Chat with Kirk Herbstreit
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit stops by to chat about the upcoming season, the return of College GameDay on Saturday, as well as his annual Herbie Awards. Be sure to cast your votes on the Awards - Part I | Part II - and catch The Herbie Awards Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Herbstreit has been an ESPN college football studio analyst since August 1996. Herbstreit, who joined ESPN in September 1995 as a college football sideline analyst for ESPN2, is also a game analyst for ESPN's Thursday night college football telecasts.
Send your questions now and join Herbstreit Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:59 PM)
Kirk Herbstreit will be here at the top of the hour to chat about his "Herbie" Awards as well as the new season!
Kirk Herbstreit (2:02 PM)
Hey, I'm here, anxious, ready to go! Had a lot of fun putting the 2010 Herbie Awards together. Should be a very exciting year. Remember the Herbie Awards are just a lot of fun topics and predictions. For the first time ever, we're doing a TV version Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Hunter Seabrook (Oxford, Mississippi)
I saw your Herbie's and saw Ole Miss as one of your most undervalued teams. What is your overall prediction of what we will do this season?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:04 PM)
For a team that's almost forgotten in the West, I think they have a legit shot at starting 5-0. I can't wait to see if Jeremiah Masoli is able to play at the same level that he did a year ago in Eugene. I think Brandon Bolden can have a good year running the football. If they can put together another athletic defense, the Rebels have a shot as a darkhorse in the West. The problem is that they have tough road games in conference, Bama, Arkansas, LSU and Tennessee. May be tough to be a real player with that schedule, but I could see 8 wins.
William (Richmond, KY)
I think Pryor is the "Ultimate GameChanger" because when I think of an Ultimate GameChanger moment, I think Vince Young in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
Kirk Herbstreit (2:06 PM)
It remains to be seen on Pryor. Physically, without question he's a game changer. I expect him now in his third year as a starting QB to be able to live up to the lofty and sometimes unrealistic expectations that he's dealt with in his first two years. Jim Tressel has a track record of when he has confidence in his QB, he opens up the playbook. If Pryor continues to develop, I expect coach Tressel to put Pryor in position to be the Ultimate Game Changer that you're speaking about.
Who do you think is a better running back, LaMichael James or Jacquizz Rodgers?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:08 PM)
Oh my gosh....that's like asking me who do I love more, my mom or my dad? I would probably give a slight edge to LaMichael James, although Rodgers is still one of the premiere backs in the country. I just think James and the offensive style that he plays in in Oregon seems to be put in position to make plays more than Quizz is. I just hope that America gets a chance to watch these two guys enough to get a full appreciation of these runnings backs. They're both legit.
Peter (Atlanta, GA)
Is my expectation of Michigan needing to have a winning season for RichRod to keep his job a reasonable expectation?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:09 PM)
I think that's a given. Michigan not only needs to have a winning season, but there needs to be some real optimism as they finish up Nov. 27 at Ohio State. I'm not one to put a number of wins on RichRod's season this year, but without question, after everything that he and the program have endured these last few years, he needs a strong season and show a ton of improvement in every phase of the game.
Jack Wilson (Mayfield, KY)
Where is Randall Cobb in all of your awards?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:10 PM)
Just because Randall Cobb didn't make the list, doesn't mean that he's not a talented player. But when you're only picking a handful of players from the whole country, you can't get everyone on the list. Speaking of Cobb, what about Lock? He's another big playmaker for the Cats.
Kirk, With 18 returning starters most BCS conference annual frontrunners would have a lot of respect. Is the uncertainty of Geno the reason WVU isnt getting any?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:13 PM)
The first two years under Bill Stewart, the team's been able to win 9 games in each year. I think people are still reserving judgement on ultimately whether or not he can get them back to championship form that the team enjoyed under RichRod. Geno's unproven up to this point. I think until you see what he can do, it's hard to predict how consistent the WVU offense can be. But if he ends up developing with the talent around him, I can see why WVU fans are optimistic about their 2010 outlook.
Kevin (Washington DC)
Long time OSU fan here. While I appreciate your thoughts on Terrel Pryor, what is your opinion on Jacory Harris? He showed some real talent in the begining of last season but didn't play so well toward the season's end. Will he be a serious threat for the Bucks on Sept 11?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:15 PM)
Not only will he be a serious threat, but so will the entire Hurricane football team. The 'Canes have been incredibly young in some key areas in Randy Shannon's first three years. A lot of that youth is now grown up. Do not expect to see the same Miami team that was on display against Wisconsin Champs Sports bowl game. This is now a veteran team who I think will win the ACC and end up in a BCS bowl game.
Kirk Herbstreit (2:15 PM)
Jacory Harris is the real deal. He has a lot of weapons around him. I would say even though the game is in Columbus and OSU will be favored, I think the 'Canes will be looking at this game as a chance to show the country that they are a legitimate contender in 2010.
Brad (Crossville, TN)
Herbie, what is up with you picking Auburn to win the West in the SEC this year? Is it because Alabama's defense is so young? or do you believe that Auburn has really improved that much?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:18 PM)
I think it's a combination of both. I think Alabama is going to be still a great football team. I think it's a matter of time until the new players on the defensive side of the ball gain enough experience before they eventually become a strength. But they are breaking in a lot of new players, which raises a few question marks in my mind in one of the most complex defensive schemes in the country. Meanwhile, take another look at the Auburn schedule. Before they travel to Tuscaloosa on Nov. 26, tell me who can beat them on the road. They get Arkansas, LSU and Georgia all at home. Not to mention Clemson and South Carolina. The schedule is set. The defense will be more physical. I think Gus Malzahn will do a great job with new QB Cam Newton and the speed that Cam has to work with.
Joe (Watertown, CT)
Do you believe that with Jake Locker the Huskies have a chance to challenge for the Pac 10 title? What do you think there overall record will be at the end of the year?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:20 PM)
I think there are 7 teams in the Pac-10 that have a legit shot to challenge for the title. I would say that Washington would make my list of the most improved teams from 2009 to 2010. They have a lot of starters returning in Sark's second year of running the program. There's no reason to believe the Huskies won't be in the thick of things in the Pac-10. I'll tell you, of all the games this opening weekend, their game with BYU in Provo is one of the more intriguing games on the slate.
Kirk Herbstreit (2:21 PM)
Sark going back to BYU (where he'll be honored at halftime, along with several other BYU great QBs) bringing his highly touted QB and all of the expectations and pressure up against an always gritty and tough BYU team. If the Huskies have ideas of winning the Pac-10 they've got to get through this game and create some confidence before the Nebraska game 2 weeks later.
Hi Kirk! I know a lot of people are expecting VT to beat Boise State. Who are you going with and why? Is it really going to just come down to home field advantage? Is VT relatively new D going to be able to slow down Moore? Is our D going to be able to stop their run game?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:23 PM)
I'm actually calling that game Monday night with Brent. I'm fired up to see that one in person. Talk about a game with BCS implications for both teams in Week 1. WOW!!! I don't know how many people think VT is going to win. Everyone I talk to thinks that the Brocos are the team to beat. All I will say is VT playing in Washington DC with a veteran QB and arguably one of the most talented backfields in the country would be tough for anybody to beat. I think that game is going to live up to the hype. It's going to be a great game.
Morgan (Edmonton, AB)
I noticed your list of wide receivers. Did you base your list on previous seasons' production numbers, or predications for this year. I also noticed you left Little, Floyd and Julio Jones off the list. Won't these guys be day 1 draft picks
Kirk Herbstreit (2:25 PM)
I look more as to the year I'm expecting them to have in 2010 more than what they've achieved in their careers. That goes for the other categories as well.
Andy (Carbondale, IL)
Is there any team that was left out of the pre-season top-25 that you think could make some noise by the end of the year?
Kirk Herbstreit (2:28 PM)
The Stanford Cardinal. I think they're going to prove to people that they are more than Toby Gerhart. Although Toby had a memorable season in 2009, this Cardinal team in my opinion is loaded and a team to be aware of. Another team that could do some damage out of the top 25 is UConn. The Huskies are always undervalued and this year return a nucleus of talent of players including 8 starters on both sides of the ball. Get a chance to jump start their season Saturday at the Big House against the Wolverines. The other team that I'll throw in there is Michigan State. Sparty, another team that seems to be forgotten. I love their QB Cousins, Caper and Edwin Baker in the backfield and a very talented group of WRs. This team should score a lot of points. Of course they have Greg Jones leading the defense. The Spartans have a real shot of playing spoiler in the Big Ten.
Kirk Herbstreit (2:43 PM)
Thanks to everybody for your questions. Always fun to talk with you guys about college football. Even though I'm a Reds fan and have enjoyed the season and the run they've gone on, I'm pumped that the college football season is here!