Tuesday Question - Is Weis On A Hot Seat?
Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis
Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis
Posted Oct 20, 2009

Tuesday Question - Is Charlie Weis still on a hot seat?

Tuesday Question ... Oct. 20

Is Charlie Weis on a hot seat?

Tuesday Questions
10/13 Midseason Awards
10/6 The big flops
- 9/29 Who's No. 4?
- 9/22 What's next for USC?
- 9/15 The Young QB You Want
- 9/8 Are Michigan & ND back?
- 9/1 Pick the winners
Pete Fiutak

Q: Is Charlie Weis on a hot seat?

Not it the Irish finish the the season 10-2, or 9-3 at worst.

The whole point of this year, and keeping Weis around, was to see if the program was back on track to get to a national title level. While the naysayers point out how close the wins were, now, the victories look a whole bunch better. Nevada has grown into a WAC powerhouse again, at least offensively, the Michigan State win is getting stronger and stronger, Purdue beating Ohio State helps, and while the Irish lost to USC, they beat a Washington team that beat the Trojans. The two losses came down to the final second and could've easily have gone the either way. In other words, Notre Dame is a player again.

You can't judge someone on whether or not he beats USC (just ask the Big Ten). No one beats the Trojans on a regular basis, and it's almost always a bit of a fluke when they lose. It's like dumping your girlfriend because she's not as pretty as Megan Fox; it's an unfair standard (and this is the last time Megan Fox and Charlie Weis are ever lumped together in the same space).

The rest of the schedule is Boston College, Washington State in San Antonio, Navy, at Pitt, Connecticut, and at Stanford. The Irish will be favored in each of those games, with the possible exception the trip to Pitt, but two losses shouldn't be shocking. One will be expected, and three or more would be disastrous, but in the end, the Irish will end up facing nine teams that will go to bowls with Washington a possible tenth team and Purdue likely to finish 5-7. Weis is doing a decent job and Notre Dame football is relevant again, but with Cincinnati's Brian Kelly looking like the next big thing, and several key parts of the Irish nation wanting him, this will get interesting if Weis doesn't rock in the second half of the year.

Richard Cirminiello

Q: Is Charlie Weis still on the hot seat?

A: Had Notre Dame beaten USC over the weekend, Weis would probably still be on the hot seat. In South Bend, moral victories are about as acceptable as "Fight On" t-shirts.

I've long believed that when you coach at a storied program, such as Notre Dame, you never leave the hot seat. The only thing that changes is the temperature. The Irish played well on Saturday, and have generally been steady all season, but Weis has still never beaten the Trojans and has still never won a BCS bowl game. Until he starts knocking down some of those hurdles, a close call against a main rival won't be reason to exhale.

I have no concrete idea what'll happen with Charlie Weis at the end of the regular season. Obviously, plenty will depend on how well Notre Dame handles the tough loss and manages the final six games. Unless things go unexpectedly bad, I don't believe the program will make a change simply for change sake. If the Irish is going to hasten Jimmy Clausen's decision to leave early for the NFL and eat part of what's left of Weis' contract, you better believe it'll only do it for a can't-miss replacement, like Brian Kelly or Urban Meyer. I'm not saying either would even be interested, only that it'll take that caliber of coach to pull the plug.

Matt Zemek

Q: Is Charlie Weis on a hot seat?

Is he? Sadly, yes. This is a bottom-line business, and after a comparatively vulnerable USC team (with a freshman quarterback) was able to win in South Bend, it's quite likely that the Fighting Irish will have to wait until 2011 to break their losing streak against the Trojans. Knowing the culture of college athletics as it stands, and being mindful of how Notre Dame has handled its coaching situation earlier in the decade, it's hard to think that the university will exercise due patience with Weis... even though it most certainly should.

Weis shouldn't be on the hot seat. Not under these circumstances. It's the height of hubris to insist on and demand BCS bowls each and every year; a divine-right mentality ought not infest any college football program, even though the athletic-industrial complex has injected a professional flavor into amateur competitions whose on-field participants do not receive a base salary or stipend. Yes, the level of training college football players currently receive makes it difficult to ignore the ever-increasing expectations placed on the shoulders of multi-million-dollar coaches; in a saner world, coaches wouldn't receive as much money as they do, and Notre Dame wouldn't have lavished such an obscene amount of cash on Weis in 2005. Yet, as said before, the fact that Notre Dame has erred on the side of largesse with Weis does not mean that the Irish coach should now be dismissed if his team fails to win 10 games.

Many will think Charlie Weis is the cause of Notre Dame's problems. In reality, he's a symptom of some much deeper ailments in the college sports industry.
Michael Bradley

Q: Is Charlie Weis on a hot seat?

A:  Yes, Charlie Weis is still shopping for flame-retardant underwear, but not just because his Irish lost to Southern California. There is still the possibility the Trojans could play for the national title, so losing to an elite squad, even at home, is no true sin. Weis remains on probation because the Irish must now avoid the late-season collapse that has plagued them the past couple seasons. If ND rallies and finishes the season with no more losses, it will have a solid 10-2 record, play in a BCS bowl and make plenty of people happy. But, if as has happened recently, Weis' team loses a couple games, say to Pitt and Stanford, then he will not be able to keep his job. Even though progress will have been made, and ND will likely end up in a New Year's Day bowl, the perception will be that the team underachieved. Because the schedule set up nicely for Notre Dame and the expectations that came after last year's strong close – albeit against Hawai'I – were for a big step forward, 8-4 or 7-5 will not be sufficient. Weis came to Notre Dame preaching a return to the glory days, and five seasons without a move in that direction, especially with "his" players, will be his death knell. So, no, the USC near-miss doesn't remove him from the hot seat. Nor does it turn up the intensity of the fire. What will save him will be a strong effort for the rest of the season against teams Notre Dame should beat if it wants to claim true progress toward its stated goal.