Charlie Weis Era Comes To An Unofficial End


Though not yet official, when the gun sounded this past Saturday signaling the end of the Navy-Notre Dame game, you wouldn’t have been too far off of the mark if you thought that Fighting Irish coach Charlie Weis’ tenure at South Bend had been shot. Credit the Midshipmen for ending the Weis era unofficially with their surprise 23-21 win.

Navy Wins

Charlie Weis

Charlie Weis

Though the Irish are 6-3 and still could finish the regular season at 9-3 and secure a good bowl bid, Weis just hasn’t been able to fulfill his promise to restore Notre Dame to national glory. Instead, for the second time in three years Navy has beaten the Fighting Irish, all this coming after having lost 43 consecutive games to Notre Dame dating back to the Roger Staubach era before breaking the skid in 2007.

No Notre Dame coach should lose to Navy. Not twice. And certainly not both of those times at home in front of a national television audience.

To be fair, Navy is a much better team than many people give them credit for. The Midshipmen simply cannot compete on size with the best of the big time football programs, but they can hold their own thanks to discipline and a hard to stop triple option offense that befuddles many a defensive unit. On Saturday, it wasn’t just the triple option which whacked the Irish, but turnovers. Three to be exact which also happened to be three more than what Navy had for the day.

Deciding Safety

Those turnovers as well as a pair of missed field goals spelled the difference in a game that the Irish were favored to win by eleven points and probably would have won by at least three touchdowns if the Irish were playing up to their top level. Alas, blunders and smart thinking on Navy’s part killed any chance for a Notre Dame rally, most particularly a safety with about a minute to go when Heisman hopeful and Irish QB, Jimmy Clausen, was tackled in the end zone.

That safety extended Navy’s lead to 23-14, making it a two score game. A half minute later Notre Dame scored, but it wasn’t enough to turn back Navy.

Bye-Bye, Charlie

It is my belief that Charlie’s tenure at Notre Dame is over no matter what happens for the remainder of the season. This was supposed to be the year that the Irish secured a BCS bid. Instead, with a game against a hot Pittsburgh team this Saturday followed by games against a tough UConn squad and surprising Stanford, suddenly the remainder of this season looks anything but promising.

Though Weis is a Notre Dame alumnus and still has one year four years left on his contract, look for for Irish alumnae to buy it out, allowing the school to make a pitch for Brian Kelly of Cincinnati. Of course, Kelly will want to think this move over carefully because when it comes to expectations, Notre Dame faithful will give you little room to maneuver.

Just ask Charlie Weis come December.

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Pictured: Wikipedia file photo.


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