Thursday, January 04, 2007

Weiss vs. Callahan

Before we get to this, it seems that Buck O'Neil basically gave away any money he had to a local church or charities. I remember reading a few years ago that somebody came to Lincoln looking for Charlie Starkweather's grave, and could only find just some small rubble that noted of his passing. The guy literally went out and bought a new tombstone -- for a mass MURDERER -- because he wanted his presence documented. According to that link above, somebody made a nicer remembrance for the late Satchel Paige years following his death. Hopefully Buck will get this sort of special treatment as well.

Bill Callahan came to coach Nebraska football after being chased out of the NFL, mostly because he followed up a Super Bowl season with a 4-12 flop, both seasons with the Raiders, and called out his team for being "stupid." Charlie Weiss came to Notre Dame as the chosen one, just coming off winning his third Super Bowl with New England.

So Billy C's had three years with the Corn, one of which everyone would just like to assume never happened. Charlie Weiss has had two years at Notre Dame, where he's been anointed sainthood already. At least up until the Irish got absolutely slaughtered against LSU in the Sugar Bowl. Weiss is 0-2 in Bowl Games, both losses to programs amongst the tops in the nation (Ohio State and LSU), Billy C 1-1, including a win over Michigan and a loss he very easily could have had against a damn good Auburn team.

Weiss is 0-2 against the best college football program around (USC), whereas Billy C has only had that one "shot" against the Trojans where he kept it close to the vest and took a loss over a shoot out. USC comes calling to Lincoln in 2007, and that's going to be the real litmus test for where Callahan really does have Nebraska in his 4th season.

In fact, the biggest problems facing Weiss and Callahan in 2007 is going to be that USC, in all likelihood a pre-season #1 ranked team, comes to both South Bend and Lincoln. I would think that both Weiss and Billy C make major steps in the fall. I'm expecting both Notre Dame and the Corn to play in BCS games at around this time next year. But if I'm Weiss and Callahan, I light a candle at some church hoping that Pete Carroll takes off for the NFL. I just can't see it happening though (I mean, can you see Billy C in a church? No, meaning Carroll leaving). Pete Carroll recognizes he's got the best gig in all of college sports. He gets his pick of all of the best players before anyone else does. He seems to be one of the better "halftime" coaches in the business. He's probably taken a good look at what happened with Nick Saban over the past few years.

So it'll be Pete Carroll bringing John David Booty or John Wilkes Boothe or whatever his quarterback's name is into town next season. Weiss had one of Carroll's best USC teams on the ropes last year at South Bend in one of the greatest college football games I've ever seen. The luck of the Irish could come through against USC in 2007. But I just can't see the Trojans losing to both Notre Dame and Nebraska next year.

Which means one thing: Husker faithful are going to be ready to hand Billy C's head on a platter to Stevie P, or for whatever reason, the Irish fans will continue doing what they started yesterday: Comparing Charlie Weiss to Tyrone Willingham.

For the record, here are the 2007 schedules for both the Corn and the Irish, starting with your beloved 2007 Cotton Bowl Runner Ups (at least I'm sure that's how Callahan's spinning it):
09/01 Nevada Lincoln
09/08 Wake Forest Winston-Salem
09/15 Southern Cal Lincoln
09/22 Ball State Lincoln
09/29 #Iowa State Lincoln
10/06 #Missouri Columbia
10/13 #Oklahoma State Lincoln
10/20 #Texas A&M Lincoln
10/27 #Texas Austin
11/03 #Kansas Lawrence
11/10 #Kansas State Lincoln
11/23 #Colorado Boulder

Boy, scheduling that road game at Wake Forest the week before USC sure doesn't look as much fun as it did, oh say about two years ago. Thank you to for that schedule. Now for the chosen one and the Irish:
Sept. 8 at Penn State
Sept. 15 at Michigan
Sept. 29 at Purdue
Oct. 6 at UCLA
Oct. 20 USC
Nov. 3 NAVY
Nov. 17 DUKE
Nov. 24 at Stanford

Obviously, they get all of their heavy lifting in the early part of the season, which is just nuts, before finishing with Navy, Air Force, Duke and Stanford. BTW, getting 5 home games in a row, including the last 3 against Navy, AF, and Duke?

So even though both Callahan and Weiss have huge expectations for their football teams in 2007, nobody can legitimately expect either to run the table with either or those schedules, can they? Just for grins, here's what Pete Carroll's got to deal with (and just think if Mr. Jarrett would come back, which he definitely won't):

9/01/07 IdahoL.A. Coliseum
9/15/07 Nebraska Lincoln, NE
9/22/07 Washington State L.A. Coliseum
09/29/07 Washington Seattle, WA
10/06/07 Stanford L.A. Coliseum
10/13/07 Arizona L.A. Coliseum
10/20/07 Notre Dame South Bend, IN
10/27/07 Oregon Eugene, OR
11/03/07 Oregon State L.A. Coliseum
11/10/07 Cal Berkeley, CA
11/17/07 Arizona State Tempe, AZ
11/24/07 UCLA L.A. Coliseum

Special tip of the hat to Trojan Wire for that schedule update. Just another something fun for everyone to chew on until Sam Keller comes out of the tunnel in April for what we used to call the Soap Scrimmage (as in, a bar of soap would get you in to watch a football practice).

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