The biggest topic for the last 4 weeks has been about how Notre Dame is having one of their poorest first 4 games in the programs history. 27 total points, over 100 allowed, the numbers get uglier from there. But calling for Weis’ head is what should be done? That’s preposterous, considering what Charlie Weis did with Ty Willingham’s juniors and seniors. Now everyone is saying, “Well Weis has his players now.” True enough, that’s the case.
Now please. Evan Sharpley was not recruited by coach Weis. Coach Weis had about as much time to recruit the 2005 class as a moose has to run away from an experienced hunter. Which is absolutely none, incase there was any question.
Coach Weis’ first recruiting class was in 2006, where he recruited 28 scholarship players. Not whom the majority were ranked 3 stars like in the Ty-era. They were ranked majority 4-stars, with the occasional 3-star and 5-star. That’s how he had his first class, the current sophomores ranked 8th in the country out of every single D-1 school.
His next year, the current freshmen ranked around 8th too. That class included one of the most dynamic players ever recruited in QB Jimmy Clausen. Now his 2008 class, (next year’s freshmen), ranks #1, over teams like USC, Ohio State, and poachers like Urban Meyer’s Florida. Things recruiting wise are heading up in Weis’ third year, as opposed to down in Willingham’s third year.
Then you see Weis, the offensive guru fail to create a play where his team can score an offensive touchdown in the first three games of the season. Remember, he’s playing with inexperienced freshmen and sophomores. Sure, the sky is the limit for their talent, but sometimes taking one step backwards results in two steps forward.
The first game they play at home against an 80% of the time blitz-y, speedy Georgia Tech defense. Tashard Choice, the Georgia Tech running back repeatedly mentioned how he wanted to run all over ND, and he did. A 33-3 loss was the result. Demetrius Jones, who has now transferred from Notre Dame, started the game and proved to Chicago, his hometown whom he promised to “make them [Chicago inhabitants] proud,” that he was completely incapable of doing that.
The next game was handed to Notre Dame true freshman QB Jimmy Clausen. Playing against the third largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history, the PSU defense wanted revenge for last year, after they were scorched. So instead, they scorched Clausen this time and time after time again, ND failed to score an offensive touchdown, with one slipping right through the hands of Irish freshman receiver Duval Kamara. The defense was obviously fatigued by the third quarter after the offense went 3-and out almost every series, and allowed 31 points. Final score 31-10 in the Nittany Lions favor.
If that white out crowd wasn’t enough to rattle young Clausen, the 108,000 Michigan Stadium crowd was. The Irish’s first snap resulted in a big loss of yards after the ball went flying over freshman tailback Armando Allen’s head, and the Irish ended up having to punt from their own end zone. The next series resulted in another miscue, with a bad snap Clausen couldn’t hold on to, and the Wolverines pounced on the ball and their short drive resulted in a Mike Hart touchdown. Long story short, Notre Dame proved they had no control over their offensive line, running game, and the defense once again, showed they were drained after 3 quarters.
After that ugly Michigan game, the Irish returned home face MSU. They scored their first offensive touchdown, (two actually), with Travis Thomas and Robert Hughes runs, but the Irish defense couldn’t stop the MSU offense after giving up plus field position. 31-14 Spartans.
Now, with most ND fans calling for Weis’ head, you have to wonder. What happens if Notre Dame brings in a new coach after this year? What if half the recruits drop out of the class, and the 2007 class ends up transferring like Ty’s recruits did to Weis? The future obviously can’t get any worse, and it’s looking like a shining star in a cloud now. Once the cloud is gone, the star shines and Notre Dame will prevail against all the haters. Mark May might eat his words, and Notre Dame can and most likely will play with a chip on their shoulders in 2008.
Their first 8 games in 2007 are arguably the hardest first 8-games of any team in the country, including teams such as Michigan, Georgia Tech, Boston College, USC, UCLA, and Penn State.
In 2008, their schedule starts out at home against San Diego State, and a “Hart-less” Michigan team. Then their third game is at MSU, then they have Purdue and Stanford at home, travel to UNC after that, then at Washington. Going into November they have Pitt at home, then B.C at the Heights, and Navy in Baltimore. Then a home game against lowly Syracuse and finishing off the regular season with a classic November 29th match up in Southern Cal against the Trojans.
Think about it for a second. SDS is most likely a win, as could be against a young Michigan team. Then MSU could be a toss up after the way they’ve performed this season. Purdue and Stanford should be wins at home, B.C will be without key DB’s, LB’s, and their 5th year senior QB Matt Ryan. Navy in Baltimore should be a win after seeing how that rivalry has played out the past 40+ years. Home against Syracuse should be a pushover, and then you have the biggest toss up depending on how the Irish have done up to that point against USC.
ND could, not easily but could possibly be 11-0 by the time it comes to face the Trojans. ND could go 11-1 or dare it be mentioned, 12-0 and find themselves in a National Championship. Sure it seems like a long shot after the last 3-weeks, but you never know. Miracles happen for a reason.