Charlie Weis

Matt Cassel Under Seige

2010 NFL Season: Wildcard Weekend Preview

First things first:  What happened in the AFC West?  The San Diego (not so Super) Chargers finished the 2010 season with a 9-7 record.  The Chargers led the entire NFL in offense and defense, but missed the playoffs.  San Diego finished 2nd in the division to the Kansas City Chiefs.  If that wasn’t strange enough, the Oakland Raiders beat every team in the AFC West twice this season, but finished in third place with an 8-8 record.  Today, they wrapped up Week 17 with a resounding road win at the new Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.  The Raiders won 31-10 and completed their sweep of the playoff bound Chiefs.

Matt Cassel Under Seige

Oakland Trounces Playoff Bound Kansas City, 31-10

The Raiders were the ONLY team in the NFL to sweep all division games this season.  Oakland became the first team since the merger to sweep a division and miss the post-season.  The Chargers could not have been better statistically on either side of the ball.  Oakland and San Diego will have a lot to think about in the off-season.  The Raiders’ focus, according to reports, is replacing Coach Tom Cable and establishing consistency at the quarterback position:

Perhaps part of the problem has been Cable’s wavering on the Raiders’ starting quarterback. After starting the season with Jason Campbell at the helm, Cable switched to Bruce Gradkowski when Campbell struggled. After Gradkowski separated his shoulder, Cable turned back to Campbell but insisted Gradkowski was still the starter. While Campbell was under center during the Raiders’ three-game midseason win streak, Cable fluctuated between both quarterbacks throughout the second half of the year until Gradkowski reinjured his shoulder and was placed on injured reserve.

Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is rumored to be taking the same job down in Gainesville at the University of Florida.  What does this for next week’s contest vs. the Baltimore Ravens?  (more…)

Ending Affirmative Action in College Football

Sometimes things get so ugly that you just have to raze everything in sight.  Sometimes nothing is too rash.  When the score of your football game against Kansas looks like a bad night on the hardwood, it’s time to light the bonfire.  In Lincoln, Nebraska tonight everyone from Warren Buffett to Tom Osborne must be wondering how the Kansas Jayhawks scored 76 points without Wilt Chamberlain and Paul Pierce.  Among those with a curious look on his face will be current head football coach Bill Callahan.  Maybe he’ll get this figured out in time to stop some of the bleeding among Big Red.  I wouldn’t bet on it.

This man should not be running with this team.

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Then there is the case of the NCAA’s other resident genius offensive coordinator. He watched his charges lose to the Naval Academy.  There were no Seals at the game.  There was no gunfire.  There wasn’t even any swimming involved – and still Notre Dame managed to lose again.  The first loss in 43 years should be a solid indicator that the 10-year deal to which Charlie Weis was signed may not have been the best idea in labor management since the time clock.

This man should not be eating with his team…

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I guess everyone is getting exactly what they want.

Irish Abducted by Devil; Dragged to Pits of Hell

This season, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team has compiled a record of 0-4. This has never happened before. And when I say “before,” I mean like 1887 before. Never. Not a single time since the signing of the Dawes Act had an Irish team been so close to being subjected to mob violence. In previous years, there was always sufficient coaching, talent or prayer to cobble together at least a single victory through the first four games. This season, the Irish have not been saved by coach, player or preacher. The entire school is going to hell.

That may be a small bit of hyperbole – but not much. The Irish lost to the weak link in the chain today – the Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans are usually just the type of mentally weak team a downtrodden Irish team would feast on. I’m sure boosters, alums and students expected Charlie Weis to work a minor miracle and send the Spartans back to Lansing with the scythes between their legs. Not today. This season, this team has been outscored 133-27. Next week they play Purdue. That will not be pretty. The Boilermakers can do what the Irish cannot. They can score points – quickly and in bunches. Notre Dame has no chance against UCLA. They might as well be playing Washington in that game. The losses to Boston College and USC could be epic. This is the year of reckoning. All debts have come due this year. The symmetry here is uncanny.

I am wondering if Charlie Weis would consider resignation if this team falls to 0-8. I am wondering if the leadership at ND would consider reconsidering their 10 year coaching contract. In any event, everyone is sure to get exactly what they deserve. Maybe George O’Leary should really be coaching this team.

The Huskies look good this year, though the Bruins look better.

Fixing Michigan Football III

Schedule Notre Dame!

Michigan won 38-0 today. I wonder if they win that game if Notre Dame plays with a blazing fast running quarterback instead of a conventional pocket passer. Only teams like Ohio State and USC have been effective at beating Michigan with traditional pocket passers. On occasion, Notre Dame has done as well. The Fighting Irish offensive line, however, has not typically been strong enough to avoid being overwhelmed by Big Blue.

Last year, I predicted Notre Dame would lose at least 9 games this season. It wasn’t that I thought there team would be this bad (How could I?); it was that I thought the schedule was simply brutal. Of course I believed Michigan would be better. Still, for this team to have scored a grand total of 13 points in 3 games is stunning. I suppose the only silver lining is that Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis has another 9 years to figure this all out.

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Nine years is a long time.