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Tom Jones' Two Cents

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Two minutes with ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit



kirk.ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit has become the voice of college football. He spends Saturday morning as analyst on ESPN's College GameDay then spends Saturday nights calling the best game in the country with broadcast partner Brent Musburger. This Saturday, he will call the marquee game in the country as No. 5 Florida State hosts No. 1 Oklahoma. On Wednesday, Herbstreit spoke with the national media on a conference call and answered a variety of questions, including FSU's chances against Oklahoma, what's at stake in the Gators-Tennessee game and an 0-2 team he likes better now that at the start of the season.

Here's some of what Herbstreit had to say:

On whether Florida State can give No. 1 Oklahoma a game Saturday night:
"That's why we’re going to play this game. Florida State was the team for 14 straight years. The last nine or 10 years they've been about an 8-4 team. They won 10 last season with Jimbo Fisher. ... Last year, they spit the bit against Oklahoma. They weren't ready to go to Norman. ... This year is going to be different. This is not just Florida State trying to beat No. 1 Oklahoma. This is Florida State trying to knock on the door of the elite of college football and say Florida State is back.''

On the ramifications of Saturday's Gators-Tennessee game:
"After seeing all the (SEC) teams play so far, whoever survives this game becomes a serious player to take on South Carolina to see who comes out of the (SEC) East. .. I like what I've seen defensively from Florida. They lost so many guys in the secondary from a year ago. If there's one question I have for them it's this is the first true test for that secondary, with all due respect to FAU and Alabama-Birmingham.''

kelly.On Notre Dame's 0-2 start:
"I was not among the folks that was thinking BCS or bust prior to this season. I just didn't quite see that or have that expectation of them before the season started. But after watching them the first two weeks of the season, I actually like them better now than I liked them prior to the season starting. ... They're moving the ball. They just have to clearly stop self-destructing, which they will. They've outplayed their first two opponents. It's probably driving them crazy they're not sitting there 2-0. To me, they can still have a great year if they can somehow pick up the chips and realize there is still a great year they can have.''

On the changing landscape of college football with conference re-alignment:
"Well, it looks inevitable that we're going to have four mega-conferences. I'm a traditionalist so I'm not real excited about it. Everybody is posturing right now. ... It will be interesting to see what becomes of the ACC and Big East. They shame of is we're going to get away from the rivalries we've seen the past 70 or 80 years. I hope we can still have those rivalry games that are good for college football. ... It's unthinkable to not have Texas playing Texas A&M or Oklahoma not playing Texas. And we could see this throughout the country. When Penn State joined the Big Ten, we saw the end of the Penn State-Pitt game and I know many people ... were sad to see that go away.''

On calling the first ever night game Michigan last Saturday:
"The scene was magical. To see the Big House lit up at night is really surreal. It reminded me of a big festival, a big party.''

On this being a big weekend for the ACC with Clemson hosting Auburn, Miami hosting Ohio State, Maryland hosting West Virginia and FSU hosting Oklahoma:
"This is a huge weekend for a conference that has been ridiculed, teased, made fun of. The Big Ten has had that a bit of that over the years. I would tell the ACC fans the same thing I've told Big Ten fans: the only way to change that perception is to take advantage of these opportunities.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:53pm]


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