Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Can Charlie Weis finally get a big win?

Charlie Weis is the most overrated coach in Division I-A football.

Never has a coach gotten so much universal praise and accomplished so little. Pundits like Beano Cook (Weis is “The best offensive mind in football”) heap praise on Weis.

Yet, his record at Notre Dame tells a very, very different story. And the story is this –

Charlie Weis has never won a single significant game at Notre Dame.

Let’s start with last season, and his 9-3 final record. In that season, Weis played and beat the following teams (with team record afterward)–

Pittsburgh 5-6
Michigan 7-5
Washington 2-9
Purdue 5-6
BYU 6-6
Tennessee 5-6
Navy 8-4
Syracuse 1-10
Stanford 5-6

Not a single listed team finished the year anywhere in the AP top 25. The combined record of the teams Notre Dame beat: 44-58, or 43%. Only Michigan and Navy had winning records.

In 2005, Notre Dame lost to -

Michigan State 5-6
USC 12-1
Ohio State 10-2

USC finished the season 2nd in the AP poll, and OSU 4th. Michigan State was unranked.

This season finds Notre Dame at 10-2. The teams ND has bested are –

Georgia Tech 9-5
Penn State 9-4
Michigan State 4-8
Purdue 8-6
Stanford 1-11
UCLA 7-6
Navy 9-4
North Carolina 3-9
Air Force 4-8
Army 3-9

Combined record 57-70, or 45%.

Once again, not a single team Notre Dame has beaten is ranked in the AP top 25, though Penn State might be, at year’s end.

This year, Notre Dame lost to –

Michigan 11-2
USC 11-2

Both are obviously ranked.

Interestingly, but missed by the mainstream sports media, is the fact his offense appears to have slightly deteriorated in his second year. In 2005, the Fighting Irish scored 440 points in 12 games for a 36.7 point per game average.

This year, through 12 games, Notre Dame has scored 389 points, for a 32.4 point per game average, or 4.3 points less per game than last year.

In the five losses during the last two years, teams have put up big numbers against Notre Dame

Michigan State 44-41
USC 34-31
Ohio State 34-20
Michigan 47-21
USC 44-24

Combined score in losses: 203-137

By way of contrast, in 13 games this year, Florida has surrendered 175 points – 28 less points in 13 games than Notre Dame has given up in the 5 games listed above.

To sum, Charlie Weis’ record at Notre Dame –

Never has beaten a single ranked team
0-4 versus ranked teams
0-1 in bowl games
Combined record of teams he has beaten: 101-128 (44%)
Combined score in losses: 203-137

Signature wins appear to be over Navy both years, and Penn State this year.

A win over LSU tonight would go a very long way towards establishing some sort of positive coaching legacy for Weis at Notre Dame. But until he wins a single significant game, I’m not buying the hype that this guy is remotely among the coaching greats of college football.


pojo said...

I almost posted this very post tonight...glad I didn't...couldn't have said it any better than that...

he should jump to the pros before people start paying attention...

because they are paying attention...

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Wow, they really got worked again. Giving up more than 40 points and scoring only 14. Ouch. And to think Cheeseburger Charlie was complaining about being passed over by Florida.

Anonymous said...

I believe the "Charlie Weis hasn't won a big game" line of argument is a little deceptive. Throwing out the puke-job against MSU last year, the combined record of the teams (USC, OSU, UM, USC, LSU) defeating ND is 45-6. ND was an underdog in almost every game last year (remember, Pitt was #17, UM was #3) and not many people thought ND would beat GT this year (remember, they were ranked too).

I am disappointed that ND has not defeated any of the elite teams they have played, but almost NOBODY beats those teams. There is a clear talent difference between schools in the top 5 and schools in the 6-15 range. ND belongs in the second grouping for now.

Henry Louis Gomez said...


I here what you are saying and I get it. I don't think anyone has a problem with Notre Dame as school or with their players or coach. The problem we have is the overhyped suck job that ND gets from the media. ND is good team than beats OK teams. It's not an elite team but it is constantly portrayed as such. In my mind they aren't in the top 15 teams in the country.

The teams you mention like Pitt and GT are more or less where ND fits in right now (of course that can change). ND is improved under Weis, there is no doubt. But it's not in the conversation with the OSU, USC, Texas, LSU's of the world. You'll notice that I didn't say Florida because Florida is good this year after 4 years of being mediocre. Perhaps Florida will again join the ranks of the elite.

I just feel insulted as a fan to have to hear all the hot air that surrounds the ND program.

Mergz said...

I agree with Henry's assessment above.

The point isn't that ND is bad, they are a decent team. The point is that Charlie Weis is treated in the media as if he is the most talented coach in college football.

Weis is a decent coach. However, he nowhere near deserves the accolades he receives.

Anonymous said...

He is an offensive genius and has 3 Super Bowl rings to prove it. He better learn to put together a defense if he wants to compete for a National Title.

Anonymous said...

Offensive genius? I think I you owe me another computer monitor.

Anonymous said...

That fake punt in the first quarter was definitely a call of a offensive genious. LMAO! Notre Dame sucks, and so does Cheeseburger Charlie.

Anonymous said...

f the gators