Notre Dame is looking for a football coach. This is the third-most important job in America, behind president and Ryan Seacrest.
Due to my many ties to the Notre Dame community, university officials have asked me to help in the search for the next Gerry Faust. Here is an overview of the top candidates:
Bob Stoops: He has said, “I’m going to be at Oklahoma next year,” which means either (a) he won’t be at Oklahoma next year or (b) Notre Dame is moving its campus to Norman.
Tyrone Willingham: Charlie Weis was 35-27 at Notre Dame, Willingham was 21-15. And Willingham was cheaper!
Bob Davie: Charlie Weis was 35-27 at Notre Dame, Davie was 35-25. And Davie was cheaper!
Lou Holtz: He predicted the Fighting Irish would win the BCS title this season, so at least he aims high.
George W. Bush: His Texas ties give him a solid football background, his Yale and Harvard ties give him a solid academic background. Probably would seek an eight-year deal.
Matt Millen: He’s never coached before, but I have a hunch he can put together a winning program.
Ara Parseghian: He was 95-17-4 at Notre Dame and, now, after 35 years of R-and-R, I’d bet he’s ready to come back if someone in South Bend is smart enough to drop a dime on him.
(Column intermission I: I hate to debunk the legend of Knute Rockne, but facts are facts. Everyone reveres Rockne’s 105-12-5 record at Notre Dame from 1918 to 1930. Yet in the 12 years before Rockne’s arrival, five different coaches compiled a 78-8-6 mark in South Bend. Heck, Red Klotz would’ve gone 9-1 with those teams back then.)
Jon Gruden: Loophole in his ESPN contract would allow him to take Notre Dame job and continue on “Monday Night Football.”
Digger Phelps: During his 20 seasons as basketball coach in South Bend, I don’t think he ever lost to USC or Navy.
Oprah Winfrey: South Bend would have to wait until her final show airs in 2011, but she’s a proven money-maker and everything she touches turns to gold.
Nick Saban: Overdue to lie about his interest in another job.
Mike Golic: Popular ESPN broadcaster went to Notre Dame, plus his two sons are on the football team right now.
Bob Golic: Not-as-popular older brother of Mike Golic also went to Notre Dame and won a national title there in 1977, plus he might kick his two nephews off the football team, opening up two scholarships.
Eric Taylor: Maybe the best high school football coach in the nation, plus his team already appears on NBC.
(Column intermission II: I love “Friday Night Lights,” but a couple of things bother me. First of all, every game is decided on the last play; even a blowout this season hinged on the game’s final snap. Second of all, everyone in Dillon jumps into everyone else’s bed and underage drinking is the norm, but I never see a single soul playing poker. Are you trying to tell me nobody’s playing Texas hold ‘em in Texas? Then again, maybe everyone plays online and that’s just bad TV.)
Hayden Fox: Won a national title in 1993 with Minnesota State; has proven he can coach in bad weather and on TV.
Lou Dobbs: You don’t walk away from an anchor chair at CNN unless you have a big place to land your derriere.
George O’Leary: Only Notre Dame coach never to lose or tie a game.
Pope Benedict XVI: Good connections in Catholic community should help fund-raising worldwide, plus “Bingo Nights” are an underrated recruiting tool.
Rudy Ruettiger: Who says he can’t walk onto campus again and have a storybook ending again?
Charlie Weis: Could be rehired at a discount. Then again, he’s already under contract through 2015, so it would be like getting a new coach for free!
Ask The Slouch
Special Tiger Woods Edition
Q. When Elin showed up with a golf club to help Tiger out of his SUV, was she coming from the women’s tees or playing from the ‘tips? (G.M. Boche; Torrington, Wyo.)
Q. If Elin took as long to choose a club as Tiger does, would he still be inside the Escalade? (Don Cawley; Shaker Heights, Ohio)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
Q. Do you think she hit a provisional, you know, just in case? (J.E. Keck; Cedarburg, Wis.)
A. Pay this man too, Shirley.
Q. Does this mean Tiger will now be wearing a red “A” on Sundays? (John DelNegro; Alexandria, Va.)
A. Break out the weekend golf money, Shirley.
Q. In retrospect, Tiger’s dad should’ve taken him to see Odysseus and taught him to ignore the songs of the Sirens. (Jim Heide; Shaker Heights, Ohio)
A. Geez, suddenly The Slouch is rubbing elbows with the Greek-epic crowd.