Weis and the Irish have been beaten down for two years now while developing young, dynamic players. The coach is feeling heat, the players are insulted, the storm is brewing.
But there's one teensy problem to this doom and gloom scenario: winning beats everything. Even Hope and Change.
Or is that hope for change?
Every year at the end of spring drills, we examine programs on the rise and on the decline. And here comes Notre Dame, with everything seemingly against it, primed for a return to the nation's elite.
Four on the rise
Notre Dame. The difference between this year's team and Weis' first two that went to BCS bowls: more talent and speed. Now it's a matter of finishing games. If ND finishes off three double-digit leads it blew last season — the difference between a young, fragile team and a team steeled by previous experiences — you're looking at a nine-win team playing in the Gator Bowl against Clemson. In other words, a 10-win team.
The Irish aren't that far away, especially with a manageable schedule and an offense more dangerous than in Weis' first two seasons.
There's more speed on defense, and any team that can rush the passer and cover in the secondary can create turnovers and force mistakes. ND will get those 10 wins this fall — and maybe more.
Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are the hot pick to become this year's Texas Tech. I'll go one step further: how about this year's Oklahoma? Oklahoma State could've — and maybe should've — beaten Texas last year in Austin (a 28-24 loss), and this year's game is in Stillwater. As for the Sooners, OU has gotten worse (see: rebuilt offensive line) and the Cowboys have gotten better (see: Bill Young as defensive coordinator).
This is what happens when a big-money booster (T. Boone Pickens) and a tireless coach (Mike Gundy) find each other: recruits are drawn to immaculate facilities and a young, charismatic and innovative leader. The Cowboys have three legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates (Zac Robinson, Kendall Hunter, Dez Bryant), and the first 11-win season in school history (the last 10-win season was 1988) isn't that far away.
North Carolina. Mack Brown proved in the 1990s that you could bring talent to Chapel Hill and win consistently. Now Butch Davis is doing exactly what he did at Miami: building his team around punishing, athletic defensive linemen and elite skill players on offense.
Davis has signed 26 five- and four-star players in his three recruiting classes, and much like the personnel situation at Notre Dame, the experience will kick in this fall. The Tar Heels lost four games last year by a combined nine points, but if quarterback T.J. Yates stays healthy, this team wins 10 games for the first time since 1997's 11-win season under Brown.
Miami. This, I'm baffled by: Robert Marve somehow has made more news this offseason than the Miami Hurricanes.
While we're all so enthralled (really, just ESPN) with Marve's choice of colleges after he left Miami because he lost the starting job (quick hint, everyone: he won't win the job at Purdue, either), we've forgotten that Jacory Harris is a big-time talent. Watch how he develops in Year 2 without a hint of quarterback controversy — and under the tutelage of new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.
There's a common thread among the four teams on the rise: an upgrade in recruiting. The Canes have recruited better than any of the four, and consistent, efficient play at quarterback — something the team has lacked in coach Randy Shannon's two seasons — will change everything.
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick he wishes he was spoken to in private prior to the insults.
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Saban hurt by colleagues' comments?
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick what he think of these comments.
BCS title game
Pregame color, key plays and other moments from 'Bama's blowout win.
Check out the action from the postseason.
Check out which players were best of the best at each position.
Check out some of the college football cheerleaders from across the country.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.