So following the FoxSports.com playbook, I am going to write a story about a "name," throw in a couple of digs, and hope it gets picked up on the wire.
In his most recent commentary, Ian O'Connor has about as realistic a perspective of the Notre Dame football program, and the departure of Tyrone Willingham from the Irish, as the believability that he is not wearing a hair piece.
In his recent post We're still waiting for Weis to prove himself, O'Connor proves clearly that perspective and research do not go hand-in-hand with blogging.
The first gem in his post reads:
Tyrone Willingham should've never been fired, in my opinion, and the venomous emails challenging my Irish Catholichood for printing it suggested a vast legion of clueless/heartless Golden Domers disagreed. How dare I criticize a storied, faith-based university for using its first African-American coach to rescue it from the George O'Leary mess before discarding him faster than administrators had ever fired anyone in the same job?
Notre Dame Football is a business, and the CEO of that corporation is the head football coach. When running a $100 million dollar enterprise, having a heart does not apply.
I dare Ian to find an example of a company with equal revenue and brand equity at which "having a heart" was factored into business decisions. The simple truth is Ty Willingham has failed not once, but twice at running huge football operations at both Notre Dame and now Washington.
Being the Notre Dame head coach has just as much to do with the performance on 12 to 13 Saturdays a year. It is an exhausting, year-round position that cannot be done on the golf course, somewhere where you can always count on finding Willingham.
You need to be able to say goodbye to upper management. Charlie Weis let Rick Minter go, Ty Willingham refused to let Kent Baer go while at Notre Dame. You need to recruit not just for top-level talent, but program depth. Something morons like O'Connor here obviously fail to research.
Weis has brought in three top-10 classes that are balanced and deep, and the No. 1 class after the worst season in program history. Willingham never cracked the top 10, and his lack in understanding depth on the offensive line is one of the main reasons for last year's record, as well.
Lastly, you have to be a Notre Dame man. Like Weis or not, he is a Notre Dame guy. Willingham, on the other hand, is a Ty Willingham guy. Nothing wrong with that, just not what a school like Notre Dame needs.
The next gem from O'Connor:
Three seasons later, Weis would trade a large piece of his lavish contract to secure that advantage. Working on a deal worth some $30 million, Weis is 22-15. Willingham was fired for going 21-15.
He's almost tied with Ty, and that isn't what Notre Dame bargained for. The same board of trustees that overruled then-athletic director Kevin White in dumping Willingham decreed that a 5-2 record in Weis' very first year was reason enough to extend the coach's deal through 2015, at megastar wages.
Well, Ian, if you do not see the difference in trajectory between 10-3, 5-7, and 6-6 compared to 9-3, 10-3, and 3-9, maybe you should stick to writing about golf. Maybe you could kiss Willingham's ass a little more and do a book about his golf game.
Last year was a "perfect storm." Bad coaching, bad upperclassmen, a hard schedule, and a horrible offensive line. To compare the three years as equal simply because the win-loss records are nearly the same is pure ignorance.
He then goes on with:
"Even Weis had to concede he was part of the problem in South Bend. He was an offensive guy, and last season's offensive line allowed 58 sacks."
What this hack of a "reporter" does not do is explore the offensive line. Just how did Notre Dame get to a point where it would have one of the worst offensive lines in its storied history? Well, Ian, since you do not know how to use Google, here is a little reading material for you: The Willingham Effect—Offensive Line Recruiting Under Ty and Charlie.
The last line from this tool is the best:
"So far, the coach has done little to add to the mythology of Notre Dame football, and a lot to harden the myth of his own genius."
I find it comical that this is coming from a hack golf writer with hardly a grasp of what it takes to run a football program, let alone Notre Dame's.
Here is a free lesson for you, Ian: The mythology of Notre Dame football is not really about football.
The success is the byproduct. The key to the program over the last century is the mindset of all coaches, minus one. The job is not just about the game on Saturday, it is about respecting the past and, most importantly, respecting the future. The lack of effort by Willingham clearly showed he had little concern for the future, outside of his next job or tee time.
Black, White, Purple or Orange...the simple or truth is Willingham never showed he saw BLUE AND GOLD!