ND finally fired Willingham!!!!

espn.go.com

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Coach Tyrone Willingham was fired by Notre Dame on Tuesday after three seasons in which he failed to return one of the nation's most storied football programs to prominence.

Willingham had a record of 21-15, including 6-5 this season. The Fighting Irish lost 41-10 to No. 1 Southern California on Saturday.

It was not immediately clear whether Willingham would coach the team at the Insight Bowl on Dec. 28. Notre Dame accepted the invitation to the game on Sunday.

Athletic director Kevin White scheduled a news conference for 4 p.m. ET Tuesday.

With Willingham out -- and after the recent firing of New Mexico State's Tony Samuel and resignation of Fitz Hill from San Jose State -- there are now only two black head coaches in Division I-A: Karl Dorrell at UCLA and Sylvester Croom at Mississippi State. There are 117 football programs in I-A.

In 2002, Willingham became the only first-year Notre Dame coach to lead the program to a 10-win season, posting a 10-2 regular-season record and earning a trip to the Gator Bowl. The Irish went 5-7 in 2003.

21-15 in three years, while trying to install a new offense (which isn't really suited for the players that were there previously), and playing the tough schedule they always do, isn't too bad IMO. Going 2-3 against top 20 teams, with two of the losses by 1 and 3 points, is decent for a team on the rebuild.

So who's next for them?

Urban Meyer is probably next.

What killed Willingham is that he did not show steady improvement. As an alumni that participated in a letter writing campaign with the Boart of Trustees, I AM THRILLED!!!!!!!

IMO, he wasn't given enough time.As an Irish fan, I saw progress with Willingham at Notre Dame, it was slow but things were changing.With that said, the Irish will never be a powerhouse unless they recurit better and allow junior college players to play for the irish.

Bob Davie: 35-25 (.583)

Ty Willingham: 21-15 (.583)

I guess in the big scheme of things, there wasn't much of an improvement.

"With that said, the Irish will never be a powerhouse unless they recurit better and allow junior college players to play for the irish."

True. They may also want to consider not playing the toughest schedule in the country every single year. Not being greedy would help, as they could actually join a conference--but that will never happen; the priests won't let go of the deathgrip they have on that NBC contract. They'd rather keep all the dough from that than share TV revenue with a conference, even though joining, say, the Big East, would lighten their schedule up quite a bit.

"The Irish recruit the same 4 and 5 star players that every other major program recruits. ND's problem is that the players that are given scholarship offers choose other schools.

Your right about that.And most of those players are scared away by the High academic standards, the cold weather,or the steady demise of the program over the last 10 years.Before that, recurits looked at Notre Dame program as something special.I hope the new coach brings that back and turns the program around, but whoever winds up with the job,better bust his tail recuriting.I also heard Notre Dame is building a new 20 million dollar athletic facility, which should help.

Hold up a second on that. Over the past two coachnig regimes, ND has been able to recruit approx 33% of the top 100 prospects, due to academic standards. The average among big time schools is probably somewhere around 70% - 80%.

From an academic standpoint, they are at a disadvantage. That being said, I think they have enough things that compensate for that, and I don't think those standards should change.

Maybe soften the schedule a bit, but don't lower academic standards for athletes.

as a pitt fan i enjoying my team having a hand in this

also don't be surprised to see

LOU

back for one last 2-3 year stint to boost recruiting.

also they really really need to join the big east!!!

Kempo, as usual, you're wrong!

You're crazy if you think ND is going to join the Big East in football...that would be about the same as them jioning the Mountain West. No thanks.

I'm hopnig they ask Lou to coach the bowl game...

i've said it before the big east is where this so called glorious school belongs.

they can no longer compete agaist a schedule of 10 good schools + 1 or 2 great schools.

they need the confrence schedule to allow them to become a top school again. not to mention trips to west virginia and continued trips to pittsburgh will only help with recruiting.

not to mention they already play BC and pittsburgh anyhow. and that every other sport they participate in is in the Big East. they are kididng themselves if they think the golden domes can recruit for themselves anylonger.

The problem with that though is that the schedule issue can easily be resolved without being in a conference.

ND can walk into any mid-major AD's office and get a game without any problem. They just need to do it.

Being in the Big East won't help them recruit at all.

stkolbe...now take that a step further.

lets say ND has a schedule with

USC
Pittsburgh
BC
one other major team
and 7 mid level teams

lets say they win 2 of the 4 bigger games and lose two

now they are 9-2 what big bowl game are they getting into?

the answer is simple NONE!

joining a confence not only gives them a foundation for recruiting but also gives them a BCS bid for winning their confrence!!!

phatfarm, what basis do you have for saying that's a myth? I doubt you have any. I have first hand experience with ND student athletes, and I'm quite certain that they are held to a higher standard than most other schools in the country. Both before and after admittance to the university.

That being said, you completely missed the ponit of my thread. I am saynig there are recruiting standard differences, but that should NOT be an excuse for losing.

Sorry kempo, you're off there.

A ND team with 9 wins is guaranteed a BCS game. In your scenario, they would get a nice fat payout at a BCS bowl. You've proven my point for me!

All I know is that ND sucking & firing their coach is good for Hawkeye recruiting.

stkolbe what BCS game would they be going to this year if they were 9-2?

rose? nope

orange? nope

fiesta? nope

sugar? maybe

Not sure, but I know they would be guaranteed a BCS game. The whole point you were making was that by being in a conference, and winning it, they can be guaranteed a BCS game.

Well, we don't even need to worry about winning a conference. We don't need to worry about having a team be one game better than us, and not getting the BCS conference bid.

We have the freedom to completely shape our entire schedule, we have a sweet tv deal, get all the conference revenue from a BCS game, and just need to worry abuot winning 9 games OR being in the BCS top 10 to qualify for it.

There is no way that joining any conference is worth giving that up.

", and just need to worry abuot winning 9 games OR being in the BCS top 10 to qualify for it."

That's not how the system works.

"That's not how the system works."

www.bcsfootball.org

Qualification for At-Large Teams

Each year there will be two at-large teams selected by the BCS bowls and, in most years, the BCS bowls will not be required to select any particular at-large team. The following are exceptions:

  1. Any at-large team ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS standings will play in the BCS national championship game. If both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the BCS standings are at-large teams, those teams will play in the national championship game.

  2. Any team from an independent institution, or Conference USA, the Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt, or Western Athletic Conferences, which is ranked third through sixth in the final BCS standings, shall qualify for a berth in one of the BCS games unless more than two teams meet this criterion. If one team other than Notre Dame qualifies for selection under this provision, Notre Dame shall also qualify for automatic at-large selection provided it is ranked in the top 10 in the final BCS standings or has won at least nine games, not including exempted games. If two or more teams other than Notre Dame meet this criterion, Notre Dame shall also qualify for the at-large pool provided it is ranked in the top 10 of the final BCS standings or has won at least nine games, not including exempt contests.

  3. Should the number of teams satisfying the criterion of (2) above exceed the number of available at-large slots, the bowls shall fill the available at-large slots by selecting from among those teams that have met the requirements of (2) above.

  4. If any at-large slots remain unfilled after application of the procedures in (1), (2), and (3) above and the team ranked third in the BCS standings is an at-large team, then the team ranked third in the BCS standings shall automatically fill one at-large slot and play in a BCS bowl.

  5. If any at-large slots remain unfilled after application of the procedures in (1), (2), (3), and (4) above and no at-large team qualifies for automatic selection under (4) above and the team ranked fourth in the BCS standings is an at-large team, then the team ranked fourth in the final BCS standings will automatically fill one at-large slot and will play in one of the BCS bowls.

Wow.

I stand corrected. I also stand appalled. They have special rules for Notre Dame because..........?

Do the priests have incriminating pictures of influential people? Is the BCS head an alum??

I guess it doesn't matter for now, because unless Notre Dame makes some big changes, they won't win 9 games anyways.