- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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It is this time of the year when Twitter is the most useful and the most dangerous tool we have as sportswriters. The layoff between the regular season and bowl games is when coaches are hired and fired, transfers are decided upon and the rumor mill kicks into full swing.
It is through social media that much of the speculation and reaction is made upon such news, with nearly every move throwing a portion of the Twittersphere up in arms.
That is, of course, unless you are Dayne Crist and you just decided where you will play your final year of college ball.
"After a long & difficult decision making process, I'm incredibly excited to join the Kansas football team. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!" Crist posted at 11:59 a.m. ET.
That was the news. Within minutes, the reaction would have made you think Crist was taking all of Notre Dame with him:
Nose guard Brandon Newman: "My man @dcrist10 made the best decision for himself & thats why I am super proud of him! Go win some football games buddy! #RockChalkJayHawk"
Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore: "Happy for my guy @dcrist10 and his decision. High character guy that will fit in perfectly. Great leader on and off the field. #rockchalk"
Center and Braxston Cave: "Just became a huge Kansas football fan for a year! Nothing but love for my bro @dcrist10"
Nose guard Louis Nix: "@dcrist10 Hell Yea…im going to miss u alot bro. Congrats!"
Center Mike Golic Jr.: "But I do love @dcrist10 and am very happy he's made the best decision for himself. Know he's gonna kill it next year."
Reading what Crist had to say to Douglas Farmer of the student paper Wednesday, it's easy to see why his former teammates felt this way.
The hiring of former Irish coach Charlie Weis no doubt helped with the decision immensely, as Crist will get one final shot with the coach who recruited him and in a system he is familiar with. Kansas was a two-win team last year and is a basketball school, so expectations will be tamed.
Wisconsin, believed to be the other finalist, would have been in better position to win its third straight Big Ten title after Tuesday's bowl ban placed on Ohio State, but it may have lost its hope as offensive coordinator Paul Chryst leaves to become Pitt's head coach.
Regardless, this is one final shot for Crist, who committed to Notre Dame as ESPNU's No. 2 quarterback from the Class of 2008. As colleague David Ubben points out, Landry Jones, Blaine Gabbert and Andrew Luck were all ranked behind him. Only Terrelle Pryor was ranked ahead of Crist.
Season-ending injuries in each knee and bad breaks on the field have spoiled Crist's opportunities, leaving many to wonder whether this last chance will actually provide a happy ending. That remains to be seen. For now, all it takes is a brief glance at Twitter to know nobody deserves one more than him.