Will college football programs please stop hiring Charlie Weis?
You have to wonder when will they learn that this man is not the offensive genius he purported himself to be.
Make no mistake, Weis made his bones by coaching Tom Brady as the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots 2000-04 when the Pats won three Super Bowl titles.
Since, Weis has not accomplished much on the field, but has become a rich man off of it.
First, Notre Dame hired him in 2005 when Urban Meyer chose to take the Florida job instead. When he was hired, Weis declared his team would have “a decided schematic advantage” over other college teams, obviously meaning he would be able to out-coach other college coaches since he spent time in the NFL.
Then after a 5-2 start, the school inexplicably gave Weis a 10-year contract extension, thinking the NFL may come calling with a head coaching gig. Weis’ Irish teams went 9-3, 10-3, 3-9, 7-6 and 6-6 before the Notre Dame brass pulled the plug and fired him. For that, he received a $19 million buyout, the richest in college football history. Notre Dame paid him $6 million up front and has continued annual payments that end next year.
From South Bend’s departure, Weis spent one season as the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs before Florida’s Will Muschamp hired him for the same position at a $1 million salary. For that, the Gators averaged a paltry 334 yards per game, good for 102nd in the country.
Then, for some reason, Kansas came calling after they fired Turner Gill, hiring him as head coach before Florida could fire him.
Weis’ Jayhawk teams went 1-11 and 3-9 before a 2-2 start this season, in which they were coming off a 42-3 loss at Duke and a 23-0 loss to Texas. That was enough for Kansas. Weis was fired and will be paid almost $7 million in his buyout. Considering his salary and buyout, and the fact that he won only six games in three years, Kansas paid approximately $2.1 million per win.
That has to be some sort of record. In fact, both Notre Dame and Kansas will pay Weis more money not to coach its teams than what he made while on campus.
As for the schematic advantages, the Jayhawks have ranked near the bottom of the nation for three seasons in almost all of the offensive categories.
He ranks near the top of unemployed coaches --- in bank accounts, that is.
SATURDAY IS BIG DAY IN MISSISSIPPI
In the good ol’ days – in the 1980s and ‘90s that is – the state of Florida was used to hosting mega-Saturdays during the college football season. Florida, Florida State and Miami would be hosting ranked opponents and the state was aglow with football fever as all three usually came away with big wins.
At times, even Texas and Texas A&M hosted top-10 ranked teams on the same day, as has Auburn and Alabama.
But the state of Mississippi?
What in the name of the Magnolia State is going on here?
Mississippi State (4-0) and ranked 12th, hosts No. 6 Texas A&M in Starkville, Miss., on Saturday, while up the road in Oxford, the Ole Miss Rebels (4-0), ranked 11th, will hosting No. 3 Alabama.
Never before have both the Bulldogs and Rebels been 4-0 at the same time – and not since 1958 have the Mississippi schools been ranked this highly at the same time.
In fact, ESPN’s mega-traveling show, College Gameday, will be visiting Oxford for the first time.
SPURRIER, STAFF FAILS MATH TEST
The ol’ ball coach has been hailed as an offensive genius throughout his coaching career, but Steve Spurrier failed simple math Saturday night in the final minutes against Missouri. And it may have cost him the game.
Leading 13-7, South Carolina’s Pharoh Cooper made a spectacular touchdown catch with only 7:25 remaining. Now with a 12-point lead, the two-point conversion chart, as well as simple math and the game clock, dictates that the offense would stay on the field for a two-point conversion. Instead, the Gamecocks inexplicably kicked the PAT to go ahead 20-7.
“Not one of us on offense was thinking go for two if we scored a touchdown, and we should have been,” Spurrier said on his Sunday teleconference. “It was such a struggle to just move the ball and make some first downs. And all of the sudden Pharoh made that great catch, and the next thing I knew the extra point team was in there, and I looked up and saw what the score was, and I thought 'Oops, we made a mistake. Hopefully, it's not going to come back to haunt us.' And lo and behold, it did. But at the time, we'd stopped them 10 (offensive series) in a row to that point, but we didn't stop them the last two times, and we lost the game.”
Of course, the Tigers stormed back with two late touchdowns to win the game 21-20, when the game would have gone to overtime had the Gamecocks converted a two-point conversion.
What puzzles me is that the Gamecocks had a 13-7 lead for a long time during the second half. During that period, you would think Spurrier, or one of his offensive assistants, would be thinking, “If we get a field goal, we are up two scores, but if we get a touchdown, what play are we running for the two-point conversion?”
It’s as if they were so shocked they scored the touchdown, they were celebrating instead of thinking in the moment.
MIKE LEACH’S LATEST THOUGHT-PROVOKING RANT
Some have called Mike Leach “weird,” a “genius,” or “eccentric,” but nobody can ever accuse the Washington State coach of not thinking outside the box. This time, he ranted about texting, and current technology, as a way of life in America:
"I'm not really good with technology. All this button pushing and whatnot. I mean, you can just imagine based on what's happened in the last 15 years. Conversations won't happen 10 years from now. There aren't going to be people to talk to, it's going to be this (mimics pushing buttons). 'Do you want to go out on a date with me?' 'I don't know, what do you look like?' 'Well I look kind of like this.' 'OK, what are your interests?' 'Well, what do you think my interests are? Looking to this thing and typing into this just like yours are.' 'Yeah, no kidding, that's what everybody's doing.' 'Well, where do you want to go?' 'Well, what difference does it make? Because all we're going to be doing is looking into machines anyways.' Well, that's true and in the end, it's going to tough to perpetuate the species. There's no question about that. So we're all going to look in this box and eventually be extinct. That's how it ends."
Actually, I see his point. But you would think a guy who thinks so deeply could motivate his players to play better. The Cougars are 2-3.
URBAN SENDS THE RIGHT MESSAGE ON MILLER
Urban Meyer made headlines Monday by saying Braxton Miller will be starting quarterback next season should he return to the Buckeyes as a redshirt senior.
His answer was prompted since redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett is playing so well. Barrett has completed 70-of-110 passes (63.6 percent) for 1,087 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has been intercepted five times, but has played remarkably well over his first four games.
"Braxton is our quarterback," Meyer said. "To be fair to Braxton, Big Ten Player of the Year (twice). Good to know we've got both of them."
Truth is, Meyer said the right thing in order to increase the odds of Miller returning. Miller has said he will return and not enter the NFL draft, but when it comes to crunch time and his decision must be final next April, you never know if he will listen to an agent, etc.
MY OVERRATED TOP-FIVE
1. Nebraska (5-0) – The No. 19 Cornhuskers will come back to earth with a beating in East Lansing Saturday.
2. Notre Dame (4-0) – The Irish are ranked No. 8 right now, but won’t finish anywhere near the top-10.
3. Florida State (4-0) – At No. 1, the Seminoles are living on their 2013 national championship reputation.
4. Georgia (3-1) – At No. 13, the Bulldogs have one of the worst defenses in the country, allowing 32 points to Tennessee.
5. Louisville (4-1) – The Cardinals aren’t ranked, but after losing at Virginia and struggling with lowly Wake Forest at home, several more losses are ahead for Bobby Petrino.
GAMES OF THE WEEK: Michigan State 38, Nebraska 14 – The Cornhuskers won’t hang with the Spartans.
Alabama 31, Ole Miss 17 – Rebels aren’t quite ready for prime time.
Mississippi State 35, Texas A&M 30 – Should be a shootout.
Tennessee 21, Florida 20 – Perhaps a game-winning field goal on the final play.
UPSET OF THE WEEK: Georgia Tech (+2) over Miami – I know two points barely makes it an upset, but there wasn’t much to choose from this week. (I like all the chalk teams).
BLOWOUT OF THE WEEK: East Carolina 84, SMU 7 – Yes, you read that right.
BEST BETS: Oklahoma (-4) at TCU; Wisconsin (-9.5) at Northwestern; Stanford (-1) over Notre Dame.