Monday, November 30, 2009

That didn't take long

We all knew it was coming, but Notre Dame made it official within the last couple hours:
Charlie Weis is out after five seasons as Notre Dame coach. A member of Notre Dame's coaching staff told ESPN's Joe Schad on Monday that the staff was informed of the decision in an afternoon meeting.
Shocking. Athletic director Jack Swarbrick apparently has no plans to name an interim coach until the players vote on whether or not they want to play in a bowl game (I'm not sure why they wouldn't), but nobody really cares whether Corwin Brown or Jon Tenuta serves as coach for a game. The focus will now turn toward The Search, which will undoubtedly result in 487 denials in the next month by Bob Stoops, Brian Kelly, Jim Harbaugh, et al.

I've stated before that I don't see Harbaugh as a serious candidate, and despite the Chicago Tribune's repeated insistence that ND really wants Bob Stoops, it'll take a minor miracle for him to leave Oklahoma for Notre Dame. I really want to win Powerball; that doesn't mean it has any real chance of happening. As I said two weeks ago, I think it's extremely likely that Brian Kelly ends up at ND when all is said and done, regardless of whether he's the first choice.

I suppose it's not entirely out of the question that Stoops would listen to an offer -- he's set the bar so high for himself that fans call for his head now anytime Oklahoma isn't winning the national title -- but there are lot of things working against Notre Dame here. Stoops is second in college football in total compensation only to Pete Carroll, so he'd wouldn't be getting a raise to go to Notre Dame (even if he did, Oklahoma could easily match any offer). He's also recruited very heavily from Texas for much of his tenure and would have to shift to a much more national approach; getting the best players from Dallas and Houston won't be enough anymore, and Stoops knows that. I think it's possible that he might be looking for a new challenge, but if he's tired of the pressure at Oklahoma, Notre Dame isn't the logical place to escape. I'd put the odds of Stoops being the next Irish coach at about 10 percent -- not that it'll matter when it comes to unsourced speculation.

What about Urban Meyer? Has anyone asked if he might be interested?

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