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Decided Schematic Advantage: The Continuing Saga of Charlie Weis

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Let’s review a great story of American meritocracy, Mr. Charlie Weis:

  • Weis acquired the reputation of an offensive supergenius by being associated with the best coach of his generation in New England.  One of the two greatest QBs of his generation also emerged during his time in New England, although he only became a great quarterback after Weis left his position as offensive coordinator.    As for how much credit Belichick’s assistants deserve for the remarkable success of the Belichick/Brady era Patriots, let’s just say that of the Belichick assistants to get head coaching positions Eric Mangini has been far and away the best one.
  • Weis then decamped to Notre Dame amidst an enormous amount of media hype.   During his tenure, the Fighting Irish devolved from being massively overrated to flat-out ghastly. Only 3 years after Weis led Notre Dame to a 16-21 record against generally weak schedules over a 3-year period, an undefeated Notre Dame team is playing in the national championship game.
  • Weis managed to parlay is Notre Dame tenure into a multi-million dollar contract to serve as Florida’s offensive coordinator.   The perennial SEC powerhouse justified the AD’s love by having the 102nd best offense in the country.

One would think that this would be the end of the story, but as Paul noted last year Weis received a massive contract to serve as the head coach at Kansas, apparently because Rich Kotite was unavailable and David Shula didn’t pick up his phone.   How did that work out?   You might have been able to guess:

This season, the university paid Charlie Weis $2.5 million for one win — the highest cost per victory among schools whose teams won at least one game, according to USA TODAY Sports’ annual analysis of football coaches’ compensation.

In conclusion, if Johnny Manziel were to receive so much as a free pair of shoes in compensation for the immense amount of revenue he generates for Texas A&M and the NCAA, this would be a horrible affront to the Noble Spirit of Amateurism the NCAA stands for.

…as Brien says in comments, I did neglect to include the best year on Weis’s resume — the 2010 season in Kansas City, where he got an unusually acceptable performance out of Matt Cassel. I could quibble that this was driven almost entirely by a flukily low interception rate it’s not clear Weis had anything to do with, but…when a team overachieves, the coach deserves some credit. The problem is that it pretty much stands alone in Weis’s body of work.

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