Yesterday we looked at the case FOR Charlie Weis. Today we flip the perspective and make the case AGAINST the hiring of Charlie Wies. Go easy on Warden because he volunteered to take this stance because he wasn't completely sold on the hire at the beginning. At the same time he's not "anti-Weis" and it's not easy to write this sort of opinion without coming off as overly negative. The point is there are two perspectives on this hire and right now both have some validity so just try to keep things in perspective while reading and discussing. - Owen
Sheahon Zenger shot for the moon on this hire, no question about that. Charlie Weis has built quite the resume over his time in football. Super Bowl rings almost cover an entire hand, former head coach at Notre Dame, and former offensive coordinator at the University of Florida. Guys with a resume like that generally don't take over the job of coaching one of the worst teams in Division 1 football. Of course, the job probably looked a bit rosier with a 2.5 million dollar salary with most of it guaranteed for five years.
How will the hire turn out for Kansas? Impossible to say right now but I'm not all that optimistic about the future of the program with Charlie Weis as the head man. Color me unconvinced about his commitment to the program and University. His quote at the end of November, reminding reporters why he took the job at Florida and that he'd be there for a long time isn't bad on its own. Coaches say what needs to be said to the media all the time (Don't give a **** about North Carolina anyone?) but when the guy who said it is on his 4th job in 4 years, I'm going to have to see his commitment to the program to believe it.
At Kansas, this is a big deal. One of the reasons cited by those who were supportive of Gill was the need for continuity in the program. Fans are tired of the coaching turnover at Kansas, with pretty good reason. Look West and see what happened when Bill Snyder slowed a bit at Manhattan and the University brought in Ron Prince. Almost all of the success from the Snyder years was erased and the program was on very shaky ground. Bill Snyder came back and righted the ship for the Wildcats but you know they're very aware of his age and worried about what happens when he retires for good.
Bring that to Lawrence and even assume that Weis has some success at Kansas, where does that leave us five years down the road? Pretty much the same situation we're in now. The talent should be better, as Weis will likely be able to recruit a little better than Gill and Mangino. How much better? We'll have to wait and see, he brought in good recruiting classes to Notre Dame. That's what happens at Notre Dame. He's not going to out recruit Texas or Oklahoma. The position of the program puts us hoping for middle of the pack in the conference and hopefully a stud here and there. Five years down the road, we're back at square one.
Assuming he recruits better than we've seen previously in Lawrence, the results still have to be there on the field. Weis is considered to be an offensive guru due to his time in the NFL and some of his offenses at Notre Dame. His first two years at Notre Dame were very successful, ending with trips to the Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Look deeper at those two years, you'll see in 2005 they beat three teams that were over.500 (Michigan 7-5, BYU 6-5, and Navy 8-4). Any non-Notre Dame team and I doubt they're in a BCS bowl in 2005. In 2006, the Irish did beat five teams with a winning record though none ranked higher than them.
The third year, things fell apart with his team finishing just 3-9. To me, that's a huge red flag. After controlling the program for two years, his program has the worst season of his time. His recruits, his schemes, and his offseason program and those are the results. The following two years rebounded a bit but the team still underachieved finishing with 7 wins and 6 wins. While at Notre Dame, Weis led teams were just 10-24 against teams that finished the season over .500. His teams were also just 1-12 against teams ranked at the end of the season. This while he had two top 5 recruiting classes and no class below 30. Can we really expect better results than his last two years when we can't expect any better recruiting classes?
Wrapping up, we're spending a lot of money on a coach that has health problems, has jumped ship after a year at each of his previous two jobs, and underachieved in his previous head coaching job. The health problems will impact his coaching and recruiting ability, to say otherwise is to be foolish. The health problems will impact how long he stays at the school as well. Then we're left in the same situation we're in now, just down another ten to twelve million and that's not a position that any of us want to be in.