Charlie Weis out at ND, Clausen likely gone too


By Paul M. Banks

Notre Dame has fired Head Coach Charlie Weis. The university is apparently deciding to eat his contract. Insert your own joke about Weis and eating here. At 5pm ND will hold a news conference making the firing “official”. During these last five years of Weiss coaching ND, hundreds of us sports bloggers made numerous funny, but also extremely juvenile, jokes about Weis’ weight. I am not apologizing, and I don’t think anyone else will either. Weis was so arrogant and unapologetic about his arrogance that he invited these fat-ass jokes upon himself. He was deluded into thinking he automatically had an inherent Xs and Os advantage over everyone. Ask Navy, Pitt, Connecticut and Stanford about that. Or better yet look at Weis’ 35-27 body of work. Let’s not look at his body please which is reminiscent of Grimace from McDonald’s land) Despite having (supposedly) some of the best recruiting classes in the nation, year in and year out.

Weis also made his program as inaccessible to the media as a college football team can be. He even refused to do a post game press conference after the loss to Stanford on Saturday and shut out the media following the Clausen incident from last weekend. You know that whole thing about Clausen getting drunk and getting beat up by a Notre Dame “fan” the weekend before Thanksgiving. So again, he made very few friends in the press and/or the blogosphere, and his standoffishness invited us all to point out how his body is shaped like a Christmas tree.

Junior QB Jimmy Clausen, another one of college football’s household names, is likely to leave Notre Dame as well. Except his departure be voluntary.  Clausen was seen giving his football helmet to his family following the 45-38 loss to Stanford, and is strongly expected to declare for the NFL draft.

For Weis, he supposedly has at least six offers from NFL teams to become their offensive coordinator. An assistant who none of us have ever heard of will step in for Weis for the time being. If they accept a bowl bid, sorry Charlie, but you won’t be on the sideline. The way things are going Clausen may not be there either!


So who’s the next Coach at Notre Dame? I’m going to say Bob Stoops. WGN’s David Kaplan says he has sources that indicate ND could be moving in that direction, and I trust Kap and his group of insiders, because he was the first to break the story on Clausen getting into a fight at a local bar and getting too black eyes.

Angry Fan Punches Jimmy Clausen in the Face


By Paul M. Banks

While Head Coach Charlie Weiss gives the Notre Dame program a figurative black eye, QB and team captain Jimmy Clausen suffers a literal one. Make that two black eyes, reports say. It occurred in a South Bend bar called CJ’s a few hours after a tough loss to UConn. An irate fan said something about Clausen, his girl, drinking was almost certainly involved and then fisticuffs ensued. Allegedly. It sounds exactly like a scene from my favorite college football movie, “The Program” (1993). You might remember star QB and Heisman trophy candidate Joe Kane getting drunk and having a townie oaf goad him into a fight.

Here are more details from the both the print and radio arm of the the evil Chicago Tribune empire:

“A South Bend police spokesman said Monday no police reports were filed over the weekend that involved Clausen. The particulars of the confrontation are thus unclear, though a person answering the phone at CJ’s, the bar in question, said the incident “absolutely did not take place inside the bar.”


“WGN AM 720’s David Kaplan reported that it occurred at 2:30 a.m. Sunday. That CJ’s employee, who identified himself as a bartender, said Clausen and family members were at the bar following the Connecticut loss — along with other Irish upperclassmen apparently gathering after their final home game at Notre Dame Stadium.”

The article goes on to remind us all what an egocentric, douchenozzle with a sense of entitlement Clausen truly is. He takes after his coach, who shares his arrogance and misguided belief that the rules don’t apply to him.

Quoting the Trib:

“It is another in an assortment of off-field incidents involving the Irish’s starting quarterback that date back to his first year on campus. He was cited in June 2007 for transporting alcohol as a minor. Then, in August 2008, pictures appeared on the Web site “The Big Lead” depicting a not-yet-21 Clausen and three teammates at what the site labeled “Beer Olympics.”

I know he was supposedly “sucker-punched,” but the way Clausen garners headlines, by draft day he may be portrayed as some kind of Frankenstein douchemonster QB, the horrors of which the world has never seen. Think the delusion of grandeur, over-ratedness, and petulance of Jay Cutler with the whining ability and insecure narcissism of Jeff George meets the self-destructive tendencies and general malfeasance of Joe Kane from the aforementioned film. I know that last one is fictional, but you get the idea, the tragically-wasting-one’s-physical-gifts-because-you’re-a-severe-head-case story.

Or maybe he’s just misunderstood. This guy has spent all his formative years studying film and working on his mechanics, maybe he’s lived a very sheltered life like a real world version of J.D. McCoy from “Friday Night Lights,” and perhaps his social skills aren’t the fittest, and that’s what leads to problems? Only those who know him best can say for sure.


The University has not released a statement yet, and it likely won’t until more details comes out. I’m expecting this story to have some legs, and no matter how interesting, or uninteresting the actual tomfoolery and ballyhoo was, it will certainly do one fantastic thing for sports fans that are extremely fatigued by incessant Notre Dame coverage. Everyone will stop beating the dead horse that is the inevitable Charlie Weiss firing story.

I actually care a lot more about Clausen being #1 overall in my latest NFL mock draft. Now that this news has broken, his stock will fall and I’ll have to change that.

College Football Live Blog, Afternoon and Night Games


Welcome to the afternoon game edition…Since I know HJB is here live blogging and getting ready for the big UM-ND big I figure I’d lead with this picture, which I’m sure he’ll love. –PMB

24-10 Northwestern, 12:20 left in game by the way

DIRECTIONAL MICHIGAN is giving the big ten problems, central michigan, eastern michigan, and western michigan are all giving NU, MSU, and Indiana all they can handle. one posession games in the final minutes all around. good thing. there’s no northern michigan and southern michigan to ad to the stress and strife.


NU wins on last final seconds 49 yard field goal


So, um, anyone catch the score of the Central Michigan-Michigan State game?

By the way, why on earth is Matt Millen on this game? Or on any game for that matter? Can I just mute him?

Me on Charlie Weis: “He looks like he just ate a baby.”
My dad’s friend: “He looks like he’s having a baby.”

And that tackling is giving me bad flashbacks of last season.

Michigan 0, Notre Dame 0 (9:16 left in first quarter)
Two drives and Notre Dame moved the ball much better than Michigan. That missed field goal looked like my tee shot (yeah, I borrowed that line from the play by play guy) but I’ll take it.

Michigan 7, Notre Dame 0 (4:12 left in the 1st quarter)
It’s always a great feeling to strike first. Especially when Notre Dame missed out on its one chance in the red zone thus far.

Michigan 14, Notre Dame 3 (46 seconds left in 1st quarter)
Special teams! Special teams! Special teams!

Michigan 14, Notre Dame 3 (End of 1st quarter)
There is still plenty of game left but man this feels good. That’s what happens when you come off a 3-9 season. Just a good quarter makes you giddy.



Notre Dame 17, Michigan 14 (6:50 left in the half)
Urgh. I had every right to be giddy with Michigan in the lead. Now I have every right to be mopey. I wish I had a sad Badger face to cheer me up.

In seriousness though, if the Fighting Irish play their A-game, Michigan doesn’t have a chance. I’m willing to admit it. Sigh. This might be a long afternoon.

Notre Dame 20 , Michigan 14 (2:41 left in the half)
What frustrates me about this game:

1. Clausen has enough time to cook a damn roast behind the line of scrimmage. I could find open receivers with that much time.

2. I could drive a GM truck through some of the holes the ND line is opening up. UJnfortunately the truck would probably break down before I got to the line of scrimmage.

3. Matt Millen is being paid to offer his football advice.

Notre Dame 20, Michigan 17 (halftime)

The field goal leaves a good taste in my mouth going into the half.

When Holly Rowe interviewed Rich Rodriguez at the half, part of me wanted him to say “We need to practice more. We clearly haven’t practiced enough. If these guys lose today, no way they go home tonight. We’ll stay at Schembechler all night if we have to.”

Alas I’ll settle for crappy commercials and UCLA-Tennessee until the second half. I’m not sure which one is worse.
Gratuitous? Yes. Necessary after the first half? Absolutely.

Notre Dame 20, Michigan 17 (11:28 left in 3rd quarter)
Michigan just missed a field goal after fumbling a snap two plays earlier and committing a holding penalty. Those kinds of mistakes will drive me to drink.

But I’m more upset about the idiocy of Matt Millen. The Wolverines, wisely, took a delay of game penalty to get a better angle on the field goal. Then Millen offers his bright advice: “They should decline it.”

Um, what? Since when can a defense decline a delay of game penalty Mr. Millen?


Michigan 24, Notre Dame 20 (7:55 left in the 3rd quarter)
Just when I lose hope, those sons of guns drag me right back to the cusp of joy. A forced fumble and recovery followed by a march down a short field for the lead? Thaaaaaaaaaaaank you very much.

Oh, nice job on that return boys.

I need a cheerleader photo.

Michigan 24, Notre Dame 20 (end of 3rd quarter)
I’m still alive but barely breathing. This will be a difficult 4th quarter.

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 20 (14:16 left in the game)
I just might lose my voice and I’m just sitting in my living room. Tate Forcier has pretty much locked up the top spot on the quarterback depth chart. That’s not a stretch to make, but we’ll see less and less of Denard Robinson behind center. If I’m Rodriguez, I think of ways to get the ball in Robinson’s hands without putting him behind center the rest of the year.

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 20 (12:14 left)
Cissoko is going to need a hug after this game. He might actually want to spend the night and all of Sunday inside Schembechler Hall.

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 26 (9:46 left)
Again, Cissoko is going to need a big hug after this game. He won’t get it from me, but he’ll need one.

At least they stopped the 2-point conversion try. Now, let’s not go three and out her, OK?

By the way, I can’t get enough of the Playboy Guitar Hero commercial. The folks at Guitar Hero know how to appeal to its demographic: lonely, lonely, lonely men.
Illinois, Illinois St, 20 minutes til game time.
The Illinois State band kind of sucks, but that’s not the biggest travesty of the day so far…it’s that you have to pay for the food in the press box, drinks included!!  Seriously!  I’m not exactly pleased about this development because A) they didn’t tell ANYONE this was going to be the case, and B) they only take cash.  Which, that’s fine, but because they didn’t tell anyone, I DIDN’T BRING ANY CASH!!!  What a freaking joke.  After last week’s debacle in St. Louis they should be paying us to be here and eat.

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 26 (6:22 left)
That Forcier interception killed me a little bit inside. Not going to lie.

NO FREE FOOD IN THE ILLINI PRESS BOX?? Are you serious? That’s terrible! The spread they had last year was SOOOOOOO Good and better than other teams. Wow! I really became less interested in coming down I-57 this fall. –PBIllinois 7, Illinois St. 0
I was coming in here to post about the fact that not only didn’t Martez Wilson start at middle linebacker, but on the first drive of the game.  The box, however, just announced that Wilson is doubtful for the game because of a sprained neck.  OUCH.

Juice Williams set up that first TD with a long, 49 yard run down the sideline on a fake option pitch, but he stumbled and fell near the goal line.  Unfortunately the reason that he fell was there was a little hitch in his giddyup and he pulled something, either a quad or his groin.  He’s currently being worked on on the table and Eddie McGee is warming up.  Maybe it was just a tweak, hard to say. PS

Illinois 7, Illinois St. 0
Juice Williams didn’t come out for this drive, and Eddie McGee just through and awful interception that was well overthrown and nowhere near intended receiver Chris Duvalt.  So much so that I didn’t know Duvalt was the intended receiver.  Things have taken a bad turn here in Champaign as Illinois State has completed a couple of passes.  If they hang around and gain confidence I may have to pay attention to the whole game.

To make everyone feel better, here’s a great pic of my Twitter buddy, @Red_Grange. redPS

Michigan 38, Notre Dame 34 (game, set, match)
OK, so I got the craziness out of my system in the comment. But that was the greatest/most nerve wracking/worst/scariest/most joyful/craziest game I’ve ever watched from the comfort of my own home.

Michigan is going to be a force this season. No, not a National Championship force but a “we’re-going-to-a-bowl-game” force. Considering the next two games they should win, the Wolverines could probably win at least two more games to get bowl eligible.

That probably means a Big Ten season with more ups and downs than I care to make an analogy for.

I’m emotionally exhausted from this game. That doesn’t mean i can’t be snarky for the Ohio State game though.

-HJB-Illinois 21, Illinois St. 0 (12:01 left 2Q)
Bosch ate my last post, which is more than I’ve had for dinner…and yes, PB, no drinks either.  No fireworks either, so apparently the economy IS that bad….

There are a ton of seats that look empty around the stadium for the game, but they actually aren’t.  It’s people in uniform, I can’t tell if it’s Army men or Boy Scouts….and yes I’m being serious.  Roughly 3 or 400 of them in the upper deck.

Nice pass from McGee to a wide-open Chris Duvalt, though McGee nearly overthrew him again. Illinois is, to some extent, having its way with the Redbirds on offense, but the defense is still having some troubles. The drive stayed alive on a roughing the kicker penalty as the Redbird punt team absolutely creamed Anthony Santella, and HE got up limping afterwards…no word on if he was actually hurt or just not used to getting hit. –PS

Illinois 21, Illinois St 0 (8:51 remaining 2Q)
Nice tip from Corey Liguet to Doug Pilcher, and he rumbled and stumbled 43 yards on the interception return.

HUUUGE hit on Eddie McGee on the front-side rush…something he needed to see coming.  He didn’t fumble surprisingly enough, because it was a huge hit.

Nice  FG by Matt Eller, my favorite Illini, to make it Illinois 24, Illinois St. 0 — 7:44 remaining. -PS

Ohio State   USC

Lou Holtz just said this is the most important game for OSU since 1951. Surprised he can still talk after ND’s national title hopes were dashed this afternoon. I just saw the buckeye band dot the eye for the first time. Pretty impressive, whoever choreographed that should draw up plays for the offense. OSU has lost its last five games against top five opponents. The start is key, if they can stay within striking distance in the first half, they’ve got a chance. I wish i could hear Tressel’s pre-game speech. Thank God i missed Lou’s pep talk. Anyway, here we go. Time to get some respect boys!

-Jake Fowler

USC  7  OSU  0

USC tried to take it easy on OSU giving them the ball first. T. Pryor said no thanks i want you guys to have it and threw a wounded duck interception that was returned to the five yard line.  Huuuuuge early moment that could have saved the game, fourth and goal from the one…..touchdown USC. I can’t believe they handed it off on fourth down. Probably the worst start the buckeyes could have hoped for. If they come back from a start like this it’s going to say a lot about the young team. -JF

Illinois 24, Illinois St. 0 (halftime)
I’m somewhat unimpressed by the Illini thusfar…I just feel like they should be killing this team, one that is predicted to finish eighth in the nine-team Missouri Valley Conference ahead of only Indiana State, a school that has the longest losing streak in all of Division I football….

Juice Williams officially has a quad injury and is questionable to return, but speculation from the S.I.D.’s was that Juice could see some second half action to get some reps. –PS


Illinois 31, Illinois St. 0
Great drive to start the second half and the Illini picked apart the Redbird defense.  They look lamer than Fredbird, I tell ya!

I wouldn’t have bothered to update the score, because this is pretty much over, but Daniel Dufrene just burst through a small hole for a 24-yard touchdown scamper. Showed some great breakaway speed.  He NEEDS to be the starting Illini tailback. –PS

Illinois 31, Illinois St. 7 (8:42 3Q)
Here come the Redbirds!!  Terrible D all around from the Illini, from Ian Thomas missing a coverage assignment, Donsay Hardeman again showing his complete inability to make an open field tackle, and Tavon Wilson getting absolutely schooled in the corner of the endzone by a D-1AA wide receiver.

Also, Bowling Green is beating Missouri 13-6 IN Columbia.  This has not been an entertaining evening of football. –PS

OSU  10   USC  7

Beautiful response by Pryor and co. A 56-yard pass and run to the USC 5 followed by a nice blast off tackle by Boom Herron got the crowd back in the game. After a defensive stand, Pryor lofts a gorgeous touch pass down the middle to Posey. Fourth and goal for OSU… and Tressel decides to kick the field goal. Bold strategy cotton, we’llsee if it pays off for them. Earlier in the drive,  USC safety Taylor Mays seems to have hurt his knee, obviously a terrible sign for the Trojans. Pryor’s inconsistency is going to drive OSU fans crazy but the flashes of brilliance seems to outweigh the ducks .  -JF

James Madison 35, Maryland 35 (going into OT)
Yeah, I’m going Div. I-AA (FCS) on you guys. I’m currently living in Harrisonburg, Va., home of James Madison University. Should the Dukes pull off this upset, the ACC is officially the worst conference in the nation. A win would make the Colonial Athletic Conference (an FCS conference) 3-1 against the ACC. As a Big Ten fan, you should be rooting for this win.

Maryland 38, James Madison 35
Congrats on barely saving your crappy conference Maryland. Anyone who says the Big Ten sucks should look at the ACC. Seriously, weak.

Georgia 31, South Carolina 23 (second half begins)
Oh yeah, this game is going on right now. I didn’t see any of the first half, but I assume it’s been exciting. And Mike Patrick is calling the game, which means we’ll probably hear a Britney Spears reference at some point.

Oh yeah, Georgia cheerleaders.

Georgia 31, South Carolina 26 (5:30 left in the 3rd)
Jake McCormick via twitter:the other usc makes be wonder whether steve spurrier is really all that and a bag of Wavy Lays with French onion dip.

I think he’s more like pork grinds at this point in his career.

Ohio State 10, Southern Cal 10 (start of the second half)
Here’s another tweet from Mr. McCormick: kind of surprised ohio state is playing better than usc at this point. hopefully barkley is learning a thing or two about cfb.

Yeah, like how to run for your life effectively. That and that he’s making way more money at USC over OSU.

Illinois 45, Illinois State 17 (final)
Well, the Illini regained some of their manhood but I don’t think they’ll fully redeem themselves until they win some Big Ten games.

Georgia 38, South Carolina 28 (end of the third)
The game no one is talking about should have a thrilling end. Fortunately for me I have picture in picture.

Ohio State 12, Southern Cal 10
This might be the first time I’ve ever seen the Trojans look rattled. That safety was killer.

More Jake McCormick gold via twitter: good thing kirk herbsrteit is doing the osu/usc game. he has to choose btwn his current stroking of matt barkley and lifetime humping of osu.

I think I saw something like that in a movie before.

Georgia 38, South Carolina 37 (4th quarter)

I Don’t know the time and I’m not even sure how it happened, but this game is officially worth watching of OSU/USC right now.

If Georgia’s starting quarterback can just remember his name, that’s a victory. Man that was a vicious hit.

I know William & Mary won at Virginia, but what was the other Colonial Athletic victory over the ACC? Oh yeah Richmond over Duke. But Maryland held on to win…bummer I guess it’s 2-2 in the CAA-ACC Challenge. and yes as a Big Ten fan I’m all for that. Too bad UNC came alive late and rallied against UConn

Just saw this on Yahoo!

Cowboys crash

Case Keenum and Houston torched No. 5 Oklahoma State’s defense for the 45-35 upset

Case Keenum?? who, I would love to hear Gundy at that presser. THAT’S GARBAGE!!!! AND WHOEVER DEFENDED TODAY IS GARBAGE..I’M A MAN

–PBIllinois 45, Illinois St. 17 (Final)
Well, it wasn’t the most inspiring effort, though Ron Zook and the rest of the coaches and players seem to disagree.  I personally think any time a team passes for 354 yards against you, that’s a bad sign.  Add in the fact that this was a 1-AA team that did it this week, starting their backup QB, and…well, again, let’s just leave it at it wasn’t an inspiring effort for the Illinois secondary.

Juice could have played in the second half, said the team doctor, but Zook asked him for his professional opinion whether or not he could make the injury worse, and the doc said, ‘Well, yeah, he could,’ and that was that.  Eddie McGee was…above average, and played more in this game than he ever had in a college game, so given that, he was to be commended.  I felt as though he could have made some better reads on the field than he did, but then again it isn’t like he even knew he was going to be playing today.

This was the first time in 26 straight games that Arrelious Benn was held without a catch.  I believe that that is every game of his college career, which is impressibe.  It also goes to show that he really still wasn’t quite right today.  Jarred Fayson picked up the slack today (and might be the best route runner on the team), but Benn needs to be healthy, along with Juice and Martez Wilson, for the Illini to hvae a chance in the Horsehoe in two weeks.

And so starts the odd third week bye for the Illini, prior to starting the early Big Ten season.  My guess is they will be worked VERY hard this week to try and get some kind of emotional uplift heading into Columbus in two weeks. –PS

Ohio State 15, USC 10 (4:10 left 4Q)
Well, it took literally the entire game here in Champaign, and then another hour on top of it, but we finally have on USC/tOSU in the press box.

USC is currently driving, and attempting to drive a stake through the heart of the Big Ten, but it would appear that, even if the score, the Buckeyes will get another shot. –PS

USC 18, Ohio State 15 (1:05 left in the 4Q)
Just an incredibly methodical drive by the Trojans to get downfield and score there.  And how the Bucks didn’t key on Joe McKnight on the 2-point conversion I’ll never know, but they didn’t.

McKnight has absolutely been a MAN on this drive, and has completely carried the Trojans late in this game, completely taking any pressure off of Matt Barkley to do anything of consequence.  He deserves all the credit in the world if they win this game, and is finally the beast that the Trojans recruited.

My earlier assessment that the Bucks would have time may have been premature, as they have a scant 65 seconds to win this.  Can they? -PS

Here’s a drinking game for watching any sport Herbstreit announces. take a drink every times he says “____ must step up”

you’ll be wasted in no time


USC DBs breaks up final 4th down pass OSU…it’s over now



It’s a shame the Buckeyes blew their lead..but at least they didn’t get owned like last season. maybe the b10 isn’t so bad after all.

I’m signing off for the day


Oh yeah one last we now must endure ESPN’s non-stop whoring of USC…the Ohio State Cheerleaders