Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Other News, Notre Dame Has Sucked This Year.

God knows chris w and larry b and I have discussed the Ty bit enough. I don't know how the rest of you feel, but it's an article that merits an examination. Here's the latest from Pat Forde. who calls himself "The Dash".



Domers, Your Credibility Is On The Clock

When Notre Dame (2) trap-doored Tyrone Willingham (3) after just three years on the job in 2004, it established a precedent for the next coach: You've got three years, pal. Have it up and running at full speed or else.

Trap-doored. I guess the intent is that ND management deliberately hired Ty to fail. I don't imagine you have anything to back that up. I admit it's a possibility, but I'm not sure I can agree with that sentiment. As for the three-year bit...

Or at least that should have been the established precedent, if Notre Dame was interested in treating its next coach the same way it treated the first African-American coach in the school's history.

Nice. The race card. Third sentence. Damn racists.

But
Charlie Weis (4) probably can go 2-10 in this, his third year, and still be back in 2008. Why? The simple answer is fairness -- the majority of coaches should get a fourth season, no matter how the third one turned out. But since fairness didn't factor in with Willingham (6-5 in year three, 21-15 overall), The Dash will offer another reason. Weis (0-2 in year three, 19-8 overall)

Weis was 9-3 in Year Two, Willingham was 5-7... indicating, in some sense, the improvement you mentioned in your first line, Pat. Also, stop calling yourself "The Dash". It smacks of smarmy self-image, which is exactly what you're trying to expose at Notre Dame.

was awarded a 10-year, $30 million-plus contract during his first season -- something that would make a firing very costly. He got the contract largely on the strength of a close loss to a great USC team and some interest from the NFL -- although Weis said at his introductory news conference in December 2004, "I don't come here to leave and take a job in the NFL in three years. This is not a stepping stone. This is an end-all for our family. When we come to Notre Dame, we come here with the intent of retiring here." So either Notre Dame hysterically overbid to keep an unproven coach

That was a wild shot, Pat. Ty had head-coached at the lower-D1 college level. Charlie ran an NFL offense to Super Bowls. That "unproven" was inflammatory rhetoric leaking through your otherwise tame article. If you had a case here, you'd make it. But you don't.

come who had no intention of going anywhere, or else Weis' loyalty pledge turned weak enough that the school felt compelled to overpay to keep him.


I think I agree with this sentiment. I wouldn't be surprised to hear much more from the "Fire Charlie" front if it could be done more cost-effectively. From what I've heard, a combination of factors beyond winning % contributed to the denial of that fourth season to Ty. I don't know to what extent a coach has to suck up to the surrounding community, and I don't know whether Ty was unfairly tagged for not brown-nosing. What I have heard in several cases is that Ty's practices as a football coach happened to distance him from important people in the university.

Either way, Charlie and the Irish would appear joined at the hip -- even while the Notre Dame of Weis' third season is starting to bear strong resemblance to the Notre Dame of Ty Willingham's intolerable third season.

Agree.

Actually, it's worse. Far worse. That doesn't mean it can't turn around, but the current product is dreadful.

It's pretty damned awful. But you do a shit job of explaining why.

Dating back to last season, the Irish have lost four consecutive games by at least 20 points. Last time Notre Dame lost four straight by 20 or more? How does never sound? But then again, they've only been playing football in South Bend since 1887.

In the 120-year history of Notre Dame football, they have never played four consecutive teams currently ranked in the top 15, as those last four are. Just thought that stat might be useful.

(One of the big knocks on Willingham, by the way, was too many blowout losses.)

Agreed. Though the most damning, in my opinion, was the annihilation at the hands of an unranked Syracuse team at the end of the 2003 season. Not the same as getting annihilated in a BCS bowl. Not the same thing at all.

It could turn out that the teams that ripped the Irish this year,
Georgia Tech (5) and Penn State (6), are the best teams in the ACC and Big Ten, respectively.

Nice to know. Could be. I think you only threw this in to set up something else. Oh wait -

But that would only continue Weis' trend of beating the bad teams and losing to the good ones. He's 4-6 against ranked opponents (including four straight lopsided losses)

Like I mentioned before, "Dash", against what "could turn out to be" one of the most difficult stretches in recent football. Certainly no other team in all of NCAA football can claim to have played the #1, #2, #13 and #15 teams in the last four games, with only one of those at home. And don't tell me the Sugar Bowl wasn't a home game for LSU. Just don't.

and 15-2 against the unranked.
Average end-of-season Sagarin rating for the 19 teams Weis has beaten: 62nd. Average end-of-season Sagarin rating for the 21 teams Willingham beat from 2002-04: 55th.

Fair points, though I find it amusing that he quotes Sagarin rating, a generally unused football statistic. I guess the Sagarin rankings help you qualify the wins over unranked teams, but is that really necessary?

Also, here's my problem with evaluating the current situation at ND: I want to compare Weis to the standards he sets for himself and the standards set at the University, rather than comparing his win-Sagarin to Willingham's win-Sagarin.

The one thing Weis was supposed to deliver was a state-of-the-art offense capable of carving up any defense. He did that -- when Willingham's players were there. The 2007 Irish have not scored an offensive touchdown, even though Weis told his players his first season they would have a "decided schematic advantage" in every game. Some advantage: They've scored 13 points on the season -- fewest through the first two games of the year since 1942. They're last in the nation in rushing offense and total offense.


Played two *decent* defenses. Have no offensive line. Surprise? This is probably the best paragraph in Pat's whole article - at this point, he's actually bringing in evidence that Charlie Weis isn't that much better of a coach than Tyrone Willingham is. Shame he goes on to make some idiotic and reasonably uninformed remarks.

The easy fall guy for Domers protective of Weis is the same fall guy they pounded in 2003 and '04: Willingham. They'll tell you his lackluster recruiting left the cupboard bare, setting the stage for this difficult season. They like to talk about the rankings of recruiting classes.

dan-bob likes to note that a mere 22 players exist in Notre Dame's current junior and senior classes. 22 - the normal size of one recruiting class. Ty recruited only 33 players for both of those classes. The Dash might hate recruiting rankings, and to some extent they're not perfect, but you can't simply throw them out altogether. Here is Rivals.com's list of Notre Dame's classes from 2002-2008. Clear disparities exist between the 2003 class (Ty's most effective) and the 2004 class, which is the current senior class Weis has to lead the team.

dan-bob also notes that a recent article by Pat Forde mentions the up-and-coming status of Illinois based on the quality recruiting done by Ron Zook. But that was Pat Forde. This is "The Dash". Deep down, I bet you The Dash doesn't throw out recruiting numbers, but he sure does here. Because it's convenient to his point.

The Dash likes to talk about productivity.

Fuck you, Dash. Here's where you are exposed as an idiot.

For instance: Of the 856 points Notre Dame has scored with Weis as head coach, 19 of them have been scored by players who originally committed to and signed with him. That includes the defensive touchdown, the extra point and two field goals that constitute this season's scoring. A Weis recruit has scored exactly one offensive touchdown in 27 games: George West (7) on an 11-yard run last season against Purdue, one of three times West touched the ball from scrimmage in 2006.
Clearly, Charlie Weis hasn't been recruiting the last few years because his recruits suck ass. Clearly, if George West's ass was any good, he would've outplayed the 3 1000-YARD RECEIVERS who caught all those passes and scored all those touchdowns in 05-06. I bet even you, Dash, would not have elected to throw George West the ball the last three seasons when you had Fasano, Stovall-don't-know-you, Samardzija, and McKnight.

Honestly. Arguing that Charlie Weis is a shitty coach because George fucking West only touched the ball three times last season is like arguing that ... shit, I don't know what it's like, but it's moronic.

Was this the same media outlet that praised the Weis regime for recognizing and coaching the Samardzija/Zbikowski duo to a success they had never dreamed of achieving under Willingham? I remember that piece I caught in ESPN the mag. But that's what happens. ESPN writers are the ones that sell Notre Dame when it's high, and sell Notre Dame stories when it's low. ESPN writers don't do investigative journalism on actual double standards in sports, ESPN writers get hits on their websites by telling the masses what they want to hear. This is why we at this blog generally loathe them.

It's true that Weis coached many of Willingham's players better than Willingham ever did. It's also true that Weis owes Willingham a large debt for at least getting the likes of Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija and Darius Walker on campus.

Pat, if you're going to argue that Willingham is responsible for bringing in three quality recruits, you can't simply ignore the many more shitty recruits that he also brought in who are either riding the pine or who left the program! You just can't!

Meanwhile, Washington (8) is 2-0 in its third season under Willingham, having won by 30 points on the road to open the season and then ending the nation's longest winning streak in a two-touchdown upset of Boise State (9).


Irrelevant to the discussion of the current double standard at Notre Dame.

Willingham is in a place that suits him better than Notre Dame ever did.

Quite possible.

He might never have won truly big in South Bend

This could be termed "fact".

and might never have been truly happy.

I don't care if the ND coach is happy.

But the criticism of Willingham was as excessive as the praise (and compensation) accorded Weis. That's the double standard Notre Dame has set in place, and the double standard it must live with.

A fair point. In general I agree with some of the sentiments in your article about the respective hoopla created around coaches. It might be nice to consider that you writers, as a group, have a large say in creating hoopla. In a way, it might be a more impressive article if you were to look at the internal ways the University evaluates its coaching practices - and I'm sure it will be roundly discussed at the round-tables under the Dome if Weis's season continues as abysmal as it has begun. Will Charlie Weis's job be more secure not just because of the money he makes but also because he rubs more ND people the right way?

Pat, here's the thing: you've avoided several significant points:
1. the non-football reasons Ty was decidedly "out" with the ND inner circles that probably have more to do with the double standard you cite than any of your bullshit stats about recruit productivity that The Dash subscribes to. I would like to know more facts about this.
2. the lack of an effective strategy on offense based on available personnel, most notably in the meltdown vs. GT two weeks ago. the relative lack of improvement between GT and PSU.
3. the shitty 2005 recruiting season, since Ty got the axe in December and Charlie didn't start the job until after the Pats' run to the Super Bowl, almost at signing day.
4. the difference in willingness to make staffing changes and replace underperforming coordinators (reportedly one of the significant reasons for #1).
5. the offensive line's utter inability to protect the green quarterbacks or generate a rushing yard.

Some sensationalism, a few random facts, the underlying race card, another ESPN article.

23 comments:

Chris W said...

" The one thing Weis was supposed to deliver was a state-of-the-art offense capable of carving up any defense. He did that -- when Willingham's players were there. The 2007 Irish have not scored an offensive touchdown,"


HAHAHA WHAT A PIECE OF SHIT

willingham had ONE acceptable recruiting year...the one after his first year when he recruited zbi, walker, quinn, samardzia

he did jack shit with those kids. chalk it up to maturity or weis's superior scheming why they were so much better under weis, but eh point remains...if you're going to rip weis for "only succeeding b/c he had tw's players, you have to acknowledge that any player that is older than a sophomore this year (aka most of them) and are sucking are willingham's fault.

that is to say--willinghams' last two recruiting classes were EMBARRASSINGLY bad

larry b said...

it's funny, i was planning on linking this as an article not without its faults but which generally expressed things in an interesting and relevant way.

but you both already knew i felt like that.

look, to me, the key point is this: ty kind of sucked for 2 years, so he got canned. so if this season continues on its current trajectory, weis's 2008 should definitely become ty's 2004. as in, make something good happen or get the fuck out. i don't care about the money on his contract; the university isn't exactly pinching pennies these days. and i don't care about how many inner-circle butt buddies weis has. all the rhetoric around willingham's firing was that mediocrity would not be tolerated, and ND was tired of being embarassed/blown out. so, if that's the way it is, then let's keep it that way. time for weis to get his shit together. maybe the talent ND ran on the field the last two weeks doesn't stack up to what GT and PS have, but the game planning for both of those matchups was still atrocious. it's been 10 days and i've yet to come to grips with why jones was given the start against tech, or how in the FUCK weis thought he had drawn up a sweet gameplan for that one.

sarcastic ps- i have a great scheme for this weekend that i'd like to pass on to charlie the genius. even if michigan is playing 9 in the box, let's steadfastly continue to run between the tackles and refuse to throw the ball more than 8 yards down the field. that'll work for sure.

dan-bob said...

look, to me, the key point is this: ty kind of sucked for 2 years, so he got canned.

Not sure if I agree. Though that was a major factor, I also think recruiting and some of his job practices also played a (possibly decisive) role in his exit.

I also think that based on the end of the 2005 season, ND figured there was no way we were going *up* - and based on some of the talent we have now, we won't be able to say that at the end of the 2007 season, even if we only win 4-5 games.

pnoles said...

I would just like to add that this summer, I beat George West in a game of half-court P-I-G.

and ummm......Pat Forde sucks ass!

Chris W said...

really, willingham got fired for the following things:

1.) constantly getting raped by USC and losing badly to Michigan and FSU

2.)bad recruiting (at least in his last two years)

3.) playing golf too much (seriously!)

4.) lack of game time adjustments

5.) being a player's coach, which gives the impression that he's content with losing as long as everyone's, like, trying hard

6.) being unwilling to fire the people around him who were stinking it up

in re: to that, Weis has

1.) lost badly to USC and Michigan last year, but beat Michigan in his first year and essentially beat USC in his first year

2) consistently had top 10 recruiting classes (this year he has the #1 class...so far)_

3.) have you seen his belly? he doesn't do nothing but video games!

4.) undecided

5.) exact opposite of Willingham in this regard--we may be losing, but Weis certainly doesn't tolerate it.

6.) bye bye minter

so as you see..at least in the minds of the higher ups, Weis is doing a "better" job than Willingham.

Yes, in your oversimplified perception of why Willingham was fired, Weis isn't doing much better, but if we really look at the way things are in the eyes of most alums, Weis is head and shoulders above TW, with the key ingredient being that unlike Willingham, Weis has actually recruited well, which gives us a phantom of a hope for the future.

Chris W said...

but since you're a buffaloes fan at heart, larry, maybe i shouldn't use the first person plural

Anonymous said...

long time reader, first time poster (you know I can't stay out of this discussion)
dan-bob's original comments:
race card- let's just say you know as well as I do that ND is not the most diverse or open-minded place, and treating Weis differently than Willingham will raise the race issue, even without proof
Weis was 9-3 in Year Two, Willingham was 5-7: Willingham's second year was his year of replacing players, meaning this year is a better comparison to the 5-7...ND is lucky they have Duke, Navy, and Stanford to maybe get them to 5-7. Also, Willingham would have done close to 9-3 in 2005, if not better.
-Ty coached at Stanford, dan-bob, with a 9-3 record in his last season
-The 10 year contract might have been unwarranted and show that ND hasn't learned from its mistake of acting too quickly
"a shit job of explaining why": allow this to follow the explanation in the next line, if you don't agree with it, but putting it there makes it sound like you've ignored a potentially viable reason
"four consecutive teams currently ranked in the top 15": they could have played ten straight teams ranked #1 in 1930, but maybe Army and Navy and other teams suck now. This factoid is idiotic and proves nothing. It would provide comparison if they played four consecutive ranked teams, which I would guess they have done before, but GT was unranked two weeks ago. Because you knew this but still wanted to make a point, you have a bright future writing for ESPN or CBS sportsline.
"most damning...unranked Syracuse":
so he was fired in 2004 for a game in 2003....seems unlikely. If he went 9-3 in 2004, would he still have been fired for the syracuse game?
Penn State is not that good, wait until they start playing good teams.
dan-bob likes to note that a mere 22 players exist, forgetting that some left early, including some that left AS A RESULT of Willingham being fired. Please, blame that on Willingham.
Please, everyone, remember that players need to be developed. Clausen is not great yet, maybe he will be. If Weis were to get fired after this year, and someone else coached him for three years, Clausen would play much better for the new coach. This does not necessarily make the new coach better at coaching, or a better offensive mind, or a better quarterbacks coach. I'm not saying Ty is better than Weis, but I'm saying it's not fair to compare Weis's first two years with Quinn and others as juniors and seniors with Willingham's last two when they were underclassman.
Dan-bob's a little sensitive to the fact that Ty is 2-0. Go Ty!
"this could be termed 'fact' ":
starting 9-0 his first season isn't winning big?
Now to Chris W

Remember when Ty beat Michigan his first year?
Ty never gave the impression of being content with losing.
We shouldn't be proud of Weis for firing someone else to deflect the blame from himself, a common tactic used especially in the NFL...maybe Weis learned it there. Ty is more willing to fall himself than sell other people out, maybe we can respect that attitude a little.

Again, go Ty. If only UW could go undefeated this year.....but I do think they'll surprise Ohio St. this weekend.

Chris Hart said...

Woo! Yeah! Let's Go Buffaloes!! Hey ND kids, pop in that '91 Orange Bowl DVD and slow it down so you can see the flagrant clip on Ismail's return. Boomslam, National Champs! Woo!

Also from the outside perspective(as in not familiar with all of ND's inner politics) Willingham was fired for one reason: not winning enough. Maybe that's not the case, but that's the overwhelmingly dominant opinion on that matter.

Chris W said...

anonymous:

"so he was fired in 2004 for a game in 2003....seems unlikely. If he went 9-3 in 2004, would he still have been fired for the syracuse game?"

probably not. but did he go 9-3 in 2004? :rolleyes:

Chris W said...

anonymous:

"Ty is more willing to fall himself than sell other people out, maybe we can respect that attitude a little. "

If that's the case, then he SHOULD take the fall himself and not have apologists apologizing for his unwillingness to make personnel adjustments because he's "willing to take the fall himself"

you can't have it both ways: either Ty's taking responsibility for his own success or failure and should be extended or fired accordingly, or he should have fired his coordinators in order to keep his job.

neither mindset results in TW deserving to keep his job...he needed a new OC and he refused to fire his old one. If that's taking responsibility for his team, then he should be held responsible

nevertheless, Go Bulls!

Chris W said...

hart:

"Also from the outside perspective(as in not familiar with all of ND's inner politics) Willingham was fired for one reason: not winning enough. Maybe that's not the case, but that's the overwhelmingly dominant opinion on that matter."

ok, but that's still the outside perspective. He was fired for pointing the team in what admins thought was a losing direction. That includes not winning enough but is largely focused on coaching strategy breakdowns (something Weis has certainly had his share of) and recruiting ineptitude (something Weis lacks, thank God).


Weis isn't a great coach imo...a good recruiting but not much better a coach than Willingham. In MY ESTIMATE.

However, that doesn't mean that Willingham didn't deserve to be fired. He did. Willingham was a pitiful coach here (kudos to him for succeeding at Washington...but let's be realistic: that's a no-lose situation...kind of like Curly fighting Lenny in of Mice and Men)

larry b said...

chris if you like weis so much maybe you should marry him. anonymous, thanks for the first time comment. you're welcome back any time, and not just because i agree with you.

Chris W said...

maybe i will marry him b/c i do love him so much.

zomg pwn

pnoles said...

Chris W...let me add another reason for Willingham's firing.

7) HE PUNTED ON THE OPPOSING 30 YARD LINE ON 4TH AND LESS-THAN-A-BILLION YDS TO GO

Helen said...

You do know that Forde's nickname is part of a (not so successful) attempt to be clever, right? His weekly article is the "Forde-Yard Dash"... Not sure by your post, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, so therefor please continue to make fun of him. Now back to finish reading your rant...

Anonymous said...

cw:
I'm not having it both ways. Ty did take responsibility for his 21-15 record, and he should. When shown the door and the jeers of ND fans everywhere, he left without complaint. My point, however, is that he shouldn't have been shown the door with a 21-15 record, especially because you shouldn't fire someone after three years on principle. His fault was bringing too much excitement to the program with his 9-0 start after it had gone through the Davie years and the O'Leary fiasco. The alumni and board of trustees all got hard-ons after being ranked in the top 5, and couldn't handle rebuilding. Whereas Washington, which hasn't always sucked as badly as the last ten years, was willing to let Ty go 2-9, then 5-7, and maybe 7-7 this year with a bowl game with the nation's toughest schedule.

Helen said...

1. I've never liked Pat Forde's writing. I think (as some of you may have already stated) he picks topics--like michigan or ND-- that will be sure to get his articles hits because of the wide fan base. He never writes about interesting topics and his analysis is far from insightful.

2. I think it is somewhat unfair to compare coaches, in the way Forde does, because the college football scene in general is very dynamic. Situations at universities are constantly changing and as one of you points out there are always off the field issues that play a huge factor into employment decisions. I think Forde is completely in the wrong to "start the clock" on Weis just because of the past precident established with Willingham (three and out). At a place like ND, however, tradition demands excellence and I agree with Larry: he need to prove that he's worth what you are paying him. Get your shit together Weis.

3. Dan-bob you sound like a third grade teacher talking to parents of the class idoit when you say:

"Also, here's my problem with evaluating the current situation at ND: I want to compare Weis to the standards he sets for himself and the standards set at the University, rather than comparing his win-Sagarin to Willingham's win-Sagarin."

Aww, he's special, so we'll just pat him on the head and give him a lollypop. Sure, compare him to what he thinks he's capable of, haha--it's just the way you said it made me laugh. I'll agree that expectations for the coach should be set internally. The problem is the hyperactive, overreacting, sensationalizing media will always be there buzzing in the ear of every fan and foe, and writing stupid articles like this one. Also, lets be honest--those internal expections at ND are excellence and perfection. 0-2 is hardly that.

4. On recruiting. At a place like ND there should never be a lack of talent. Ever. It was amazing to watch ND football these past two weeks and see that Weis has done absolutely NOTHING with the talented players (should be all of them) he has. I don't care if the players are young--sure, they will make some mistakes, but they should be hungry and ready to show their stuff to be come the new "it" guy. And no i'm not talking about clausen here, as a QB he deserves a little more time. My point is more along the lines of how are the other two older QBs and the O-line THAT bad?? That comes down to coaching. Bottom line for me is it doesn't matter where your recruiting classes are ranked if you can't do shit with them.

dan-bob said...

anonymous:

Willingham's second year was his year of replacing players

Explain.

Ty coached at Stanford, dan-bob, with a 9-3 record in his last season

Maybe the most awful example of stat-cherrypicking ever. Ty was .550 at Stanford and lost the Seattle Bowl that year. Those 9 wins might have gotten Ty the job.


starting 9-0 his first season isn't winning big?


1. *8-0. Whiff!
2. No. If he would've started 9-0, the answer might be yes, because he would've beat BC and gone to the BCS.

your second post:
he alumni and board of trustees all got hard-ons after being ranked in the top 5

That was for exactly one week. I doubt that cracking the top 5 made any sort of difference.

helen:
1. Thanks for the generosity. I was aware.
3. I agree with your amusement, and your assessment is right on.

dan-bob said...

also, I just looked at Washington's upcoming schedule, and Ty's up shit creek.

Chris W said...

helen:

"4. On recruiting. At a place like ND there should never be a lack of talent. Ever. It was amazing to watch ND football these past two weeks and see that Weis has done absolutely NOTHING with the talented players (should be all of them) he has. I don't care if the players are young--sure, they will make some mistakes, but they should be hungry and ready to show their stuff to be come the new "it" guy. And no i'm not talking about clausen here, as a QB he deserves a little more time. My point is more along the lines of how are the other two older QBs and the O-line THAT bad?? That comes down to coaching. Bottom line for me is it doesn't matter where your recruiting classes are ranked if you can't do shit with them."

you essentially have made the argument against Willingham.

There's no excuse for how pitiful Willingham's 2003 and 2004 recruiting classes were--this is Notre Dame.

You say that Weis has done absolutely NOTHING with talented players? The only talented players he has who are upperclassmen are:

Dan Carlson, Tom Zbikowski, and Maurice Crum, JR.

Period. This is pathetic. At a school like Notre Dame, for Willing ham to have bequeathed three above average players FROM TWO RECRUITING CLASSES speaks to why Willingham needed to go, AND SOON.

Is Weis a better coach-coach? probably not, but at least he doesn't recruit like an idiot

larry b said...

chris, i can make the concession that ty was a crappy coach if you can make the concession that weis doesnt look much (if at all) better. we have a deal.

and he's sweet recruiter now, but if ND keeps getting embarrassed on national TV... i dunno. he might not seem so geniusy to the all those 4 and 5 star guys anymore.

Chris W said...

if the embarrassments at the fiesta and sugar bowls didn't do it, i don't think a season full of young kids will. if anything, he'll be able to sell the "you can play right now" angle.

but we shall see

pnoles said...

Also, I want to point out that Ty didn't recruit Brady Quinn, he recruited safety Chinedum Ndukwe, Brady's best friend. Ty had never heard of Brady and Chinedum told Ty that he should give him a shot. Brady almost wasn't a scholarship player at Notre Dame.