Tuesday August 23, 2011 is decision day.
At least we were promised by Brian Kelly that it would be.
Here's an open thread for all you crazy nuts like me and the rest of the OFD staff to debate the choice.
Who do I think it should be?
Who do I think it will be?
Dayne Crist...although I'm clearly not as certain about it now that it's come down to the wire like this.
Whoever is picked as the starter, I remain convinced that the offense is going to be conservative in nature.
If it's Crist who gets the nod, I think we'll see an offense similar to what we saw last year against Purdue in the season opener, but with more focus on the run and less 4-wide receiver sets.
If it's Rees I think we'll see a lot of two tight end sets and an even greater focus on running the ball.
Not a ground breaking prediction, but if Kelly has been straight with us and the team has been working on getting tough up front and making the quarterbacks protect the ball, then we're likely to see a little less reliance on the QB position than is the norm in Kelly's offense.
Before we start freaking out that the Irish quarterback isn't an All-American and making statements like, "We have two backups," let me state that this is a good move by Kelly. He clearly put too much on Crist's plate last year and now he has moved both playbooks closer together for him and Rees.
I'm just less confident that the offense will be better with Rees under center.
I don't like the lack of mobility when defenders are flying off the edge, or the struggles with deep passes and out routes.
Most of all, I think with Rees the running game will be hamstrung and Notre Dame will be forced to stay in heavy sets and lose the balance that would be more available with Crist at QB.
I like the move to more heavy sets (if it happens) but I wouldn't be too confident against a top 15 team if that's our main offense and we're not spreading anyone out. I think the Alabama's of the world eat that type of offense up without a big armed QB back there to make them pay.
I'm less confident with Rees because if he starts and even plays well, there's a feeling of "this is it." There will be no running from him, no option play, nor a third of the passing game taken advantage of. Even if he plays well initially, I think there is something to be said for a lack of ceiling and opponents eventually catching up over the course of a season.
With Crist, at least the team can start out more conservative and open things up as the season goes on. And right out of the gate opponents have to account for so much more from the Notre Dame offense.
If Crist has made large strides, as Kelly mentioned, then has has to be starting.
Share your thoughts in this Tuesday open thread.
And Notre Dame's starting quarterback for South Florida is...