ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit is a self-proclaimed “football junkie”. In between his three-hour Saturday morning stint on College GameDay, and his evening responsibilities as a football analyst for ESPN and ABC, Herbstreit may watch five football games at a time, so he brings an unparalleled commitment in covering the game he loves. That commitment should not be a surprise to anyone who has followed the former Ohio State Buckeye’s career closely, as Kirk was the 1988 Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year at Centerville (OH) high school.
After waiting his turn for three seasons, Herbstreit became the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback in 1992, and he led the team to a nine win season. After his football career was over, Herbstreit made a similar commitment to broadcasting, and the results have been just as good as when he was behind center, but with greater longevity. And after twenty years of being one of the most respected voices in college football, his passion for the game still burns. That passion mixed with his affable and unassuming personality, makes Herbstreit one of the most respected voices in college football today.
“After GameDay finishes at 12 o’clock eastern time, I sit around and watch games the entire day. We have five televisions going all day up until I have to call the eight o’clock game, As crazy as this sounds, I have the game I am calling in front of me and a couple monitors to my right, and I am keeping an eye on those games too,” Herbstreit states in his matter of fact style.
Herbstreit also politely mentions that he watches “as much college football as anybody”, but the reality is that his knowledge and commitment continue to fuel his work on ESPN and ABC. So when Allstate had a great social media campaign to involve players,coaches and fans of the game, not many people could bring a high level of credibility to the table like Herbstreit could, and the campaign, ironically and appropriately named, #StreitCred was hatched.
“When Allstate approached me about #StreitCred and the opportunity for Allstate and me to hand out our team of the week, strongest team performances or standout moments, I was all about it,” Herbstreit explained. “I think a lot of fans have gotten excited about it. The #StreitCred campaign is all about the passion and enthusiasm of college football.”
Nothing stirs up more interest and enthusiasm in college football than the Heisman Trophy race does, and Herbstreit is looking forward to seeing how this year’s race pans out. “I think that September and October are more about positioning yourself, and November is really where you win the Heisman trophy. There are big games [in November], big opportunities, and there are big stages, and whoever capitalizes on those opportunities will end up winning the Heisman,” Herbstreit said in an exclusive interview.
“Right now it is about jockeying for position, and with that in mind Leonard Fournette [of LSU] is out front. But I don’t know if Travone Boykin [of TCU] gets the credit that he deserves nationally. Against Texas Tech and Kansas State, Boykin put the team on his back and found a way to win. And nothing says Heisman more to me than when a player on a team facing defeat says, ‘not today, not on my watch’ and that’s what Boykin did.”
But after five straight Heisman trophies going to quarterbacks, and eight out of the last nine awards being taken home by the signal callers, Herbstreit can see a chance for running backs to get some love this year. “Zeke Elliott [of Ohio State] is going to have some big stages, and we will see if he can take advantage of those stages and have that ‘wow’ moment. In addition to Fournette, Boykin and Elliott, I would put Dalvin Cook of Florida State, for me personally, in that mix for the Heisman race. He is arguably the most electrifying player in college football today.”