Editorial: It’s a must-win for N.D.Published 9:38am Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009
Entering the 2009 season, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis was feeling the pressure to succeed.
After losing more games over a two-year span (15) than any other coach in the school’s history, this season needed to a success.
With a softer schedule, it appeared to set up nicely for Weis and the Fighting Irish.
Now, just two games into the 2009 season, Saturday afternoon’s game with visiting Michigan State may be a must-win situation for the coach, whose backside is firmly planted in the hot seat once again.
Notre Dame can still have an outstanding season.
There are plenty of winnable games remaining for the Fighting Irish, including Saturday’s contest with rival Michigan State.
A convincing win over Nevada in the season opener had Fighting Irish fans feeling pretty good about themselves and their football team.
But a loss to Michigan last Saturday raised a lot of questions.
The Wolverines were coming off their worst season in school history and were led by a freshman quarterback in Tate Forcier.
Michigan pulled off the upset on Saturday, led by the play of Forcier.
History is not on Notre Dame’s side as it gets set to entertain the Spartans. Michigan State has won six straight games in Notre Dame Stadium.
Conventional wisdom would say that the law of averages is ready to catch up with Spartans, that Notre Dame is due.
For Weis’ sake, he better hope those averages work in his favor.
Fighting Irish fans are getting restless.
They are not used to losing games in such a regular fashion.
Notre Dame, like Michigan, is expected to win more often than it loses. Whether or not that is fair is up for debate, but when you are the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in all-time winning percentages, it’s all part of the expectations.
Fans from around the country will be tuning in on Saturday to see what happens.
It’s probably not fair to put a must-win label on a team this early into the season, but that’s the way it is.
When you become head coach at a school like Notre Dame, you can expect pressure. And although he probably won’t admit it, Weis has to be feeling it.
So come Saturday night, we will know exactly how much pressure he has to feel. A win will cure many things.
But a loss will turn up the fire even further.