Weis watch, Pac-10 shuffles and the "Big Game" 

November, 17, 2009

Let's look at some Week 12 storylines:

1. The Weis Watch:

After consecutive losses to Navy and Pitt, the buzzards are circling Charlie Weis. It's been pointed out how his winning percentage is exactly the same (.583) as what Bob Davie's and Ty Willingham's were; obviously, that's not a good sign. There is a reportedly huge buyout looming, and a bunch of prominent names have been floated for the potential vacancy. Brian Kelly was an obvious one. On Monday, Bob Stoops' name was kicked around after a report out of Chicago said he'd be interested. Stoops scoffed at it. Shocker. Of course, Urban Meyer's name will be linked to this one too. I doubt Meyer wants more pressure and more stress than he already has, and that's what taking ND would mean.

Stoops is an interesting choice. He's a proven rebuilder and a Midwest guy who might -- might -- have grown stale after a decade at OU. (It seems like standard operating procedure these days for that to happen with any successful coach). Maybe a new challenge would be good for him. Then again, he's never been one to love dealing with the spotlight and would he want to be the face of Notre Dame? And he currently works for arguably the best AD in college sports, Joe Castiglione. Would Stoops want to roll the dice on the politics of Notre Dame? Who knows? Maybe. If I'm an ND fan, I'd want Stoops, but I'd be thrilled to get Kelly too. For now, the biggest question is, does Weis have any hope of keeping his job? My hunch is no. What can Weis prove in games against UConn and Stanford that he hasn't shown in this, his fifth season at ND? Going 8-4 isn't getting ND into the BCS, and it probably doesn't get the Irish into the top 20, which just isn't good enough if you're running the show at Notre Dame. David Haugh writes that ND needs to "end the charade now":

    If you want to discuss accountability, it starts with Weis, the offensive genius going through three defensive coordinators in five seasons. Notre Dame's linebackers look lost, its defensive linemen aren't special and the secondary lacks difference-makers. Something mysterious happens in South Bend between National Signing Day and autumn Saturdays. The nastiness Weis embodies has been missing from an offensive line that can't control the line of scrimmage in the Notre Dame tradition. The trio of Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate and Michael Floyd has been fun to watch, but too often Irish fans want to cover their eyes when they leave the field.