As they trudged off the field following a dispiriting, hard-to-fathom loss to Syracuse in last season’s Senior Day home finale, Notre Dame players were pelted with snowballs.
The anger was not as visible after this year’s Senior Day loss, but the absence of snow on a balmy 52 degree day was more the reason than any sort of progress by the Irish. In fact, the gloomy, misty dusk that settled over fabled Notre Dame Stadium as a 33-30 double-overtime defeat to Connecticut entered the books was an appropriate metaphor for the current state of Irish football. Coach Charlie Weis’ tenure is all but certain to end after five mercurial seasons of unmet expectations Weis himself was largely responsible for creating.
“You’re a 6-5 football team,” he all but sneered at his introductory press conference in December 2004, “and if you think they hired me to go .500, you’ve got the wrong guy.”
Weis, 35-26 overall, is 6-5 this season and riding a three-game losing streak with one game remaining, a tough one at Stanford. The Irish were 7-6 last season, losing four of the last five before a Hawaii Bowl win over Hawaii, and a school-worst 3-9 in 2007. That is hardly evidence of an upward-trending arrow.
“Six-and-five is not good enough — I still agree with that,” Weis said on Sunday. “I intend to be here, but if they decide to make a change I’d have a hard time arguing with that.”