Earlier this month,
This is a popular topic among Domers. Weis is either an excellent recruiter who has done a poor job developing his players, or a decent coach with below-average talent evaluation skills whose recruiting classes are chronically overrated by the Recruiting Industrial Complex. Steck's analysis found that Boise State, BYU, TCU, Utah and West Virginia overperformed more than anyone, while Notre Dame fell in with fellow underperformers Miami, Florida State and Syracuse. Despite that bit of gloom, the analysis produced a silver lining. If Notre Dame performs as expected relative to its talent level next season, the Fighting Irish will finish No. 12 in the nation.
If Notre Dame continues to underperform, however, Weis will probably lose his job. Which brings us to the first of five burning questions as the Independents and non-BCS schools kick off spring practice:
Revamping his staff was a good start. New defensive line coach
Weis himself will call plays, bringing his "decided schematic advantage" to an offense that ranked 67th in the nation in scoring last season. Quarterback
Before last season, Utah wasn't even favored to win its own conference. BYU was. The Utes turned into a juggernaut and humbled Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, but cracking the BCS for a third time since 2004 could be difficult. Utah lost quarterback
Just a short drive away in Provo, BYU returns quarterback
TCU, which finished last season ranked No. 7 in the AP poll, may finally break through the BCS ceiling this year. The Horned Frogs have won 11 games in three of the past four seasons, and their only losses last year came to BCS runner-up Oklahoma and at Utah.
TCU lost seven starters on defense, but the returnees include consensus All-America
The Broncos are young this year. They only have five seniors, but coach
It's about time a Conference USA team remained in the BCS discussion into November. East Carolina looked like a possibility last year after opening the season with wins against West Virginia and Virginia Tech, but the Pirates got