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October 28, 2007



Not for nothing, but the author of that post is not only a Michigan grad, he's also a frequent user of a Notre-Dame-obsessed Michigan message board. According to posts on that board, he took another user's hysterical screed, threw in a few extra sentences, and submitted it to Slate because, in his words, "he felt [the author's] work needed wider distribution.

Les Taylor

While Jonathan Chait does make some valid points, his initial premise - which you failed to point out - is incorrect. Coach Weis was the offensive co-ordinator of the New England Patriots. He called the plays and worked with the quarterbacks. He is given credit for developing sixth-round draft choice Tom Brady into an NFL quarterback who led the team to three Super Bowls. Dante Scarnecchia is the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Line Coach of the New England Patriots. He is the team's longest-tenured coach currently in his 24th year with the team and having worked with six different head coaches. Coach Weis never worked with the offensive line in New England or New York!


And for the big annoucement to all you Valpo High School Football fans, I will be donating Under Armour football uniforms to the High School varsity football team starting in 2008. Valpo will now be one of only six high schools in the country to have UA uniforms. Yep, the varsity football team is going to have sick UA uniforms that I get to help design. Lookout for a big formal annoucement in the near future.


Uh, yes his statistical arguments really can be argued. He's taken statistics from this year--which is historically bad and for which Weis should not be excused--and construed Weis' whole career in light of them. Weis hasn't been coach long enough to call this year a statistical outlier, but one of these three years isn't the same as the other two. He cited one--that is, one--statistic regarding Weis' time in the NFL, total offense, and a pretty blunt one at that (a measure of yards per game). It's not a measure of scoring output, it doesn't take into consideration injuries, divisional strength, etc. In other words, it is a convenient statistic for a Michigan grad to use in order to give the veneer of objectivity to his screed. In fact, he doesn't even provide the numbers, but rather vaguely indicates that six of Weis' teams finished in the "bottom half" of the league. He gives no standard deviation or any other measure that would indicate separation within the distribution. His arguments aren't even really statistical arguments. He's also talking out of both sides of his mouth: every positive thing that was achieved by the teams for which Weis was coordinator obviously was the result of excellent head coaching, while every negative thing (like mediocre total offense in six of his eight years as coordinator) is just as obviously Weis' fault. Weis has tanked this year, and there is no escaping that. The product on the field is inexcusable, and that is all on him. But the bottom line is that he built good will in the first two seasons, which were very good--although not on the level of the elite teams--no matter what Chait's revisionist history suggests. That good will and Weis' tireless efforts to upgrade talent justify the fans' patience in him, even though this season raises some serious doubts about his ability to bring ND back into title contention. And, Mike, if you're still wondering what Tyrone Willingham thinks of all this (your 9/15/07 blog), you can just stop. As a Notre Dame fan, I've never been inclined to blame Willingham for this mess of a season, but it makes my skin crawl every time someone in the media suggests that ND's struggles this year somehow vindicate Willingham. Every time one of these articles comes out, the express (in this case) or implicit motivation is that Notre Dame's season is karmic retribution for treating Willingham so unfairly. Willingham, who does have an extensive track record of mediocrity (at best), is a poor coach. That Charlie Weis might also be a horrible coach does not change that fact. The fact that you so heartily endorse this article betrays your myopia in this regard.

The Genuis

rothstein, may i ask how CW was able to turn bledsoe into a pro-bowler as well as tom brady? or how about testaverde having his best year under CW? or the fact that N.E. has NOT won a supr bowl since CW left? "can't argue" those stats either, can you?

you are going too far. in your near-fanatical desire to not appear as a homer, you've become a mouthpiece for ill-informed ND haters. play it off if you wish, but you're sliding towards jeff carroll territory and nobody, including you, wants that...

and jim, it's a FACT that ty's recruiting ( or lack there of ) has been a MAJOR factor in this year's struggle. you can pretend it's not but the facts and numbers are undeniable. otherwise great post, however.

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