The University of Kansas brought in a high-profile coach and welcomed a high-profile transfer QB and former 5-star recruit to Lawrence in hopes of beginning yet another rebuilding attempt.
Six games into the season, the jury is still deliberating on Charlie Weis, but a verdict has been reached on Dayne Crist based upon overwhelming evidence.
Following a squirmishly uncomfortable three quarters of football vs. Oklahoma State, a game in which Kansas had numerous opportunities early to pull within a touchdown, Weis benched Crist in favor of redshirt freshman Michael Cummings.
Cummings received garbage minutes last week in a 40-point loss to Kansas State, but it was unclear if the move was made due to the continued ineffectiveness of Crist or fear of injury to the only remotely proven active QB on the Jayhawks roster.
The 5'10", 201-pound Cummings nearly brought Kansas back from a late 20-point deficit, falling one fourth-down swing pass away from a red-zone opportunity with under three minutes remaining and down six points.
Despite the overthrown lob to Brandon Bourbon, Cummings was easily the most valuable player of the game, which is saying a great deal considering a few standout performances from an energized KU defense.
The numbers are not head-turning, as he completed five of 10 passes for 75 yards and one touchdown, but the level of pocket awareness was significantly better than that of veteran Crist, routinely moving outside the tackles to hit his checkdowns and even a slick heave to Kale Pick along the sidelines.
Cummings' most veteran-like decision of the game came on Kansas' first TD, a roll-out pass over the middle to Jimmay Mundine, who snuck over the top of the Cowboys' linebackers.
Dayne Crist has made less than a half-dozen impressive throws in five-plus games and repeatedly displays little poise and horrendous third-down decision-making. Twice on 4th-and-long, he scrambled for a short gain as the Jayhawks were threatening to score.
Head-scratching overthrows and missed middle screen passes are indicators of a young, confused quarterback—something Jayhawk fans were not expecting upon Crist's arrival.
Michael Cummings gave Kansas its best shot at a conference victory in nearly two years and appears to have the inside track for the starting job for its difficult trip to Norman next weekend. It is impossible to fathom Weis sticking with Crist and it appears his frustrating college career came to end this evening at Memorial Stadium.