We’ll begin in South Bend.
It has become the Charlie Weis Death–March. It is all but official – there will be no last minute clemency call from the Governor, or in this case Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick. The Irish now sit a dismal 6-4, in a schedule that was “set-up” for a 10-2 season and a BCS bowl bid. Charlie’s Boys lost another game to a ranked opponent (16-19 in its last 35), and look dispirited in doing it, almost as if they were mailing it in. So, with two eminently losable games remaining; Connecticut, and on the road two days after Thanksgiving against a very hot Stanford team, the Weis era will/should mercifully come to an end. Sorry Charlie – but look at it this way – you became a very wealthy man.
Our pick to click for the ND job is Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald. It has the Ara Parseghian/Northwestern connection; Fitzgerald played the game at a very high level – as a two-time All-America linebacker for NU. The school has better academics than ND – and he has provided a winning program – in addition he’s a young enthusiastic guy, who presents and relates to the kids very well. In other words; he’s the 180 degree opposite of Mr. Weis.
Now for some great coaching jobs: Al Golden and his Temple Owls have won 8 in a row, and will be going bowling for the first time since the end of the Carter Administration – 1979. In Atlanta, Paul Johnson’s unstoppable triple option Yellow Jackets have won 8 in a row (10-1), established itself as the best team in Georgia, and will play in the ACC Championship team. In Cincinnati, Brian Kelley has his Bearcats 10-0, for the first time in school history. Rich Brooks has his Kentucky Wildcats bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season – something that has never been done on the Lexington campus. In Pittsburgh, “The Stache” Coach Dave Wannstedt, has his Panthers 9-1, winners of 6 in a row, and in a solid position to win the Big East Title.
Despite it loss this week to Cincinnati, the faithful of West Virginia are heartened by the fact that its “traitor” coach once again lost a game coaching the Ann-Arbor “Annies” – otherwise known as; the Michigan Wolverines. The wheels have completely come off the bus for coach $Rod and “Mighty” Meechigan as the Maize and Blue have lost six of seven, with the lone victory against a Division 1AA opponent. They are also 1-6 in Big Ten Conference play, with next week’s game against Ohio State a virtual lock in the loss column. In its last four losses – Michigan has surrounded an ungodly 156 points. Yikes!! What in the world of Bo Schembechher is going on?!!! As the Mountaineer fans will attest, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy – I guess the grass is not always; $$$$$$$$.
What a difference a week makes – last week Oklahoma didn’t score an offensive touchdown for the first time in 11 years, as its QB Landry Jones tossed five interceptions. Well, yesterday, OU hung a 65 spot on a bunch of hapless Aggies of Texas A&M, and that same Landry threw for five touchdowns.
How bad are thing in Louisville? The once mighty Cardinals hung on 10-9; for its fourth win of the season over Syracuse. The Coach Steve Kragthorpe era in Louisville is virtually over.
The Ralph Friedgen era in Maryland is also in the virtually over column, as the Terps lost for the seventh time in its last eight tries. We think this would be a great landing spot for our old friend former UMass head man Mark Whipple, now running the offense at Miami. In fact his former D-coordinator is the current coordinator in MD.
In Boulder it’s also getting ugly as Coach Don Hawkins – promised a ten win season – well after yesterday’s loss has the Buffaloes 3-7. You do the math. OUCH!!!
It’s safe to say: Mr. November is no more. What has happened to USC? Up until yesterday’s 55-21 annihilation by Stanford – Pete Carroll was 28-0 in the month of Thanksgiving. How ugly has it become. It two of the last three weeks USC and its vaunted D has surrendered a combined 102 points. Yesterday’s shellacking was the most points allowed in Trojan history, and was the biggest point differential home loss since Lyndon Johnson was sitting in the Oval office – 1966. DOUBLE YIKES!!!! It also marked the end of seven consecutive BCS bowl appearances, seven consecutive PAC-10 titles, and seven consecutive 11 win seasons.
Congrats to little Rice University for getting off the snide, and winning its first game of the season against Tulane. And also to Texas QB Colt McCoy for tying Georgia quarterback David Greene for the most victories in Division 1A with 42.
It’s too bad Weis’s Boys didn’t have the same grit as undermanned Iowa – who went into the Horseshoe – starting an untested true freshman quarterback – and took Ohio State into overtime before bowing 27-24. It was a game that epitomized everything that good about college football coaching.
That’s it from cyber space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 12, Wednesday night. Next week officially ends the Big Ten season – which is always the first conference to end its season – it also always makes us a little melancholy. After all, when the college football season comes to a close, what am I supposed to do – watch Tampa Bay versus Cleveland? YUCK!!!! Until then- peace. PK