No Bowl for Notre Dame

Charlie Weis likely put in his last official appearance as Notre Dame’s football coach Friday night. It was the team’s annual football banquet. And, lucky for Irish fans everywhere, there will be no bowl game to suffer through this year.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Notre Dame’s disappointing season arrived at two punctuation marks Friday: Officially, there will be no bowl appearance, and dismissed coach Charlie Weis made what is likely his final appearance with the program in an official capacity.

Weis attended the team banquet Friday night, presenting team awards and speaking to players, coaches, staff, families and guests, according to a release that provided no further detail.

Weis did not address the team in full upon his dismissal Monday.

Earlier in the day, as expected, the Irish pulled themselves out of consideration for a bowl game. It’s the first time a bowl-eligible Notre Dame team hasn’t played in the postseason since 1996, after Lou Holtz resigned.

According to the Trib, Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate shared the MVP award.

I would have given the nod to Golden Tate alone. Jimmy Clausen is overrated. He’ll survive as a backup in the pros, but he won’t start.

Yes, I make predictions on matters relating to sports, which matter next to nothing anyhow.

Golden Tate has potential.

Trib: Jimmy Clausen Gets Black Eye in Fight Outside Bar

Jimmy Clausen recieved a figurative black eye from Connecticut Saturday, losing in double overtime. It would appear an altercation outside a South Bend bar was enough to give him a real black eye.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Starting quarterback and team captain Jimmy Clausen was involved in an altercation outside a South Bend, Ind., bar in the hours after a double-overtime loss to Connecticut on Saturday, taking a punch to the face in the incident, sources told the Tribune.

Clausen suffered at least one black eye as a result of the punch, according to a source.

A spokesman for Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said he could not reach Weis for comment Monday night.

A South Bend police spokesman said Monday no police reports were filed over the weekend that involved Clausen.

The particulars of the confrontation are unclear, though a person answering the phone at CJ’s Pub, the bar in question, said the incident "absolutely did not take place inside the bar."

WGN-AM 720’s David Kaplan reported that it occurred at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Clausen Turns It On to Give Notre Dame 37-30 OT Win

This one was exciting enough to keep my Mom glued to the television set watching football for the first time ever, according to my Dad.  So, I’m pleased to offer Charlie Weis kudos for today’s win after bashing him because of the loss to Michigan.

Face it, Charlie, you could have a perfect record today if you had managed the clock better against Michigan.

But that’s water under the bridge.

I give Charlie Weis, Jimmy Clausen and Robert Hughes, yes, Robert Hughes, credit for today’s win against Washington.

Here’s the report from the Chicago Sun-Times (still the best sports paper in Chicago):

Jimmy Clausen floated a 12-yard pass into the end zone that Kyle Rudolph caught over cornerback Quinton Richardson with 80 seconds left and Hughes pushed a pile of defenders into the end zone for the 2-point conversion and a 30-27 lead.

Erik Folk kicked a 37-yard field goal with 6 seconds left to tie the game at 30 and force overtime. Notre Dame (4-1) improved to 8-0 against Washington (2-3).

It was the wildest finish yet in a season of them for the Irish.

Clausen was 23 of 31 passing for a career-high 422 yards, the fifth highest passing yardage in five seasons under coach Charlie Weis. He threw one interception. Golden Tate caught nine passes for a career-high 244 yards and a touchdown. He set up Hughes’ TD run with a 22-yard catch on the first play in overtime.

Four hundred and twenty-two yards? Jimmy, keep this up, and you’ll play on Sunday.

This was an impressive win.  Yes, it was enough to keep my mother glued to the TV.

Look, that is no small accomplishment.  Mom doesn’t waste her time watching football.  Living in Pittsburgh, of all places, Mom has kept her distance from the gridiron.

Until today.

Jimmy, don’t get all full of yourself.  The season ain’t over yet.   The goal, after all, is the national title.  Not just a bowl game.

Charlie, I still have my doubts about you.

But today was pretty.

So, today, I stood as the band played our Alma Mater after the game.

And I’m crossing my fingers for the USC game in two weeks.

And, remember, guys, you’re only as good as your last game.  Next game, you have to prove it all over again.

Today, go ahead, cheer, cheer, for old Notre Dame.

And wake up the echoes in two weeks when we face USC.

Charlie Weis Throws the Game to Michigan

Commentary from an Angry Domer

Charlie Weis made sure Michigan would beat Notre Dame today. This Domer is not pleased.

And I love these quotes from Michigan:

A dropped TD pass didn’t deflate Tate Forcier. The Michigan freshman simply threw another one on the next play.

After LaTerryal Savory bobbled and dropped a reception that would’ve been a go-ahead touchdown with just seconds remaining, Forcier hit Greg Mathews for a 5-yard score with 11 seconds left, lifting the Wolverines to a 38-34 win over No. 18 Notre Dame on Saturday.

"It will go down in history as one of the greatest games in the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry," Mathews said. "I’m glad I got a chance to play in it."

Armando Allen ran for a touchdown and got the 2-point conversion on a nifty Statue of Liberty play with 5:13 left after Jimmy Clausen threw his third touchdown pass to give the Fighting Irish (1-1) the lead. But Charlie Weis chose to throw instead of trying to run time off the clock and Notre Dame’s defense could not deny Forcier and the Wolverines (2-0).

"I think it was mistake that they were throwing the ball because they let us save our timeouts," Forcier said. "Those timeouts definitely came in handy.

"I wasn’t expecting them to throw the ball. It really helped us."

No kidding.

I was having dinner with a friend at a local Chinese restaurant watching the game. With Notre Dame in the lead, all Charlie Weis’ fair-haired boy Jimmy Clausen had to do was run the ball. Run time off the clock. Make Michigan use its time-outs. Just don’t, don’t, under any circumstances, don’t throw the ball. Don’t take a chance on an interception. Don’t throw the ball. Control the game. And, of course, don’t throw the ball.

But Charlie had other plans. Charlie wanted to make Notre Dame work for the victory, and give Michigan another chance.

Charlie ordered pass plays. And Clausen failed miserably, unable to connect with any of his receivers, some of his passes flying wildly off-target.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Clausen completed 25 of 42 passes for 336 yards and three TDs, but he missed some throws throughout the game that proved to be costly.

That kind of thing tends to happen when you’re over-confident.

My dad tells me Weis boasted before the game that ND had a superior team, that Michigan would be no problem at all.

Sorry, Charlie. That’s the kind of arrogance that loses ball games.

Congratulations to Michigan. Did Charlie Weis bet against the Irish? I doubt it.

But he made certain they wouldn’t win.