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Thursday, December 22, 2011
Ex-Irish teammates back Crist's KU call

By Matt Fortuna

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:
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.