No public bet this year for Tom Brady and Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis
Brady credits Weis for helping to make him one of the most successful quarterbacks in the NFL. The way Weis speaks of Brady is more father-son than player-coach.
Yet Brady went to Michigan. Weis went to and now coaches Notre Dame. So every year around this time, rumors of a wager between pupil and teacher pop up.
After the 2005 Michigan-Notre Dame game, won by Notre Dame, Brady showed up at his press availability the next week wearing a Notre Dame hat.
This time, no wagers are being made public - at least before the game.
"No, but we have traded texts, that's all I'll say," Weis said. "I got in trouble once before answering that question."
A YEAR SINCE.... Last year during this week, Weis was walking around fine.
Then, in the rain last year against Michigan, Notre Dame defensive end John Ryan collided with Weis on a punt return, taking out both of his legs, tearing both the ACL and MCL in his left knee.
Since then, Weis has had knee replacement surgery on his right knee, coached from the press box during the Hawaii Bowl due to the pain and has gone through extensive - and continuing - rehabilitation.
He said, though, he hasn't thought about it as the one-year anniversary draws close.
"That doesn't even enter my mind," Weis said. "It was a fluke injury. It happens. Unfortunately, it happened to me."
WEIS ISN'T TREATING THIS GAME DIFFERENTLY, BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN OTHERS AREN'T Since he's arrived in South Bend, Weis has maintained that he doesn't consider preparation for one game more important than any other, especially in the regular season. Nor does he treat games differently.
When it comes to Notre Dame and Michigan, he might be the only one. And considering the wins by both the Irish and Wolverines on Saturday, there's a bit more attention this week than if one of them had lost.
"I think because both teams were somewhat question marks going into the opening week and both had sound, convincing wins, it's increased the interest of everyone else as it relates to the game," Weis said. "The trickle down effect is that it permeates to the players."
Just not to Notre Dame's coaching staff.
That said, Weis recalls the last time Notre Dame traveled to Michigan. It was one of the more drama-filled 24 hours for the Irish that year, as quarterback Demetrius Jones - now a starting linebacker for Cincinnati - chose not to board the bus for Ann Arbor and effectively quit the team.
The next day, Notre Dame lost to Michigan, 38-0, and Weis pulled his team back into training camp the next day.
"Last time we want there it went from bad to worse in a hurry," Weis said. "It was one of those situations where you go in there not knowing how things are going to go for us, or for them, because they were struggling a little bit at the time when we went up there, and going in there and the fans are ready to turn on them, and they had a big party that day at our expense.
"And I didn't enjoy it very much."