Saturday night in Palo Alto, an era ended. You could say it ended far sooner than that, but Saturday night was Charlie Weis’ last game as head coach of Notre Dame. Jimmy Clausen threw for 5 TDs and the Irish fell anyway behind Toby Gerhart’s big night. As a Notre Dame fan, I could not help but feel like that was how the Weis years went. He kept going deep and connecting on his recruiting trips, but it did not change the results on the field. His superior players were not learning once they got into the program, simply progressing at their normal rate without the coaching they desperately need at the college level. Notre Dame has as high a skill level as anyone in the country, but the players are not learning. Charlie keeps calling pretty good games, but he is getting paid for the 6 days between games too, not just Saturdays. Weis failed because he did not coach. He did a great job coordinating the offense, and running his team on Saturday, but he did not do enough coaching tp be successful. It did not help that John Tenuda’s defense, which is built on pressure, rarely pressured the QB and turns decent players into superstars. I am not speaking about Gerhart here, who is great, but guys who are just pretty decent and have monster days against the hapless Irish defense. The only thing that really remains is to see who replaces Weis, and frankly, I am ok not caring until after Bowl Season.
As a Notre Dame fan, I am just worn down from the high expectations, constant failures and continuous search for ANYONE who can win. I can’t talk about it much more without just getting mad, so let’s turn to the actual contenders instead of the paper tigers like Notre Dame. Florida and Alabama both took care of business to make sure that the SEC Championship is between two teams without blemish. Granted, Alabama struggled against Auburn, but it was an in-conference road game with an in state rival. You can throw out the records when it is a rivalry like that, and for most of the first half Auburn looked like the better team. However, Bama got rolling at the end of the first half and turned it into a close game until the final drive when Greg McElroy lead the Tide to the endzone to clinch the win. I would not call it exciting, but it was certainly necessary if the two top teams were to meet in the SEC Championship Game.
This week is among is most worthless of all weeks to be honest. The conferences with title games already had them set and the conferences without title games still have games next week. All in all, really nothing was decided this week. Boise officially wrapped up the WAC, but that surprised no one, the SEC title game was already set, the Big 12 title game was already set, the Big Ten is already set, and all things considered not a lot happened on the conference scene. We will get to the Georgia-Georgia Tech shortly as it did have potential BCS implications, but when you think about it, this week can best be summed up by what did not change. Charlie Weis continued his brave march toward unemployment, Alabama and Florida made sure they would decide things with both teams perfect next week, and everything else, with the exception of Georgia Tech-Georgia went according to plan. I guess it kept things set for next week, but it could have been a lot better this week.
As promised, here is your Georgia-Georgia Tech talk. I have developed a serious love for the option in major college football programs. It is simple, effective, low risk, and tactically sound, and yet teams avoid it like the plague. Yet when it comes time to face it, they look like the ones with the plague as they fail to soundly tackle and remained disciplined. Would I want my Irish running it again like they did with Bob Davie? Probably not, but if I was a team without an offensive identity and plenty of athletes I would be dumb not to try it. This all brings us to the game. I know Georgia Tech lost, and I give lots of credit to Georgia for responding after last year’s collapse and showing up their in-state rivals. Georgia’s talent level is undeniable, but the surprising part of this game is that the defense stepped up. Maybe if this had happened sooner, Georgia would not have been a huge disappointment, but that is neither here nor there, the point is that now, if Georgia Tech loses to Clemson in the ACC Title Game, they will be in trouble. Clemson will get a BCS spot, something that is probably not great for the BCS, and Georgia Tech will drop to a far inferior bowl game. Maybe i am alone in wanting to see the Ramblin’ Wreck in the BCS, but I want to. Let’s get a quick conference wrap-up before we wait on next week.
Big 12– It is Texas’ to lose. Nebraska has a good defense but it should not matter. On one hand I would like to see TCU or Cincinnati get a bump with a Texas loss, but the Horns should take care of business.
Big 10- Has been Ohio State for an eternity it feels like.
SEC- Florida v. Alabama in Atlanta. It should be a great one, but I am taking Florida.
Big East- Cincinnati v. Pittsburgh in a non-title game. I would take Cincinnati, but I would bet on a good game after Pitt lost the backyard brawl to WVU. Maybe Brian Kelly’s last game as UC Head Coach?
ACC- Georgia Tech v. Clemson. Georgia Tech is the pick, but you never know. Clemson is enigmatic across all of its athletic programs and I am not sure why. Oliver Purnell seems to always over or under-achieve and the football program always zigs when you expect a zag.
That is all i got for this week. Enjoy the week.