A few days ago I put up a rant about how bad the Illinois footbal program has been in the last 15 years. A .500 season and a crap bowl is VERY successful season for Illini fans. We are so scewed in what constitutes a good season vs. other real teams that it really is hard to fathom.
On the complete other side of this is Notre Dame. They have had a tradition of excellence pretty much forever, until the last decade or so. I hate to lump them into the terrible Big Ten conference, but it seems that they need to be, as far as comparisons go. As Gerry has said, it appears that the Midwest teams are doomed to second tier status to the Southern and West Coast teams (for a variety of reasons).
One stunning fact that I found out yesterday - if ND wants to shitcan Charlie Weis (I nicknamed him bucket o wings a long time ago - something I regret) after the end of the season, they will have to pay him EIGHTEEN MILLION DOLLARS. Also, if they totally want to start over and fire his staff, they need to buy out those contracts as well. The grand total to buyout the whole shebang and completely start over would total around FORTY MILLION DOLLARS. I understand that these coaches want a safety net of sorts, but holy cow. Why are universities signing these contracts with such immense buyout clauses?
Even more astounding is that I have heard that Notre Dame has no problem with this as they have basically unlimited money, and that their alums are an endless source of revenue. Sheesh.