Preparations continue for Charlie Weis' ouster at Notre Dame, beginning with the big man himself: Weis' office was reportedly cleared out on Saturday (though that report was also refuted) prior to the Irish's primetime loss at Stanford, and a few Notre Dame assistants are allegedly angling for NFL jobs as we speak -- much like their boss, presumably, who admitted last week he felt more "respected" in the pros, and presumably feels more comfortable in a coordinator role there than in the South Bend incinerator.
And Weis is still their boss, technically, however foregone his pending demise in that role may be. Athletic director Jack Swarbrick has sworn off comment except for a meeting with Weis early in the week. He certainly won't admit that he's actually -- perish the thought -- speaking to other coaches. The next word out of South Bend should be the final, official news that Weis is finished.
Obviously, neither silence nor indecision nor dark of inbox light will keep the press from its appointed rounds of rampant speculation, which -- with previous "specious Notre Dame rumors" favorite Urban Meyer tangled up in his own web of hype this week -- has descended instead on Bob Stoops. The Chicago Tribune instructed Swarbrick to put Stoops at the top of his list, and Tony Barnhart went as far as to report Stoops was open to a sit-down with ND, which Stoops went out of his way to deny via text message after salvaging what little was left of the worst season in his 11-year tenure at Oklahoma Saturday in a 27-0 laugher over Oklahoma State. Stoops, for the record, has no past connection to Notre Dame, has never described it as his "dream job" and has no apparent reason to leave the lucrative juggernaut he's built in Norman for a gig that's eventually swallowed up three straight coaches with winning records and January bowl games on their resumés.
By my count, Stoops has only publicly denied his interest in ND twice so far -- only eight or nine denials short of Urban Meyer's tally, meaning Stoops will remain in the mix for no good reason for at least another week before Cincinnati's Brian Kelly emerges as the clear frontrunner.