The writing was on the wall when the Irish fell to Navy on November 7th, and as the second consecutive November flame out continued it became less of a question of "if" and more of a question of "when." The when finally came on Monday afternoon as Charlie Weis was formally relieved of his duties as the Head Coach at Notre Dame. In the wake of the announcement and subsequent press conference held by Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick a frenzy has erupted in the national media, blogs and message boards the likes of which may be unprecedented. I won't bother linking anything or directing anybody elsewhere because if you have found your way to my tiny sliver of cyberspace chances are you have already read and seen everything that I have. Just click on any of the links in the right side bar if you are looking for more.
I already commented on my thoughts about Coach Weis last week so feel free to scroll down a few posts if you would like the full version. In short I very much appreciate his efforts and wish him the best of luck in the future. He's a good man and deserves a respectful departure. Despite the fact that I was anticipating this for the last few weeks I have to say it did seem a little surreal seeing Mr. Swarbrick announcing it all at the press conference. After five years of watching every Weis presser the finality of knowing he will never be at that microphone again was a little strange. It was a bit of a Keyser Soze moment. "And like that..... he's gone."
And so begins the waiting game. Like every other Notre Dame fan I am wondering whose pressers I might be watching for the next three, five or maybe even ten years. There are a litany of possibilities that could manifest themselves in the next month and there is no real way of knowing just how that is going to shake out. I have been reading all of the same speculation that everyone else has for the last few weeks and the grab bag of names that has popped up is pretty mind boggling. I put zero stock in anything the national media spews regarding specific potential candidates but there are a couple of bloggers and message board posters proclaiming that their "inside sources" tell them it is either Bob Stoops or Brian Kelly. Who knows, maybe it will be one of those guys.
My personal impression of Jack Swarbrick is that he's a guy with a plan and knows exactly what he's looking for. I have to imagine that he has had a list for quite some time now and he's working his way through it from top to bottom. Let's just hope that the right guy ends up answering the call. Mr. Swarbrick did get a couple of assists in the last 48 hours from Tiger Woods and Bobby Bowden that might help throw the media off his scent a little bit while he pursues his candidate of choice. Then again, he may have locked up said individual a month ago and we just don't know it yet. When the timing works for all involved Mr. Swarbrick will introduce the new Notre Dame Head Football Coach and we can all get to the business of discussing just how said individual and his assistants are going to get the most out of this team in 2010 and beyond. I hope they will also be ready to lock up a recruiting class that will be held together by Rob Ianello and the other assitants in the interim. It will be a bonus if the new regime is also able to add a couple of offensive linemen and defensive tackles to that class in the process. With any luck we will be discussing all of those things sooner rather than later but in the interim we will just have to be patient and let Mr. Swarbrick do his job. Until the new Head Coach is formally introduced all the rumors and speculation are just that so I will try and avoid getting too worked up one way or the other about any of the potential candidates.