It's Hard To Adjust to Being Irrelevant, Part 1

With the college football season winding down and college basketball getting rolling, now is a good a time to address the failings and joke-stature of two programs we sort of loathe. Today is Part 1. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of "Posts That J May One Day Regret."


Everyone is on the Charlie Weis bashing bandwagon these days, to the point where you almost feel sorry for the guy. But feeling sorry for him now is like the abused girlfriend who is slapped around by her man, but then refuses to press charges when he's led away in cuffs. Don't forget why the Manatee was so hatable -- this guy was the most arrogant (unjustified) SOB to don the Irish head coaching headset in a really long time. I mean, honestly, what Irish coach have you hated this much?

The fun part, of course, is that UND supporters cannot even suggest that we hate him because they're so successful. Because they're not.

They're five games better than Purdue during Chuck's tenure, which I think we can agree has been a bit of a lull in Purdue football. And if you want to go back further, over the past seven seasons (or longer than most people follow Notre Dame), Purdue and Notre Dame both have 46 victories.

That's right, the same number. I know they've still got Stanford and maybe a bowl game, but that's a rather telling stat, I think. For a program who considers themselves above everyone else and thinks they should be contending for national titles every year -- and who get 4 and 5 star guys all the time -- shouldn't they be a more winning program than lowly ol' us?

The best concise description I've seen of UND in a while came from this post over at BHGP last week. The post is one of their better ones ever. They take Ivan Maisel's idiotic column from last week to task and do so very, very well. However, my favorite part is where they take on Maisel's nonsensical "disappointment" that Notre Dame isn't living up to expectations (whose expectations, nobody knows):

Here's a list of who cares about Notre Dame:

  • Notre Dame alumni
  • Catholic school children
  • College football writers over 40
  • Like a couple hundred NBC viewers every Saturday

And that's it. The Irish aren't just yesterday's news, they're yesterdecade's news. Stop slobbering all over them. They're only "the team you either love or hate" because nobody in the sportswriter bubble will let us just ignore that middling old dinosaur of a program. Notre Dame makes Michigan look like Boise State.

That just encapsulates so well the very essence of Notre Dame. Disillusioned, clueless "supporters" and fans who have been fed complete bullsh-t for so many years, still unaware of how far away from relevancy the program is.

Charlie has been there for five seasons and he took them to BCS bowl games in his first two. Most schools would love two BCS bowl games in five years. Not Notre Dame. Because they're better than that. Except that they're not. They're a sinking program whose last national title was 21 years ago and who were last legitimately in the title discussion 16 years ago -- but then lost to BC. That was also the last time they lost fewer than three games.

Charlie Weis came to the college game and bragged about a "schematic advantage" and his legions of kool-aid swilling followers told us all about the pro-style offense Charlie was going to run. For a while, the problem was Willingham's recruits. The recruits who took Fat Charlie's first two teams to those aforementioned BCS bowl games, in which they got bitch-slapped.

Then Charlie had a couple of lean seasons. "Let me just say people better enjoy it now, have their fun now," Charlie warned us all in 2007, a season in which the Irish were outscored 102-13 in their first three games. Charlie, we're still having fun. And thank you for making it so fun by never, ever, ever learning a thing about humility.

This is a man who has a 1-11 record against ranked teams and who is 0-5 against USC (their supposed rival), with an average margin of defeat of nearly three touchdowns. But, hey, two times they almost won at home! Give that man a sleeve of Oreos!

Jimmy Clausen was the savior next, arriving for the 3-9 2007 season, and announcing his intention to play at UND at the College Football Hall of Fame, while flashing his high school (?) championship rings. Heisman Jimmy has led the Irish to a 16-20 record. Awesome. No one takes five-star recruits and turns them into sub-.500 players like Chuck Weis.

If this is the end for Chaz, we actually will be sorry to see him go. Because every time Notre Dame makes a panicked coaching change, there's a chance that they'll bring in the right guy. A guy who would be harder to make fun of. A guy who might actually be humble and likable. A guy who, if he is cocky, backs it up. As Boilerdowd said to me:

"Not a bad deal- walk away with bags of cash while being completely inept...and get rewarded for your poor performance and shitty attitude by getting another high-paying job... This world is awesome sometimes!!"

It can be fun, though. Domers will actually toss around names like Urban Meyer (as though he would ever consider leaving arguably the most powerful program in college football for the withering winters of South Bend) as a replacement. And I hope they continue setting their sights on guys who would never come there. Because then they'll make another hasty hire like Chuckles, rather than offering to let Chris Petersen (for example) try to take the next step.

In the end, until Domers can admit that they're not the powerhouse they were in the, uh, 1940s, it's going to be a constant struggle for them to come to grips with the fact that they're irrelevant.

Yeah, yeah, you can say we're jealous or some other nonsense, but we really aren't. We simply enjoy watching you suffer. And we're not alone. Everyone enjoys seeing arrogant, obnoxious pricks put in their place. And on Saturday, UConn was just the latest team to become millions of people's favorite football program for three hours.

Part 2, coming tomorrow.

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