Tommy Rees should start at quarterback for Notre Dame to open the season.

Everyone believes it is Dayne Crist who on paper outshines the junior but games are not won on paper.

Rees delivered, including an historic bowl victory last year

Some of it was not pretty but when he took over the Irish were heading for the worst season since the 3-8 one a few years back.

He steadied the ship and, in a remarkable performance against Army at Yankee Stadium proved he had it when it counted most -- on the scoreboard and in his heart.

His subsequent performance against USC was similarly full of 'adventures' but in the end he pulled it out.

At the college football level Rees has that intangible. He doesn't run well, does not have as strong an arm as Crist and is certainly not the physically powerful specimen that Crist is.

However, unlike Rees he finds a way to win games.

He overcame an horrific start to his Fighting Irish career when Rees went down against Michigan and he threw an interception right away and was replaced by Joe Montana's kid, Nate.

However, he fought back and made the starting spot his own for the rest of the season.

Crist has promised much but is injury prone and lacks the gusto for the big game.

Sure he looks better talks better, throws passes better.

But he doesn't win.

Rees does -- that is why he should be under center on opening day.