Michael Cummings

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist throws against Oklahoma in the second quarter of a game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 20. Crist has been largely ineffective this season and now redshirt freshman Michael Cummings has assumed the starting role.
Photo Credit: The Associated Press

The quarterback situation in Lawrence, Kan. seems gravely familiar: a five-star high school prospect flops at the collegiate level before deciding to transfer to salvage his career.

At the beginning of this season, senior transfer Dayne Crist was a dark horse in some analysts’ Heisman talk, with 85-1 odds for the award. Seven games into the season and Crist has already been relegated to the backup position, giving way to redshirt freshman Michael Cummings to try and turn around the Jayhawks’ 1-6 season.

“We’re going to start Michael and we’ll see how it goes,” head coach Charlie Weis said. “I think that, at this point when you’re 1-6 and things haven’t gone real well, I think you owe it to your team to see what you have.”

Last weekend in a 52-7 loss to Oklahoma, Cummings started the game but Crist saw ample playing time. However, after the loss Cummings was given the reins full time to try and jump-start the program.

Crist started his college career at Notre Dame in 2008 where Weiss had recruited him to play before he left for a coaching position with the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2009 season. After sitting out in 2008, Crist had a minor contribution in 2009 as the backup to Jimmy Clausen.

In 2010, he was named the starting quarterback where he threw for over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. However, a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee ended his season. In 2011, he was given another opportunity to start, however, midway through Notre Dame’s season opener he was replaced by Tommy Rees.

At the end of 2011, Crist decided to transfer to Wisconsin before Weis convinced him to come to Kansas instead. Weis had just been named the head coach of the Jayhawks after serving as Florida’s offensive coordinator for a season.

His transfer to Kansas was supposed to be a fresh start for both Crist and the Jayhawks. Crist was healthy and playing for a coach who had a history of developing quarterbacks for the NFL. Kansas was also in desperate need of a quarterback after Kansas only won two games in 2011, both against non-conference opponents.

So far this season, Crist has amassed negative 72 yards rushing and 1,101 yards in the air. He is 91-for-184 which translates to a 49.5 competition percentage. He has a staggering seven interceptions with only three touchdowns so far this season. His quarterback efficiency rating? An unimpressive 98. 

“The season is not over yet, but I think that right now he’s disappointed,” Weis said about Crist. “I’m disappointed and we’re both disappointed ... if the status quo doesn’t show any improvement, then you have to find some way to make improvements and this is one of the ways.”

Last season, Texas shut-out Kansas 43-0 in Austin. Kansas went on to a 2-10 season and finished winless in the Big 12. This season has proven to be no
better. Kansas is sitting at a 1-6 record, again without a win in the Big 12.

Printed on Friday, October 26, 2012 as: Crist relinquishes starting role as Cummings rises

West Virginia's J.D. Woods has a pass broken up by Texas Tech's Bruce Jones, center, and D.J. Johnson. 

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

The second weekend of October had its share of surprises, between West Virginia going down in Lubbock and Oklahoma putting on a spectacle against the Longhorns. As the dust settles, the Big 12 looks to be Kansas State’s to lose. Let’s take a look at some of the conference notes heading into the weekend.

• Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is one win away from becoming the all-time winningest head coach in Cowboy history. Gundy is currently tied with former coach, Pat Jones, with 62 wins and looks to surpass the mark this weekend when Iowa State visits Stillwater.

• Kansas will use both senior Dayne Crist and redshirt freshman Michael Cummings at quarterback this weekend at Oklahoma. Cummings replaced Crist, who has struggled this season throwing seven interceptions, last weekend in the third quarter versus Oklahoma State trailing 20-0. While the Jayhawks eventually lost, Cummings showed promise for the future in leading Kansas to 14 unanswered points.

• West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey is questionable for the Mountaineers’ game versus Kansas State this weekend. The junior receiver has an apparent ankle injury. Head coach Dana Holgorsen hinted at starting true freshman Travares Copeland in place of the injured Bailey. Copeland’s redshirt was burned last weekend when the freshman entered the game versus Texas Tech, catching one pass for five yards. It goes without question quarterback Geno Smith will rely more heavily on senior receiver Tavon Austin who has eight receiving touchdowns on the season thus far.

• Kansas State has allowed one touchdown of longer than 20 yards this season and it didn’t come until last weekend versus Iowa State. Thus far, West Virginia has scored 14 touchdowns of longer than 20 yards. The matchup in Morgantown will undoubtedly be the most intriguing Big 12 game Saturday.

• One of the biggest surprises in college football is the Texas Tech defense. The Red Raiders finished last year ranked No. 114 in total defense, giving up 485.6 yards per game before inevitably firing defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow. In comes former North Carolina defensive coordinator, Art Kaufman, who through six games has the Red Raiders ranked fourth in total defense giving up a mere 243 yards per contest. Tech travels to TCU this Saturday, where Glasgow is coincidentally the new secondary coach for the Horned Frogs.

• In additional Texas Tech news, senior offensive lineman Deveric Gallington will play this weekend versus TCU after being arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct early last Sunday morning. 

• Oklahoma is 13-0 in the game following the Red River Rivalry under head coach Bob Stoops. In fact, the Sooners don’t just win, they win big following the annual game. Over the past three seasons, Oklahoma has outscored its opponent after facing the Longhorns, 134-30. The trend should continue as Kansas visits Norman this weekend.

• Baylor is revamping its entire athletic facility landscape. Besides the $250 million football stadium under construction, the Bears are in the works of an on-campus track stadium, an indoor tennis center and an equestrian facility. Baylor also looks to add an athletics hall of fame wing to its new football complex. One of the ultimate missions is to move everything on campus.