Posted by BrianBoru at 9/14/2009 3:47 PM EDT
(Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis)
Improvement from the offense amounts to very little when the defense is a sieve. Ditto the special teams. Absolutely brutal.
Weis must be judged on the aggregate total of his coaching duties -- not simply in the vacuum of his offensive output. And though the officiating was as awful as I've ever seen, that's to be expected with Big Ten refs — particularly in Ann Arbor — but that's another matter altogether. The bottom line is, ND had a talent advantage at nearly every position, yet Weis somehow managed to bungle another game — a game Notre Dame had to win.
An experienced head coach would have recognized the advantage Michigan had by playing at home, with essentially their very own refs; but Charlie did not learn from prior mistakes. An experienced head coach would have run out to a big enough lead, mitigating the home field advantage the Wolverines enjoyed.
As for Tate Forcier, I am not buying him as a stud quarterback. I see a poor man's Jim Harbaugh when I look at him. Sure, hats off for playing well and winning the game, but Notre Dame sure has a funny way of turning average quarterbacks into household names.
Forcier camped at Notre Dame last summer; he left camp with no offer in hand. Additionally, he was not offered a scholarship by Southern Cal, despite growing up nearby. He's got a pea shooter for an arm, and I will go on record as saying he will not remain the starter at Michigan all four seasons.
At any rate, this is year five for Weis. Rodriguez is in his second season, and his program was more vulnerable than I have ever seen a Michigan program, e.g. off-the-field issues, transfers, depleted depth on roster, etc. But then again, Ara Parseghian said it best when recalling the importance of having prior head coaching experience before coming to Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is not a training ground for coaches to learn on the job, e.g. Faust, Davie et al.
The loss to Michigan is wholly unacceptable.
And the game against Southern Cal promises to be ugly. A loss to the Trojans will bring Charlie to 0-5 against Notre Dame's only rival. That is unacceptable, but then again, losing to the Washington Generals...er, Navy ought to be as well.
Notre Dame Nation must not embrace the lowered expectations coming from the administration.
Notre Dame Football is quickly becoming a Disneyland-like attraction: take the family for an enjoyable afternoon and see the the beautiful sights on campus — just don't pay attention to the current results on the field, for they are ancillary to the experience of your visit to the Notre Dame Museum of Lore.