Posted on: December 4, 2008 12:15 pm

Long, cold winter

Now that the storied University of Notre Dame has seemingly exhausted all of their resources and settled for another year of Weiss, the question that I have yet to hear an answer for is: who did they court on Sunday and Monday? Was there a drive to replace the underperforming offensive genius, or was this a face-saving effort that never had any momentum outside the media circus that existed around the team for the last 4 weeks? <o:p></o:p>

This year's performance (or lack thereof), coupled with last year's ineptitude, leave the Irish in a position that actually draws sympathy from noted ND haters as Michigan and USC fan. How much further can this once storied franchise fall before the decision is made to either drop Charlie and put a full court press on a replacement, or accept that the independent route is just too difficult to travel and join a conference? As a member of the Big East, the team would rank in the top 3 or 4 teams year in and year out, but with less national recognition (no NBC contract) and only 1 shot at a BCS bowl. Joining the Big Ten would elevate their exposure levels, but relegate them to a 4th or 5th place finish almost every year (see <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Penn</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">State</st1:placetype></st1:place>). Either way, the university will have to accept a step down from the prominence they once enjoyed. You could argue the point that this has already occurred.<o:p></o:p>

Dropping Charlie could have salvaged some of the luster, but keeping him was safer than exposing themselves to another Urban Meyer debacle. The 2009 season will start off with an air of resignation and the very dim light of hope that one of the easiest schedules will result in a better than 6-6 record, but I for one will stop drinking the Kool-Aid until I see some on the field improvements. Here's to at least acquitting ourselves with some respect in a bowl game. This may be the longest of winters for Irish fans.<o:p></o:p>

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