Are the Irish as bad as last year? Are they just a young team learning how to win? Is the head coach just a damn good recruiter and not a great game planner?
I am hearing all sorts of questions on the ND message boards, and from alot of die hard fans that seem to be jumping on and off the Charlie Weis bandwagon and for that matter the bandwagon period.
How can it be that the Irish are looking mediocre two years in a row? It's easy, it's called rebuilding. Charlie had to rebuild the entire program from Ty Willingham, right from the players attitudes to the coaches attitudes. Notre Dame was well on it's way to being the laughing stock of the NCAA before Charlie took over and he had a great first year, a decent second year, but as we are seeing the last couple of years is when the rebuilding process has started. Unlike the pros where you can rebuild in a coaches first year and maybe start winning in the second or third year college is different. You get the previous coaches recruits handed to you and cannot pickup your type of players in free agency or via trades. You have to wait and if the program has had a few off years in recruiting and winning your program will suffer a little in getting the people you want. Charlie is doing a great job of coaching, he's letting his coaches coach and taking over the offense which he should never have let go anyways, regardless of the horrific year last year.
I have also heard the youth thing is an excuse. I don't think anyone is using it as an excuse as much they are stating that the future looks bright at ND. The offensive line is the oldest bunch on the field and still are relatively young. There is also a couple of kids that have very bright futures waiting in the stable for their chance.
As I have stated before in another blog: I will not get down on this team because they are young and still learning how to win football games. It takes more than just a couple of decent wins and losses for a team to relearn how to win. ND has gone through a couple of seasons of mediocrity and hopefully within the next year or two they will have learned how to win and the growing pains of a young team will have been worked out and the underclassmen will have learned from the upperclassmen how to win and what it takes. Remember Ty Willingham taught a team how to lose and Charlie Weis is trying to do the opposite.