Honestly people, do you really think that the University has any motivation to fire Weis right now? They knew this would not be a 10-2 season, and whether or not that should be acceptable at Notre Dame is an entirely different subject.
As it is, Charlie's recruiting classes are as follows (2005 is omitted because Charlie was with the New England Patriots during their Super Bowl run, although he did his part to keep the class in tact after Tyrone Willingham's departure):
- #8 Rivals, #5 Scout in 2006
- #8 Rivals, #11 Scout in 2007
- #2 Rivals (they haven't adjusted for the Alabama players that didn't enroll), #1 Scout in 2008
- #9 Rivals, #10 Scout so far for the 2009 campaign
So you say recruiting rankings don't matter? Well maybe you're right. I'll scratch the rankings from the argument if you're willing to concede that the talent level has significantly increased under the Weis regime compared to the talent brought in under his predecessor, Tyrone Willingham. In fact, many Irish faithful contend that Notre Dame has not seen the breadth of talent roaming campus since the days of Lou Holtz more than a decade ago.
If that isn't enough, consider that Charlie took his first two teams to BCS games (warranted or not, again - different story). In doing so, he took previously unpolished talent and put them in a system that catered to their strengths and minimized their weaknesses.
Had anyone in the country heard of Jeff Samardzija before Charlie helped thrust him into the limelight? Didn't think so. Tyrone recruited him but never used him.
Why hasn't Charlie done so with this year's talent or even last year for that matter? Look at the starting lineups those years compared to 2005 and 2006. The majority of starters this year and last were true sophomores and/or true freshmen with sparse upperclassmen as their supporting cast.
The value of experience must not be underestimated. For example, it can take up to four or five years for an offensive lineman to truly develop into a dominant force. Unfortunately, Notre Dame has not had the luxury of play elder offensive linemen thanks in part to the (lack of) recruiting by Tyrone Willingham.
On top of that, do you think ND would really want to pay the buyout of Weis' remaining 7 years on his contract (each year worth a reported $3-4MM including incentives)? Didn't think so. While ND certainly has the money available to do it simply will not happen. Not a chance.
Now I bet you are all wondering if I'm a Weis apologist or not. The answer is no. As contradictory as it may seem, I am a realist and an eternal Notre Dame optimist at the same time.
At the halfway point of the season I predicted that the Irish would go 4-2 in its remaining games. While the outcome is still in jeopardy it is not out of the question yet. I don't care if you're one of those people who has already signed off USC as a loss - the fact of the matter is that Notre Dame and USC have not played yet this year and I have yet to hear the fat lady. Still care to question the outcome? Bring it up with Oregon State.
Bottom line: quit believing everything you're hearing from your "sources" and just watch the three remaining games this season.
Grab some popcorn - I heard that Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are now best friends.