It doesn’t take much to construct a universe in which Charlie Weis is staring down the barrel of an almost certain firing in 2010. Take one play here or there — or a correct call against Washington — and put the Irish definitively out of the BCS this year and you’re almost there. Without a BCS bid this year to justify the last two years of pain, two events would conspire to make next year an almost inevitable farewell tour.
Event the first:
ND has lost Dane(sic; it’s Dayne) Crist, the team’s backup quarterback, for the remainder of the season. Crist will undergo knee surgery Friday for a torn right ACL. Weis said Crist, a sophomore, will be out from four to six months.
That knocks the highly-touted redshirt freshman and Clausen heir apparent out for the rest of this year and through spring practice next year, even if that four-to-six-month recovery period — which seems optimistic for an ACL tear even in this modern era of surgery — is realistic.
This would be only hypothetically bothersome for Notre Dame if Clausen returns for a his senior year. According to many around the program, that is unlikely.
What’s significant about Crist’s seemingly insignificant injury is that Clausen will likely leave for the NFL after this season.
That is event the second, and though that’s speculation from a guy at the Sun-Times, it’s speculation that’s echoed all around the internet, speculation with a patina of accuracy. Clausen is old for his recruiting class after getting held back two (!) years early in his K-12 career and is a potential first-round pick the year before the NFL will renegotiate its CBA to include a rookie salary cap. If there is a time to get while the getting is good, it’s now.