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Notre Dame

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    Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference. It’s where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too – sort of – and nobody else is leaving.
  • Irish receiver off team while facing charges
    Receiver Will Mahone has no chance of returning to Notre Dame while facing felony charges of assault on a police officer, intimidation of a public servant and vandalism, his attorney said Tuesday.
  • Irish receiver suspended following arrest
    Will Mahone was suspended indefinitely from Notre Dame’s football team Monday after a weekend arrest that left the junior facing three felony and two misdemeanor charges.
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By the numbers
0
Victories over teams with fewer than four losses or finishing in the top 10 of major polls 5
Losses to USC by an average of 19.8 points 14
Losses by 14 or more points, including three shutouts .565
Winning percentage in five seasons, worse than predecessors Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie (.583) when they were fired
3 concerns
Players
Quarterback Jimmy Clausen and receiver Golden Tate could decide to leave for the NFL draft instead of returning for their senior season. But Notre Dame could lose players to more than the professional ranks. Sophomore receiver Michael Floyd and tight end Kyle Rudolph could decide to transfer, and freshman linebacker Manti T’eo, a Mormon, could decide to leave for his mission trip. Coaches
Receivers coach Rob Ianello, named interim head coach, and special teams coach Brian Polian are key cogs in recruiting, with Ianello coordinating the program’s efforts and Polian proving he can recruit California (quarterbacks Jimmy Clausen, Dayne Crist). The defense will probably be reshaped as Jon Tenuta is the third defensive coordinator in five years, and he replaced defensive backs coach Corwin Brown. Recruits
Oral commitments are not official until players can sign a national letter of intent Feb. 3, and some of the Irish’s 18 recruits have already said they will take a wait-and-see approach to Notre Dame if Weis didn’t return. Quarterback Tommy Rees told the Chicago Tribune the next coach’s system would have to work for him.

Who’s next?

Prime candidates to replace Charlie Weis at Notre Dame

Kelly
Harbaugh
Associated Press photos
Petersen
Stoops
Patterson

Notre Dame will likely give Florida coach Urban Meyer a call to see whether he would leave the Gators for what he once said was his dream job. But with it unlikely Meyer will pull a Roy Williams, who left Kansas for North Carolina after the Tar Heels asked a second time, here are five candidates to replace Charlie Weis:

Brian Kelly

Current school: Cincinnati

Coaching record: 159-54-2 (Football Bowl Subdivision)

The skinny: Kelly has won everywhere he has been. He guided Grand Valley State to two Division II championships, won the MAC championship at Central Michigan and, entering Saturday’s season finale against Pittsburgh, the Bearcats are 11-0. Kelly’s teams are offensive-oriented; the Bearcats averaged 472.7 yards (fourth in the nation) and 39.4 points (sixth in the nation) through Nov. 28.

Jim Harbaugh

Current school: Stanford

Coaching record: 46-25

The skinny: Harbaugh reportedly has an extension offer from Stanford, and he could hear from NFL teams this offseason. The former Michigan quarterback, who played 15 seasons in the NFL, is known for his hardnosed style and has two wins over USC in three years with the Cardinal.

Gary Patterson

Current school: TCU

Coaching record: 85-27

The skinny: Patterson has the Horned Frogs of the Mountain West Conference fourth in the BCS. He has no proven national recruiting track record. Of the 126 scholarship and non-scholarship players at TCU, 103 are from Texas. Patterson can coach defense. TCU was second in total defense (233.3 yards per game) through Nov. 28.

Chris Petersen

Current school: Boise State

Coaching record: 47-7

The skinny: Petersen is another successful coach from a non-BCS conference who busted into the big-money bowl system with his team currently sixth in the standings. He also produces strong defenses. The Broncos were 16th in total defense (308.7 yards per game) through Nov. 28.

Bob Stoops

Current school: Oklahoma

Coaching record: 118-27

The skinny: Stoops said Monday he plans to stay at Oklahoma “hopefully for a good while” and won’t be interviewing for any coaching positions after his worst regular season in 11 years with the Sooners. “What I’m saying is I’m going to be at Oklahoma next year, so I can’t be in two places at once,” Stoops said on a conference call. Stoops, who led the Sooners to the 2000 BCS championship, is a former Florida defensive coordinator and hasn’t forgotten his defensive roots. Oklahoma was seventh in total defense (273.5 yards per game) through Nov. 28.

tkrausz@jg.net

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