Kirk Herbstreit is known as one of the most prominent faces in college football commentary. When he speaks, people listen.
Saturday he sat behind the College GameDay desk in Blacksburg, Virginia and spoke in-depth on the SEC issues of the week. Here’s what he had to say on the state of the conference, its coaches and its teams.
- While Rece Davis discussed that their weren’t that many upsets to be had on Saturday, he questioned the panel on which games might be surprisingly close or an upset. “You look at that game on paper and it should be a 30 or 40 point win. That’s one of those games where you expect the unexpected.”
- The College GameDay crew also discussed Butch Jones and the way he went about talking to the media with a heated presser earlier this week. Herbstreit then gave his take on the Tennessee program: “You look at the results and you look at the wins and losses and they’ve won some games,” he said. “But I think winning the meaningful games is the next step and the consistency is the next step. We talk about Nick Saban and we talk about the process and what that actually means. To me, when you walk in to Alabama football you see what the culture is and the respect for winning and respect for their head coach. When you get around the Tennessee program right now, you see individual talent, you see the upgrade. Think about what he inherited after Derrick Dooley and Lane Kiffin, he can recruit at a high level, but I see individual pieces. I don’t see a, ‘I got your back’ mentality week in and week out and it has to start with him. I sometimes equate him to a, ‘timeout dad’ and I think he needs to be more of an iron fist.”
- Herbstreit reminiced about the early days of College GameDay and how much fun they had in Blacksburg, Virginia. “Honestly this place and these fans and Frank Beamer, he was one of the first guys to embrace the show,” he said. “They changed the culture of College GameDay.”
- Saturday marks the rematch of the Hail Mary between the Hedges with Tennessee beating Georgia in 2016 on a last second play. Herbstreit gave his thoughts on Georgia’s dominance so far this season: “This team has a different energy since Jake Fromm has been inserted at quarterback,” he said. “There seems to be a belief in what he can do from an intangible standpoint, but man, how fun is it to watch that defense? It’s starting to look like a Kirby Smart defense. They play with an attitude, reckless, a lot of speed, they’re moving the line of scrimmage back with some big fellas up front. It has been really all year and I think they’re gaining that confidence every single week.”
- Herbstreit was asked about Auburn and Mississippi State’s showdown on Saturday. The Tigers and Bulldogs are both 3-1. “Kevin Steele has brought a different attiude on that defense the last couple years and it continues this year despite some big losses….If you really looked at the Mississippi State game last week against Georgia, they could not run the football. They couldn’t get anything going, got into obvious passing situations, that’s going to happen again today. I think Auburn is 10-1 at the end of the year getting ready for the Iron Bowl.”
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