or the other about a job until it’s actually open out of professional courtesy. Some coaches might not even say they are interested in a job when it is open. Remember how many times Nick Saban said he wasn’t leaving the Miami Dolphins for Alabama only to be in Tuscaloosa a week later being introduced as the next head coach for the Crimson Tide?

Unfortunately, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. The instant the last second ticks off the clock in Palo Alto next weekend, the questions will only intensify. Should the inevitable happen shortly after, then the real “fun” will begin.

Buckle up Notre Dame fans – we’re in for a bumpy ride over the next few weeks.

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  1. Well, this being the last Reg. season game for the Irish, I will sit in my chair and root for Irish,complain when i think there should be a flag,or not.I hope by now that N.D. would have learned its lesson and research the Appts on certain coaches and pick a College proven winner coach. Enough with what these guys did as NFL coaches.Coach the KIDS,dont treat them like pros.WAKE UP THE ECHOES,SHAKE DOWN THE THUNDER.

  2. Here’s a thought. You should not be eligible to play in a BCS bowl game if your schedule is not in the top 50 in Sagarin’s schedule difficulty rating. That would drive more compelling matchups in college football. Teams that would drop out of contention this year: Cincinnati, Boise State, Pitt. If your conference is weak you would need to find some decent non-conf games. That would certainly help us find some decent competition non-conference.

  3. I am amazed regarding the reason displayed by the posters here. Excellent coach available, make the change. Not the case then suck it up and move on with Charlie. A bad coaching move is 4 more years with little hope.

    These next two games DO matter. 8-4 with a good bowl win puts a much different spin for recruits than November collapse and a win against Stanford would carry some weight at this point.

    1. What about 7-5 or 6-6? Our nightmare is upon us.

      Do I like Charlie Weis? Absolutely. He is a decent guy who cares deeply about Notre Dame.

      Do I think we should bring him back? It depends on who is available, but generally, my view is NOT ON YOUR LIFE.
      Charlie doesn’t motivate kids. They don’t play like their ass is on fire. The end result is another weak performance against an inferior program. And, another loss.

  4. If you really want to keep your sanity in this time, don’t read anything about the coaching changes (if that’s possible). The reality is none of us will have any sway on the decision that gets made, and getting caught up in the ups and downs and mis-directions will only increase your blood pressure.

    Go Irish!

  5. The difference between us only having one loss and the four losses is not the only the defense it is the running game. In 05-06 we had Darius Walker who created an identity with the run game; he made people miss and didnt go down once he is tagged. AA and Hughes have shown the potential but throughout the game they shut themselves down. someone needs to take the postion with an attitude about it. Riddick could become the man but he needs to play with nothing to lose.

    One more year for CW to develop a run game then he is done. Unless we are guaranteed to get Urban, Stoops or someone with a good name already in college football.

  6. This team under achieves consistently. If they have the lead in the first half, they slack in the second. When they started off terrible they’d make a last ditch come-back effort that 50% of the time failed. That is the coaches fault. Tenuta, was praised before he got here and now our LB’s looked confused out there. Somehow the DB’s forgot how to cover and tackle and nobody feels like covering a tight end. Can anybody recruit a damn game-changing defensive tackle please?!? The last time I saw a ND team with a killer instinct was when Chris Zorich and Mike Stonebreaker were on the field. Hell, just recruit fat guys and lets go back to the wish-bone! I dont care, steal Navy’s playbook, run the wildcat with golden every play, just no more damn screens or dump passees or desperate over-thrown bombs to Floyd that soar over him and out of the end zone! Maybe we can just have Clausen throw our field goals cause apparently no one can kick them (Tausch good have won the Navy game). Im sick of being infuriated every damn saturday watching this team. What is there to be happy about this season??? The only time we dominated was against WSU, while handling a schedule we SHOULD be able to beat up. Stanford put up 51 points on USC and we were all giddy because we came back from a 20 point deficit to not win. They demoralized them and they will do the same to us. Jim Harbaugh has developed confidence, anger, strength and wins out of the same if not less talented recruiting pool we use. These are called benchmarks people.. Dave Waansted, Jim harbaugh, Brian Kelly.. All coaches who took crappy teams, recruited, developed and started winning with them. CW just has not done that, plain and simple. “Next year is the year” can only work one more year and thats pushing it. The only reason I say that is because if Jimmy, Golden and Floyd are all together and Verducci can get the line even better it would be a fun offense to watch. But, how would this defense go from being miserable to mediocre? Whatever, I wish I could just be a Michigan fan and be happy accepting mediocrity.

  7. I really don’t want to go through another year of CW.

    But anyone isn’t better than CW.

    coaching is bigger than recruiting eg; Navy—

    I just hope we get the right guy..

    I know gruden is with espn but maybe that is only without an offer from ND.
    He is young and has a winning track record. Try to intrigue him with the whole Bowden/Paterno angle.

    Maybe Cowher would like something a little lower key then The nfl.

    I know wishful thinking..

  8. I don’t know how I feel about CW leaving, he has put together a very potent offense, the defense just can’t get off the field. If Charlie stays he needs a new defensive coordinator, someone that can fire those guys up. I don’t think that anyone can deny this is one of the best pass offenses in the country, how good would this team be if they could run the ball and play defense? If CW goes, I wonder if Bill Cohwer would consider college football.

  9. I was there when Faust was removed. He was booed once or twice. It had no lasting effect.

    The problem is girls in the sports media. The Jim Rome types who get into the soap opera of sports. That guy is a waste of human flesh. Why would anyone sit and listen to all the inside crap about how a T.O feels or got “dissed” or “dissed” a coach. I mean come on be men and play the game. When it’s done, it’s done.

    I’d like to see administration let Weis or the next coach stand up and say this. “We play the game on Saturday. If anyone has questions about the game, players’ injuries, or upcoming challenges, we’re happy to answer then. The rest of you panty waste girls can take your questions and join a panel on the Joy Bahar Show!”

  10. You know who would be the perfect coach for Notre Dame?? Answer: Tom Coughlin. Strong D, Stong Run. Not gonna happen, but he was awesome at Boston College. With that said, If ND cannot get Urban Meyer, Bob Stoops, Brian Kelly, Jim Harbaugh, Paul Johnson, or Chris Petersen types, then stay with Charlie.

    Reality is CW has this program back in the talent pool area. He proved you can recruit the skill players (Floyd, Tate, Allen, Claussen). It would not be a bad thing to get another good recruiting class in here. CW would have one more year with his guys.

    Ultimately though it is time to move on if we can get the right guy. We need someone who can take Charlie’s guys the next level. Building a strong defense, strong o-line, and continue Charlie’s strengths in the passing game. Any word on Paul Johnson?? I live in Atlanta and this guy has turned GA Tech into a power with hardly much talent. I know ND struggles with containing Paul Johnson’s offense.

  11. Am I the only one who is nervous about this last home game? It isn’t necessarly about a win or a loss but its about how the “so called” fans treat the team and Charlie. The way the fans treat this team and Charlie can have a huge impact on recruiting and more importanly who sticks around for another year. Like it or not these players will rally around their coach. Charlies fate might be a for gone conclusion but Jimmy’s, Golden’s and a couple others are not. ND can be special next year and those of us who will be at the game tomorrow need to show some class. You can be disappointed and frustrated but none of these kids or coaches go out there to lose. If your going to the game tomorrow cheer for this team like its fourth and goal against USC.

    1. T – yes, I am extremely nervous about tomorrow. Watching the interviews of the captains this week, they look like they are in a different world. I just pray that it’s a world of “beating UCONN” for senior day. My heart feels that Weis, Jimmy and Golden are all gone and off to the NFL. Weis has to go…Jimmy can’t pass it up…and Golden won’t be “golden” without Jimmy. After what happened to Bradford, why would JC come back? Losing 3 of the 5 starters on the 0-line would be enough for me. The intrigue of the crowd’s reaction to the team and Charlie really scares me for one reason…RECRUITING!!

  12. CW came in a promptly lead ND with Brady Quinn & Co. to a BCS Bowl. Then the rumors started about how teams in the NFL wanted to hire him out from under ND so he got a big fat long term extension. We all knew his first recruiting year was a wash because he was tied up in New England until Febuary. Everyone new that years 3 & 4 might be a little lean with inexperience and depth issues. We knew the guy had no previous head coaching expierence and no pool of assistant coaches to bring with him.
    If any coach has started from ground zero it’s Charlie Weis. The only other coach in a compariable posisition is Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. He
    realized that USC was the top dog in the conference. He also realized the only way to beat USC was to out muscle them, which he has done this year.
    Something we should have been able to do as well by now.
    Knowing all this, what if CW wins his final 2 games of the year? It will mark an improvement from last year. I thought 9-3 was the most likely out come for this years team. He endured some terriable officiating, and was a play here and there from reaching that mark.
    Next years team was marked as THE team. The one that could win it all. There is a ton talent if everyone returns and some guys use their 5th year.
    These are Charlie’s guys and I would love to see him succeed with them.
    But if he underacheives, it will be a terriable waste of talent. We knew what the deal was when we hired the guy. Have we given him a full and fair shot? I say that unless there is an outstanding coach out there that we are assured of getting, you dance with your date. Make some staff changes. Teach the guys how to cover and tackle. Give one year and a top ten finnish.
    Now we get to find out what kind of gambling man Mr.Swarbrick is.

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