Just weeks into Weis' first Notre Dame season, his team faced USC in what wound up being one of the games of the decade. Though the last-minute loss on the now infamous "Bush Push" play didn't derail Notre Dame's year (the Irish posted a 9-2 regular season mark), it wound up looming large in retrospect, as it was the closest Weis came in his Irish tenure to delivering a signature victory.
2 of 8John Biever/SI
2006 Fiesta Bowl
The Notre Dame brass were so impressed with Weis off the bat, they offered him a 10-year contract extension halfway through his first year at the helm. And though he led the Irish to an impressive 9-3 regular-season, his inaugural season ended on a sour note with a 34-20 loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. While the loss didn't overshadow a successful debut season, it did extend Notre Dame's postseason losing streak to eight.
3 of 8Chris Graythen/Getty Images
2007 Sugar Bowl
The 2006 Fiesta Bowl loss didn't hurt the Irish in the polls, as they entered 2007 carrying a No. 2 ranking. Weis produced the kind of record (10-2) Notre Dame fans had grown to expect, but his team lost rivalry games to Michigan and USC and then suffered another BCS bowl loss, this time a 41-14 drubbing at the hands of LSU.
4 of 8Al Tielemans/SI
2007 losses to Michigan and USC
With Heisman-contending quarterback Brady Quinn and 10 other players off to the NFL, the Irish entered 2007 with an unproven roster. The result: a brutal 3-9 season that included embarrassing 38-0 losses to Michigan and USC.
5 of 8AP
2007 service academy losses
In addition to suffering blowout losses against two of Notre Dame's most bitter rivals, Weis' 2007 squad fell to two service academies (Air Force and Navy) for the first time since 1944. The Navy loss ended Notre Dame's 43-game win streak over the Midshipmen, the longest streak in college football history. It was also the fifth-straight home loss for the Irish, a new school record.
6 of 8Andy Altenburger/Icon SMI
2008 loss to Syracuse
Weis failed to lead a turnaround in 2008, as the Irish posted a 6-6 regular season. But one loss in particular fanned the hot-seat fire: a 24-23 shocker to the lowly Syracuse Orange, who were coached by the already fired Greg Robinson. It marked the first time in program history Notre Dame had fallen to an eight-loss team.
7 of 8Robin Alam/Icon SMI
2009 Navy loss
After beating Navy 43 straight times, Notre Dame dropped its second straight to the Midshipmen with a 23-21 loss at home. After the loss, media inundated athletic director Jack Swarbrick with questions on Weis' job security. When asked what the biggest disappointment had been so far during the 2009 season, Swarbrick answered, "the Navy outcome. ... Up until the Navy game we were in the BCS conversation."
8 of 8Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
2009 Connecticut loss
A double-overtime loss to UConn, the third of four straight losses to end 2009, set Notre Dame on course for its second straight .500 season. In so doing, it all but sealed Weis' fate. As it had throughout the offensive guru's time at Notre Dame, the Irish offense put up plenty of points and yards, but failed to secure victory.
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