Dayne Crist to Kansas: Can Charlie Weis Build a Better Team Than Brian Kelly?

Randy ChambersAnalyst IDecember 22, 2011

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 29:  Dayne Crist #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium on October 29, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Navy 56-14.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

While most college football teams are landing top players in the form of recruiting, the Kansas Jayhawks landed theirs in a transfer.

Former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist has decided to play football next season for Kansas and head coach Charlie Weis. The Jayhawks head coach was the one who recruited Crist to play for Notre Dame to begin with.

This move may come as a surprise to some people because Crist was considering playing for Wisconsin as well. But Badgers offensive coordinator Paul Chryst decided to leave and become the head coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers. That had to play a huge factor in Crist's decision to play for Kansas.

Now that Weis has his quarterback, how quickly can he turn things around?

And maybe, just maybe, could he ever build a better team than the head coach that replaced him at Notre Dame?

There's no question Weis has a ton of work on his plate. He's taking over a team that went 2-10 this season and had a defense that ranked dead last in the country, giving up 43 points per game. This program hasn't made a bowl game since 2008 and has won double-digit games just once since 1995.

Kansas is mainly known as a basketball school, but Weis is here to change that:

You’re not chasing a job, so you just start talking. You look at it objectively. You know they have great facilities. You know it’s a great school, really solid academically. On the other hand, you look at the record: 2-10. But there’s another school in the state [Kansas State] that is 10-2.

Obviously you can win in that state. There’s already an answer to that question. They can. So you’re coming into a place that’s 2-10, but there’s no reason for that. If one school in the state can be successful and you happen to be at the ‘University of’…I saw it as a golden opportunity.

The Jayhawks may also have another former 5-star quarterback coming in Jake Heaps, who is looking to transfer from BYU. He is expected to visit the campus and make a decision soon on where he'd like to play.

That now gives Weis possibly two solid quarterbacks to build this program with. The problem now has to do with the players around them, as the recruiting class isn't that great and the competition in the Big 12 is.

Weis has always been known to turn around offenses, as he runs the spread offense down to a science and is great at getting the most out of his players. You give him a team that may lack the talent to be great, and Weis will put the players in positions to be a lot better than they really are. There is no question that this offense will be a lot better than the 22 points it averaged this season.

Now, will the Jayhawks ever be better than Brian Kelly and the Irish?

That's a tough one because the Irish always have top prospects coming in and will always have a more talented team than the Jayhawks will. But Kansas can become relevant and competitive and make things interesting in the Big 12 if it continues on this path.

Will hard work present better results than pure talent? Only time will answer that question.


Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or