Mike Hlas is an award-winning columnist with the Cedar Rapids Gazette and force behind The Hlog. Each week, he will break down the worst matchup in college football. Considering the increasing number of uncompetitive and uninteresting games, Mike's task is harder than digging out from the rubble at Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame and USC.
Maybe if Charlie Weis had still been the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator, he could have talked Bill Belichick out of going for a first-down Sunday night at Indianapolis on a fourth-and-two at the New England 30 late in the game with the Pats ahead, 34-28.
New England lost after that mystifying decision by Belichick that didn’t work. Weis knew what to do with Tom Brady and when to do it. If you’re hiring after the season, Coach Belichick, perhaps you’d consider Coach Weis to run your offense once more. He did pretty well with you before.
Crewcut Charlie looks like he’ll be unemployed before long. His fifth season at Notre Dame is ending badly. The Irish are 6-4, not what they or their vocal followers had in mind when this season began.
Most of the Irish faithful gave up the ship two weeks ago when Notre Dame lost at home to Navy. After not having lost to Navy since Theodore Roosevelt was president — or so it seemed — that marked two straight home defeats to the Midshipmen.
That was followed by a 27-22 defeat at Pittsburgh, the Irish’s second-straight loss to Dave Wannstedt’s Panthers. Notre Dame is no longer as good as Eastern programs it once dominated. The die is cast. It’s over for Weis in South Bend.
With that said, Connecticut at Notre Dame is the Game of the Weak. This is done with no disrespect to the Huskies of UConn. They’ve been racked by a human tragedy this season, and there’s no need to pile on simply because they’ve lost their last three games by narrow margins to good Big East teams.
But when Notre Dame takes a 6-4 mark into its last two weeks of the season, something is askew. You can’t have your very own television contract with NBC and be staring at probably no better than a 7-5 record (the Irish finish the regular season at sudden superpower Stanford). You can’t be part of the national college football discussion when you’re losing at home to Navy. Again.
You don’t belong on the first half-hour of SportsCenter when you’ve lost to a Michigan team that is a defeat to Ohio State from an unholy 1-7 Big Ten record.
You can’t pass yourself off as anything special when your bowl trips the previous two seasons were None and the Hawaii Bowl, and you’re probably headed for the Papajohns.com Bowl if you get upset by UConn.
If Notre Dame fires Weis after this season, it will be on the hook to him for $18 million over the next six years.
Here's a thought: Maybe Notre Dame can simply swap Weis to Michigan for Rich Rodriguez and see if anyone in either place notices the difference on the field.