Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wake Up the Echoes???

The controversy swirling around Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis seems to be about to be resolved as unconfirmed reports out of South Bend indicate that the fourth year coach will be given at least one more season.

But the real question is not who would replace Charlie Weis, but what are reasonable expectations for Notre Dame football in the modern era? Or put another way, when did the downward slide begin?

If you are looking for the "Last Night of the Notre Dame Dynasty," you might try November 20, 1993.

On that day, up-and-comer (at the time) -- and the only other I-A Catholic football team -- Boston College went into South Bend and shocked the #1-ranked Irish in the final game of the regular season. It was also the first time BC had beaten Notre Dame.

While ND did win the Cotton Bowl that year (24-21, over Texas A&M, played on January 1, 1994), it was their last bowl win; Notre Dame has never won a Bowl Game in the BCS era, and the bowl losing streak is now at 9.

While Lou Holtz had a record of 100-30-2 overall at ND (.765 winning percentage), his record after November 20, 1993, was 24-11-1, 0.666.

After Holtz came Bob Davie (35-25, .583), Ty Willingham (21-15, also .583), interim coach Kent Baer (0-1), and now Weis (28-21, .571).

Overall, since that fateful BC game: 108-73-1, or .593 winning percentage over a decade and a half. 1-9 in bowl games, no wins since that 1994 Cotton Bowl.

ND's record in the 15 years preceding the BC Game (which included the Gerry Faust years): 122-51-3, .693 winning percentage. 5-4 in bowl games.

As Weis "mentor" Bill Parcells once said, "You are what your record says you are."

Notre Dame has lost 6 straight to Boston College.

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