Early reports still make this one of the most intriguing races in recent memory. Most would note that had it not been for Crist getting injured against Tulsa last year, the job would be his.
I, for one, am on the Rees bandwagon. While he doesn't scramble or use the run as often as Crist, his passing is slightly better by NCAA passer ratings (see here). I looked at stats for five games for each QB from last season and 4-1 was Rees' record. I used the Michigan State loss for Crist.
|@ Michigan State||L 34-31 (OT)||32||55||369||58.2||4||1|
|@ Boston College||W 31-13||24||44||203||54.5||2||1|
|Western Michigan||W 44-20||18||28||255||64.3||3||1|
|NCAA PR: 281.5||(4-1)||117.0||192.0||1274.0||60.9||11||3|
|@ USC||W 20-16||20||32||149||62.5||2||3|
|@ Miami (FL)||W 33-17||15||29||201||51.7||2||0|
|NCAA PR: 283.9||(4-1)||94.0||155.0||1027.0||60.6||12||7|
Rees will most likely win out the starting job for the Irish this year based on how he preformed in those last five games, which included Notre Dame's first win against USC in eight years and the first bowl victory since the Lou Holtz era.
Further supporting my prediction, in his interview on Jim Rome is Burning August 10, head coach Brian Kelly essentially said it was Rees' job to lose and that the team would rally behind either starter.
There is no doubt that in pressure situations, Rees can come through with flying colors, as evidenced by his first four starts. So the question that remains is, who will start? Based on what I have seen in the last four games last year, Tommy Rees will be under center for Notre Dame come September 3 against South Florida.