Reason #34 that the luck has run out for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame this season: See Dayne Crist’s torn left patellar tendon.

In the throws of an amazing season statistically, the badly injured Crist sadly checked into the busy Notre Dame infirmary last week to join fellow Fighting Irish stars RB Armando Allen and WR Theo Riddick. The only football they will play is on Nintendo 64.

Dayne suffered an injury so severe it could keep him out of action until next spring. Yikes. (Hear that. I think its Brian Kelly double fisting more alka seltzer)

This opened the door of opportunity and true freshman QB Tommy Rees came knocking. He accomplished what the other rookie QBs failed to do for the Irish this season. He took the bull by the horns (or the ball by the threads) and dominated. He played like a tried and true, tested veteran senior. 334 yards passing. 4 touchdowns. Three interceptions.

This could be the second coming of Montana everybody thought (No, wait the second coming is Montana’s son Nate who is on the bench) He is playing so well that he could play for the NFL Detroit Lions in front of former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Unfortunately Rees and the Irish bowl hopes came crashing down with an errant pass thrown in the waning seconds of the game that was caught in the end zone. By a Tulsa player. Final score 28 – 27. Chalk up another Irish loss in the closing seconds of a game. Should they not change the name of Touchdown Jesus to Interception Christ? I dunno.

He’s an interesting kid. Rees hails from fine Midwestern stock in Lake Forest, Illinois. As a senior, Rees threw for an otherworldly 2,572 yards and 23 touchdowns.  Football runs in his blood. His brother, Danny, was a punter and holder for UCLA. His father, Bill, a QB himself at Ohio Weslyan, recognizes great talent as scout and pro personnel for NFL organizations such as the da’ Bears, the Browns, the Chiefs, and the 49ers.

The Irish now recognize that they may have a winner out there in Rees. The fans and his teammates and bookies must believe in him too.

The BCS hopes may have died for the Irish.

But perhaps a star is born.