Notre Dame Football: How Dayne Crist Was Shortchanged in South Bend

Connor Killoren@@Connor_KillorenSenior Analyst IDecember 22, 2011

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 29: Dayne Crist #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks for a receiver 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

Things didn't go as planned for former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist during his four seasons in South Bend. Things didn't end well, either. It was like watching an ugly breakup.

Unfortunately for the Fighting Irish, they're getting the short end of the stick in this proverbial breakup. Dayne Crist is headed to the University of Kansas to finish his collegiate career, where he'll be reuniting with his former coach, Charlie Weis.

Looks as if Crist has already moved on. Notre Dame may as well be the poor woman agonizing over the pain of heartbreak. Brian Kelly's squad is stuck with a quarterback who has already reached his ceiling as a quarterback, leading to a heated quarterback controversy.

All the while, Crist will be entering a comfortable situation in Lawrence, Kansas, where the pressure to win is seemingly non-existent compared to the pressure cooker in South Bend.

Add to that the experience Dayne Crist already has in Charlie Weis' pro-style offense, and the pieces are in place for the two to make Brian Kelly look very, very silly.

There's no guarantee that it will happen, but let's say it does. 

That's when Kelly's handling of Crist will receive more attention than the soon-to-be third-year head coach of the Fighting Irish could have ever imagined.

All of the hypothetical situations and "what if" questions will abound.

However, the one decision that will be scrutinized most is Kelly benching Crist after only one half of football against South Florida in the first week of this past season.

Would Crist have had a better performance in the second half of that game? If so, would he have remained the starter, and would the season have turned out differently? No one can know for certain.

The only thing that is for certain is that Kelly may not have given Crist a fair opportunity to prove himself. Just look back to the amount of praise Brian Kelly gave Dayne Crist after naming him the starting quarterback. And to think all of those words became meaningless after the season's first 30 minutes.

At the end of the day, the entire situation is a hypothetical one. The result of the process is the fact that Notre Dame fans will be wondering "what if" until the right guy comes along at quarterback.

The Irish seem far from it at the current moment.

Good luck at Kansas, Mr. Crist.