Some More Hawaii Bowl Highlights

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  1. @JC,
    Yeah, Utah wins it’s BCS bowl and is from a conference that went 6-1 against the PAC-10 this year. The Mountain West beat six PAC-10 teams this year. And ESPN is trying to push that the PAC-10 is really one of the best conferences. I say then that the Mountain west is as good.

    And to your comments on Pete Carroll’s practice regimen: How do you get to the point of going full speed without ALSO having time set aside for drills and such. Are those then “Homework” assignments? See I think they can dodge the 20 hours of official football as mandated by the NCAA. But to do that the players must “volunteer” to go do workouts on their own time. Well that cuts into classroom time and real homework time if USC has their players enrolled in true college curriculum.
    The minimum load is 12 credit hours. Usually you need 15 to 18 per semester to graduate on time. The rule is 3 hours of homework per credit hour. So even at the minimum, that’s 36 plus the actual 12 hours of class for 48. Add 56 for sleep, for a total of 92. Add the 20 for “allowable football” time. Add 21 for three meals a day for 7 days assuming an hour per meal. That total’s 145. There 168 hours in a week. So at the minimum load, there are 23 hours left over to do whatever else you need to do. That assumes the players don’t have extra homework from their classes, labs, etc. Also, travel may not be included in the NCAA mandated 20 hours.

    Seems doable but I’m still skeptical that Carroll is following the rules without serious bending.

    But I also think Weis needs to read “The Inner Game of Tennis” the book Carroll subsrcibes to. Remember Patton read Rommel before beating him on the battlefield.

    Ah, who know’s maybe Carroll will jump if the watchdogs start homing in. Otherwise, Weis might want to have the answer next year just to keep his job.

  2. C-Dog,

    You just made me a believer in Kyle Whittingham. WOW, Utah just kicked Alabama’s butt good, 31-17. Too bad for Nicky Saben ESPN’s choice did’nt cut it.

  3. Improving is key, Kyle. I don’t really care much about signature wins. I care about signature improvement.

    This is what concerns me about Weis. It doesn’t seem like his kids are necessarily improving. They looked great in Hawaii, but horrific against ‘Cuse. It also seems like he sort of crash-lands each year. That is, we start out well and fade down the stretch.

    As noted above, I don’t think this warrants termination, but I do believe we need folks to keep a close watch on the day-to-day and week-to-week improvement.

    With respect to Carroll, it seems that he’s simply much more positive than Weis in the way he communicates about his program, his kids, his goals. Weis looks filled with angst all the time — and Carroll looks upbeat and ready to improve.

    Of course, I don’t think Joe Paterno or Bob Stoops or, frankly, Lou Holtz look as optimistic as Carroll. It’s a much different style and one that works for Southern Cal.

  4. Who gives a flying crap about signature wins?

    How about some consistent (good) play from week to week?

    Upsetting a team that’s better than us doesn’t tell me that Wei s has made it.

  5. C-Dog,

    One of the Carroll techniques
    they disclosed on 60 minutes were real game full speed practices where both 1st and 2nd units compete along with a complete set of ref’s.

    This may be a major reason why Carroll’s teams are better prepared. They sure made it look easy beating Penn State in the Rose Bowl with a constant 14 point lead.

    This might be a great technique for ND to emulate.
    Real practice games would seem to have an advantage and a better way to assess player development once the drills and the fundamentals are out of the way. However, are there time allocation issues here? What do you think?

  6. Frankie V.
    Two things we’re hungry for beside the true return of Notre Dame football:

    1. Info on possible new assistant coaches.

    2. Any insight at to truly USC does what it does. Something just doesn’t add up there. Not in keeping with academic or other NCAA rules. Not when no one else emulates Carroll’s so called techniques for success.

  7. Has there ever been a combination of straw men and false statement than Matt has posted?

    “Allowing a bright football guy to work his system over a sustained period of time will generate some success.”

    As if “some success” is ND’s goal, Matt.

    “We’re a long way from the BCS world, but the momentum is building.”

    Apparently Matt didn’t watch BC, Syracuse and USC.

    “If we fire Weis for going 8-4, we’re going to have major recruiting and replacement challenges in the future.”

    Or, we could get an experienced college Head Coach with a track record of success, who can recruit as well as Weis. See Lou Holtz, Ara Parseghian.
    Frank Leahy.

    “The university and the alumni and fan clubs have us believing that if we just change coaches one more time, we’ll win a championship the following year”

    Yeah Matt, it’s one giant conspiracy expecting a guy in his 4th year to be able to beat MSU, Pitt, Syracuse and BC and not to get humiliated by USC (again).

    “A bowl victory was a great start.”

    So said Gerry Faust, before we mercifully put that guy out of his (and our) misery.

    “A coaching change, though, will work wonders for North Carolina, Wake Forest, Stanford, and Northwestern.”

    Yeah, because they’re our “aspirational peers”, right?

    “I suspect you and JC and so many others wanted to can Holtz. You wanted to dump Davie and you wanted to dump Willingham and now you want to dump Weis. And, all those moves worked toward ensuring the 89 teams won bowl games before we won another one.”

    Motre Dame leverage of its fan base ($$$$) to get into higher quality bowl games
    than the team’s performance deserved had a lot more to do with the losing streak than coaching changes.

    “If anyone believes – at all -in developing a system of talented athletes for the long-term health of the football program, they’re censored.”

    First of all, where do you see a system of developing talented athletes? If there is, how do you explain losses to MSU, Pitt, BC, NC and Syracuse, where we had more talent and all of the less talented teams had their Head Coach and staffs developing their talent in equal or less time than Weis had? Secondly, nobody is censoring anybody.

    “For schedule-watchers, don’t forget that this year’s number one team for most of the season was like 7-6 last year.”

    And for reality watchers, go watch the USC game again. Against the only elite team on our schedule, we weren’t even competitive.

  8. C-Dog,

    Correct, Lou was ran out of town by AD Wadsworth and the Vice President of Football Operations Father ….. Well, he’s now in Oregon, and of course Bob Davie’s self-promotion.

    Given all the proper details you have espoused and advocated, in the real world of business as we know it, somebody would have been fired.

    I have never witness anyone survive in the business world with this type of poor performance appraisal, let alone a double standard being implemented. Numbers do not lie.

    Generally speaking, you are not allowed two consecutive years of poor to mediocre work. Especially, in a high profile simular position; CEO, VP of Sales, General Manager, Regional Manager,etc.

    So, CW better count his blessings and bring the bacon next year. I believe since he already had a 10 win season, I think it will take 10 wins at a minimum to secure his job including a BCS bow win.

    Most employers expect and demand progressive improvement in a satisfactory or highly satisfactory to outstanding work performance appraisal.

  9. The alumni didn’t run Lou out, the new AD did. Just like a new AD ran Dan Devine out after a national championship and a bowl loss from another.

    Guys we could argue and debate all we want, but it’s obvious there are some clear metrics Weis needs to hit to stay employed. We can guess, but Swarbrick and Weis know exactly what those are. I’m betting that there are some offseason changes that need to take place or there will be an offseason change of staff. After recruit signing day, there’s nothing sacred about changing staff until summer training camp.
    With Chris Peterson and Kyle Whittingham being hot tickets in conferences that seem to be on par with the at least two so called BCS conferences, ND has to consider it. ND doesn’t want the freak show it had last time, so I think they would do something not at the end of next season, if in fact they did make a change.
    Realize, I am not advocating Weis’ removal, but realizing a few things.
    1. Swarbrick is watching Weis closely for specific signs of improvement.
    2. The faculty and many on campus do not like Weis. Unfortunately, he has offended the folks on campus.
    3. The alums and fan base( including donors ) are now ambivelent towards him.
    4. Given the accusations over the Willingham firing, ND cannot keep Weis if his record isn’t drastically better.
    5. Given Romeo Crennel, another Belechik assistant, just got fired in Cleveland, Weis’s success at New England may be questioned. Spygate won’t help either.

    Weis may be a victim of race, being that the Willingham firing was controversial. He may be a vicitm of his own mouth, touting rings and his abilities. But whether we, in the cheap seats like him or want someone else, he’s on a one year tether to have this team eyeing a 9 or 10 win season, and a BCS bowl. Not easy tasks.

    If he doesn’t make it, the next coach will have a much better situation IF the AD and the administration keep things low key and give the guy a chance.

  10. Oh yes — I recall the neck brace. Mostly, I recall a passionate coach who absolutely refused to accept losing. He was a great fit for ND.

    Sure, toward the end, we had some rough games, but not the stuff we see today. Willingham really sent the program in a negative direction.

    Our little one, yes, cheered on ND in her earliest weeks. Our older one — a 2-year-old boy — is a cross between Clausen (likes to throw) and Aldridge (runs everywhere).

    We need to win — fast.

  11. I agree, it was a very sad day when he resigned. Not to mention they jumped on him when he and his wife where having health issues. Remember his neck brace?

    So, are you working on your second ND fan? We need all the fans we can get.

  12. Thanks — she’s a pretty cool little baby.

    I disliked the removal of Holtz the most. I know he resigned, but he was pushed out and that was unfortunate, given his tremendous ability as a recruiter, motivator and coach.

    Faust and Willingham needed to go.

  13. Matt, I suspect you wanted to keep Jerry Faust forever. No, I was against Lou leaving. I was extremely upset when they gave Lou’s second National Title to Florida State. And still bitter about it.

    By the way, congratulations on your six month old.

  14. Right, David, it’s better to be lousy than decent. 89 teams had won bowl games between the time ND won the 1994 Cotton and the time we won in 2008. 89. I suspect you and JC and so many others wanted to can Holtz. You wanted to dump Davie and you wanted to dump Willingham and now you want to dump Weis. And, all those moves worked toward ensuring the 89 teams won bowl games before we won another one.

    If anyone believes – at all -in developing a system of talented athletes for the long-term health of the football program, they’re censored. This is what ND has become.

    The weakening of the Irish schedule is part and parcel of this approach. Now, we play fewer difficult games and we run through coaches like my six-month-old runs through diapers.

    Next year will define CW. My hunch is that we’ll have a great year. We’ll have the athletes to do so. But, we’ve got to stay healthy, CW has to get them to play much better as a unit, and he’s got to coach much better than he did this year.

  15. Kudos David,

    CW’s resume is what it is.

    In the final analysis, The AD is CW’s Boss and if you don’t achieve the stated goals by the Boss?

    Well, I don’t think we really need to get out crayons and draw pictures on this one.

    Next year will define CW’s future, or his boss will.

  16. I was at that Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. The scoreboard may not have reflected it, but understand they were a far superior team than ND. Their speed blew our team away.

    If you are happy with mediocrity and a “decent job” then i dont see why you even keep responding to my comments. I think i speak for quite a few when i say: Decent is not good enough.

  17. The Ohio State loss was hardly a blow-out, by the way. . . .

    I am saying that Weis has beaten some big-time programs already. Aside from Michigan and PSU, we beat Tennessee, too. Although they had a down year in 2005, Tenn., plays in the rough SEC.

    ND doesn’t play the schedule we used to play. There’s just the one elite-level team on our schedule and that’s Southern Cal. Meanwhile, we’ve got these subpar BE schools all over the schedule. There are fewer big games. . . .

    My bottom line is this: Weis has done a decent job as a head coach. I want to win more, but we’ll do more harm in letting him go than in keeping him. If we’re 7-5 or worse next year, we should probably part ways. I don’t want that — I want to go 12-0 — but I can see how that could happen.

  18. So your telling me those are signature wins?

    A 7-5 michigan team in 2005 and a 9-4 penn state team in 2006? – Both who play in the big 10 (which lets be honest, doesnt carry the talent that it used too)

  19. Thanks Mark May —

    He won nine games in 2005 and 10 in 2006. In 2005, his best win was probably against Michigan and in 2006 his best was a drubbing against Penn State.

    If Weis had beaten USC, David, you would be pedaling the same crap, only you’d say, “he only has one signature win — a 34-31 victory against USC. One big win in four years!”

    I don’t buy this argument — especially given the unwillingness to join a conference (I suspect you object to this, too).

    The Penn State and Michigan wins were legit. Moreover, the fact that the guy has gone to the BCS twice in the last four years stands out.

    Do I think he’s the best coach? Not yet. But, I believe in the process. Jim Calhoun took Connecticut from a nothing to two national titles. He had some rough patches in the 1980s. He’s still winning now.

    If you make the job a three- or four-year tryout, you get fewer coaches who are interested in the job. ND alumni practically ran Lou Holtz out. CW isn’t perfect, but he’s recruited well and he’s won some decent games.

  20. @ Matt
    “Weis is a good coach. He knows how to win and has won at ND.”

    Where is his signature win again. Because the rest of the world cant find one.

    His signature win is a 3pt loss to USC in the closing seconds.

  21. Well, the bar has been set higher by the AD and 8-4 does not put you “in the discussion for a BCS Bowl” whether you like it or not.

    I love people who twist and parse words to fit their agenda. I did not say NC EVERY YEAR.

    All ND Head Football Coaches are expected to win atleast one National Championship in 5 years or you’re gone. That is without question ND’s culture of football, to be the leader on and off the field.

    So, if you’re willing to live with more mediocrity, I did not here you whining for Willingham, so why the double standard for Charlie? Especially with all the guaranteed Bravado by CW.

    Most people like real accountability not wishful thinking. So, you got your 12-1 season coming up, enjoy it.

  22. We’ve seen how well this attitude has worked for us. No one benefits more from the ridiculous NC EVERY YEAR approach than other academic and athletic schools — Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Stanford and Northwestern (all of which won bowl games between 1994 and 2008).

    ND will win a title with Weis, but it’s probably not going to be next year. And, that is fine with this life-long fan because we’re on the right track. A coaching change, though, will work wonders for North Carolina, Wake Forest, Stanford, and Northwestern. And, we’ll be off the map for another five years.

  23. Needless to say, for the last 15 years we have experienced good to poor head coaching. WHO NEEDS A GOOD HEAD COACH?? Good is for Indiana, Good is for Purdue, Good is for Stanford, Good is for Navy,etc.

    It is long over due for excellence, we want a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HEAD COACH, period.

    ND has a higher standard than just good. Further, based on your “For schedule-watchers” analysis; a 12-1 record would be highly acceptable and exhilarating.

    Enough of the low expectations and deliver on the “9-3 is not good enough.”
    Otherwise go coach for Indiana.

  24. Again, the university will screw this up if they can Weis for 8-4. Two BCS bowls in five years should guaranty a sixth year if he’s 8-4 — particularly with the recruiting classes he has.

    For schedule-watchers, don’t forget that this year’s number one team for most of the season was like 7-6 last year.

    This is a process. The university and the alumni and fan clubs have us believing that if we just change coaches one more time, we’ll win a championship the following year. And, we’ve been hearing this since they ran Holtz out of town (and, of course, now these same folks are saying that we should bring Holtz back). Enough.

    Weis is a good coach. He knows how to win and has won at ND. If we perform well next year — and I think well is relative, given the recent 3-9 debacle — Weis should be all right. If we’re still losing to Navy and Syracuse and we’re going 7-5 or 6-6 or whatever worse, he should be removed.

    A bowl victory was a great start.

  25. Congrats IRISH

    But hold on.. I think we have finally found a spot for Charlie, and that upstairs in the booth that where he does his best work.I think he sees the field a lot better so please keep him off the field.

    GO IRISH

  26. With next year’s schedule, any thing short of a 11-1 record would be extremely disappointing after 5 years of CW. How long do we keep the head coaching training wheels on??

    Further, based on the AD’s comments, winning is now an exigent manner. “We must win” “and be in the discussion for major bcs bowl.”

    So, make no mistake about it; expectations are set high for 2009 and “no excuses.”

  27. Doesn’t matter what the schedule is. ND has to win 9 games or more or Weis has a good chance of leaving. ND needs to get into a BCS bowl, and probably win it. Or Weis may be leaving. Look folks. Talk of schedule, recruits, who could be better at QB, is a waste of time now. It’s down to they just have to win next year or there will be changes. And to win, they need improvement in the running game, and the mental toughness to play 60 minutes. I haven’t seen either. I’ll be happy and inspired when I do.

    Minimum 9 wins plus a BCS bowl, or you will see a head coaching change.

  28. Final thoughts:

    The Irish played well. We controlled the ball on offense and we were able to stuff their spread offense. It was great to see!

    For the tens or hundreds of thousands of Weis doubters, this game prolongs the inevitable. But, for the rest of us, this game is evidence that allowing a bright football guy to work his system over a sustained period of time will generate some success.

    ND is a special place. We don’t recruit everyone because not everyone can succeed athletically and academically at Notre Dame. We recruit the best athletes that are most likely to graduate from this prestigious university. Charlie knows this.

    Going forward, I hope the alumni, fans and the administration give Weis their support. My hunch is that we’ll go out next year and go 8-4 or better. Is that enough? I think it should indicate to the CF world that ND is back.

    I want to be back in a BCS game or a championship game as much as everyone else. But, you can’t go 3-9 without sucking it up in every phase of the game. We were last in practically everything last year. We’re a long way from the BCS world, but the momentum is building. If we can keep it going, we’ll return to the BCS at some point in the near future. If we fire Weis for going 8-4, we’re going to have major recruiting and replacement challenges in the future.

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