Although we think it is utterly rediculous that the Fightin' Irish have decided to hold on to Charlie Weis to lead their program for at least one more year, we are, in a strange way, thankful that they decided to not give Weis the axe.
While it is a huge double standard that Weis (28-21 as Notre Dame's coach) is returning for another season while Tyrone Willingham (21-16) was given the boot in less time for posting a similar record. Plus, it's well documented that Weis' most successful team was with Willingham's recruits, but we digress. This post isn't about the unfair treatment of Willingham, it's about the biggest beneficiary, in our opinion, of Notre Dame's latest decision.
Just who is that beneficiary, you may ask? Simple: The University of Florida.
Let us explain. Had Notre Dame relieved Weis of his duties, it's no doubt who would be at the top of their very short list of head coaching candidates: Urban Meyer. The Irish tried scooping him up when they fired Willingham, but he opted for Florida at the time.
It's also no secret that Meyer's dream job is to be the head coach of the Irish. To paraphrase his stance on that job offer, it's one of the few jobs where his wife has no veto power over his decision. That has to make Gators fans a little nervous.
There's no doubt that Florida would be able to bring in the best coach possible to replace Meyer if such a situation were to occur, but we prefer to not think about that. We have a good thing going on here in Gainesville, and we don't want to lose that because of the Golden Domers.
Now why would Meyer leave a dream situation in Florida right now, who knows, other than to enter his own dream situation in South Bend. But Meyer is on the brink of doing something special with this Florida program: one win away from his second SEC title in three years, and so close to a second trip to the BCS championship game in three seasons. He has put a strangle hold on Florida's rivals (FSU, Tennessee, Georgia and Miami), amassing a 12-1 record against them. He is dominating the recruiting trail, and brining in some of the fastest kids in the nation (yes you Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps).
He has the potential of doing for Florida what Pete Carroll has done for USC. Meyer could become more revered in The Gator Nation than the Ole Ball Coach is, and that's saying something, considering Spurrier brought UF their first two Heisman trophies and their first national championship. In the next month, Meyer could potentially tie Spurrier in Heisman winners (if Tebow repeats) and surpass him in national titles.
So thankfully, the Irish held on to Weis, and Meyer will remain in his central Florida kingdom, for at least one more season.
We, as Gators fans, thank you, Notre Dame, for making the worst possible decision for your program, and the best decision for ours.