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And Another Thing


Weis out

Notre Dame boots fourth coach in eight years

It's official: Notre Dame has fired Charlie Weis as its football coach, after a 6-6 season in which Weis' Irish lost its last four games.

In a statement, athletic director Jack Swarbrick said that Weis had not met the "great expectations" Notre Dame demands from its football program.

Put into concrete numbers, this means a 6-6 season on the heels of 7-6 on the heels of 3-9 was not exactly what Notre Dame had in mind when it brought in Weis, whose reputation as the offensive mastermind of three New England Patriots Super Bowl champs preceded him but never translated to victories on the field.

Most damning to Weis were not only the landmark losses -- twice in the last three years he lost to Navy at home, and last year he lost at home to a woeful Syracuse team -- but his record with his own recruits. In his first two seasons he went 19-6 with Tyrone Willingham's leftovers; in the last three seasons, he went 16-21 despite annually bringing in highly rated recruiting classes.

His two BCS appearances with the Irish ended in blowout losses. He was 1-13 against teams finishing in the top 25. When a season expected to be his breakout year with his own guys went south in November, he was effectively done.

That makes four coaches Notre Dame has gone through in eight years now, counting the aborted George O'Leary hire. The three who actually got on the field generated almost identical mediocrity.

Which makes me wonder: Is the problem here the coach, or Notre Dame?

Ben Smith's blog.