in town for free camps
If there is one team we all ought to be rooting for aside from Michigan this autumn, it is the Golden Domers at Notre Dame. Here is hoping they find a way to sneak 9 wins out of their watery schedule this season to we aren't facing another coach in South bend.
The one thing that Weis has done very well is bring in some elite level talent that hasn't been seen since Lou Holtz. Of the many things Weis hasn't done very well, a couple of them are particularly relevant for our purposes:
1) figure out how to develop players (e.g., Sam Young anyone?) and
2) put together a good team without the prior tutelage of Ty Willingham (who I suspect after this year will be far less hated in South Bend).
I enjoy the irony when Notre Dame fans rail against Rodriguez and Michigan for going 3-9 in 2008 in his first year (Weis went 3-9 in his 3rd year and 7-6 in his 4th WITH HIS OWN PLAYERS).
And the recruiting advantage over Michigan is seriously EXAGGERATED as well. True, the '08 class saw nearly every head to head battle go to Notre Dame, but the reality is that Weis had the trump card of immediate playing time, and Rodriguez only had about a month and a half to keep the current class together and identify more recruits--many of which we weren't in direct competition with ND for, save Martavious Odoms. More telling, is the way the '09 head-to-head battles with Notre Dame unfolded: Notre Dame signed (players that we offered): Alex Bullard, Chris Watt, Zach Martin, and Shaq Evans. Michigan signed (players that ND offered): William Campbell, Anthony LaLota, Craig Roh, and Michael Schofield.
Without the "playing time" card to play, Michigan and Notre Dame split 8 recruits down the middle. And, I would prefer the 4 that Michigan signed.
The end point is that it is in the interests of Michigan football for Charlie Weis to squeak out 9 wins this year and maybe even win a bowl game so we aren't facing Urban Meyer in South Bend every other year. With Charlie Weis, Notre Dame may sign some good players, but the vertical routes will occur at predictable intervals, Clausen will still be mediocre, the play-calling will be uninventive, and Notre Dame will remain soft (remember how McGuffie got off against ND last year? In hindsight, how weird is that to think about?).