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Rumors swirl amongst uncertainty

Nov 29, 2009, 11:00 PM EDT

As Eric Hansen reported today, the Irish returned from Stanford Sunday morning with an ESPN satellite truck waiting for them. Expect it to stay there until a new coach is introduced.

As the regular season ends, we now enter something far more morbid and curious, the official death watch of the Charlie Weis era.

Rumors are flying everywhere, and after talking to a bunch of people that are plugged into the college football scene, it’s pretty clear that nobody has any true idea of what’s going to happen, other than Weis is going to be fired.

I’ve made a few arguments in the past about keeping Weis in the fold, but I think the damage has been done. If the Irish do keep the embattled coach, fighting the battle against all those who already think he should be fired could be impossible. While I’d enjoy making a compelling argument for Charlie Weis and a new defensive coordinator, the reality of the situation is that Charlie Weis and the coaching staff most likely will be fired by tomorrow afternoon.

Right now, all we have are rumors. And while most haven’t been able to confirm anything, there is a ton of smoke around a very elite name in the world of college coaching: Bob Stoops.

Dave Sittler of the Tulsa World has the only on the record comment from Stoops, via a text message, where Sittler asked Stoops if he would confirm or deny the rumors that Stoops was interviewing for the Notre Dame job. Stoops replied:

“On the record, I am not (interviewing). First I’ve heard of this (rumor).”

While Stoops denied any interview was going to take place, it’s also common knowledge that Stoops would never interview for a job and let’s his historic run in Norman speak for itself. Whether Stoops’ text message was a case of semantics or brevity will be revealed in the coming days. editor Carey Murdock has been working his connections around Norman to try and figure out what’s truth and what’s fiction. Pete Sampson, editor of Irish Illustrated, reports there’s a buzz among players on the team that Stoops will be the next coach of the Fighting Irish. 

Whatever ends up happening, it’s officially open season for rumors and uncertainty.

  1. Jan - Nov 30, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    …latest rumor is that the Holy Trinity has agreed to become incarnate and accept the posiions of ND Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and Defensive Coordinator….the Blessed Mother is unavailable for comment regarding whether she will join the coaching staff as well. The Holy Trinity is in discussions with the Notre Dame Administration and AD to identify which of the angels and saints would be best fit to join the coaching staff, and to negotiate a set of goals that (if attained) would satisfy the expectations of the Irish “faithful”. Said discussions appear deadlocked, as it is feared that no set of accomplishments can satisfy the angry mob……

  2. hop - Nov 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    Follow football do we jan? Moron

  3. dan - Nov 30, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    kudos to you Keith, I have read many an article on the internet and in the papers and you seem to be the most insightful and unique still. most articles available to be read are all exactly the same, save one or two words. i agree that there still is reasons to hold onto weis and not move to a new coaching staff (again), but that swarbrick would have a hard time defending such a decision. in fact if he would keep weis and have another mediocre season next year, both of them would be packing. what would your thoughts be on these points:
    – keeping charlie as an offensive coordinator at notre dame, replacing the head coach position?
    – the irish attending a bowl game?

  4. Jonathan J. Springer - Nov 30, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    hop, you’re the moron. The Holy Trinity running the whole football program would be awesome. There is NO coach that could beat the “Big G” running the show…no coach.

  5. Keith Arnold - Nov 30, 2009 at 11:32 AM

    Dan –
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Think there’s a zero percent chance of Weis staying on as a OC. It’d be great in a hypothetical world, but it just can’t/won’t happen.
    As for a bowl game — the choices are pretty mediocre, but I’m going to believe the reports that it’ll be a decision made by the senior leadership, etc. I wouldn’t be against the decision either way, although it’s pretty meaningless, and I’m not sure how the mechanics of the team/coaching staff would work.

  6. Chuckie - Nov 30, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    There is no doubt that Charlie did not “get it” even though he tried ALL he could! He consulted with the best, to include Belichick, The Big Tuna, Mr. Holtz, Mr. Parseghian, and also among his friends in pertinent places in the NFL.
    Head coaching at college is one thing he will never get…it is out of his possibilities.
    No doubt, also, that he is a man of valuable feelings for his family and friends. One could not have a better friend or relative, and the universe will surely be better for that.
    But he will never be an excellent coach of college football.
    Best wishes for him, and may Notre Dame hire the coach that will shake down the thunder from the sky.

  7. jfrie63780 - Nov 30, 2009 at 12:57 PM

    I am starting to think he will be back. My reasoning is simple. It the Stanford game was the last chance then they already have their decision made. Come out and announce it today. Why wait. By waiting I believe they are trying to come up with a PR plan to explain why they are keeping him and getting rid of the D-coaches.

  8. joe from Dublin - Nov 30, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    Things are real interesting with Stoops. I initially did think he was attainable like Meyer. Why would he leave? However, his handling thus far of the questions has made this look more and more like a viable option for him. Meyer shut it down last week but Stoops has really left the door open. I just hope we resolve this quickly so we can end the speculation for fans, players and recruits. Clausen is a done deal on going to the NFL but I am not so certain on Tate. Something tells me he is coming back with the right coach. Crist to Tate and Floyd will be impressive. My bigger concern is the O-line on offense. Can they get some of these redshirts back for a fifth year?

  9. Tom from the Chi - Nov 30, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    As great as it was to watch Charlie bring in the best of the best as far as recruiting, his coaching style in college just did not cut it. Time and time again he had the oppurtunity to go out and crush opponents, however he did not. The one thing he never got was that you cannot coach the NFL style in the NCAA. The NFL is built to go head to head with equal competition. That is why they call it “Any Given Sunday”, anyone can win. Charlie brought that philosophy to ND and what did we get? We have a team that by far out weighs the talent it plays, winning games by 3 or 7 pts/losing games by 3 or 7 points. I understand Charlie wanted to always get a 50/50 running and passing game going, but come on. When you have 2 of the best receivers and one of the top qb’s throwing it to them ….PASS THE BALL!! I’m sorry CHARLIE, but you did this to yourself.

  10. Steve - Nov 30, 2009 at 4:11 PM

    Like many people Notre Dame is not my 1st choice, however growing up watching those Montana led Irish teams is a memory I cherish. Let’s hope they can land a coach with a good defensive background. At the College level you must play defense and win those close games obviously Coach Weis couldn’t grasp that. Go TarHeels!

  11. Jan - Nov 30, 2009 at 4:39 PM

    Thanks Jonathan…, no sense of humor from some of the bloggers.

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