|QB Dayne Crist was thought to have all the tools, but his lack of production forced coach Charlie Weis to make a change. |
On Tuesday, Crist became KU's backup quarterback. Coach Charlie Weis announced that redshirt freshman Michael Cummings will start on Saturday against Texas. This isn't exactly earth-shattering news as Cummings also started against Oklahoma, however, Weis listed Cummings or Crist as the starter going into the OU game. Crist did see some time on the field against the Sooners, completing 3 of 6 passes for 13 yards.
Weis said there would be no "or" on the depth chart this week. The move signifies that Weis is ready to move on from Crist and is already looking past this year. Some would say he started thinking about next year two weeks ago when he held a practice without the seniors.
But moving on from Crist is not the easiest move for Weis, who recruited Crist to Notre Dame. He convinced Crist to choose Kansas over Wisconsin last winter when Crist could have played the same role for Wisconsin as Russell Wilson last year.
"He's just a high-character guy," Weis told the Sporting News in February. "I'm not talking about football, because he has all the tools to play on Sunday for a long time. I'm talking about the entire package. This is a pretty brassy move that's he's making coming here. He could have gone where it was all set up for him."
It wasn't much of a set-up at Kansas, where the program has won one conference game in the last three years, and that was against Colorado. In seven games, Crist went from savior to backup, as it was difficult to see even a glimpse of the potential that made him a five-star recruit coming out of high school.
Crist battled inaccuracy and questionable decision-making all year. He has a 49.5 completion percentage, three touchdowns and seven interceptions. If those numbers weren't enough reason to pull him, the results were. KU's only win is against FCS South Dakota State, and Crist played a part in Kansas blowing double-digit leads to Rice, which has just one other win, and Northern Illinois.
On the final 10 plays, Crist dropped back to pass against the Huskies, who KU led 23-13 in the fourth quarter, he completed one pass, threw six incompletions and was sacked three times.
The next week, Weis gave Cummings a chance in the fourth quarter against Kansas State. But Cummings essentially won the job the following week in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma State. He nearly pulled off a comeback victory, leading the Jayhawks to two-straight touchdowns after Crist had been unable to put any points on the board.
Next season, Cummings may find himself in the same position Crist is in. He will have to hold off highly touted BYU transfer Jake Heaps. Heaps, like Crist, came to KU expecting to be handed the keys.
For Weis to start putting up wins, he'll need next year's second-chance QB to work out better than this year's.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).