Five Questions with ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit

During our trip to Bristol yesterday, the kind folks on the PR staff were able to pull ESPN Gameday heartthrob Kirk Herbstreit aside for five quick questions.

1. Best city for Gameday.
There’s different levels of best city. There’s the buildup of the game, the food on Friday night, the atmosphere around the set … the SEC is so interchangable …the SEC is typically where our most passionate, rabid Gameday experiences are. It’s hard for me to single out just one, but I’d say the SEC in general … [Ed. after some prodding ...] if I had to pick one, I would probably say Baton Rouge.

2. Old men making picks: Beano and Holtz like Notre Dame. Haven’t heard from Corso yet. Is there a trend here?
I don’t think so. The challenge with making picks in July and August – you can go with the chalk and do what everyone else is doing. But then everyone rolls their eyes and says, ‘who couldn’t have picked that?’ Or you make a crazy pick and October you look like a moron. Last year I picked Florida to beat USC in the National title game and my tendency is to want to go against Florida this year because anytime something is so obvious in this sport, you go the other way … but in this case, it’s just too hard. I have to stick with Florida.

3. Heisman darkhorse not named Colt, Tebow or Bradford.
Jevan Snead at Ole Miss.

4. How many wins for Notre Dame? BCS game?
10. Yes.

5. Ohio State-Miami in the 2002 National Championship game … was that pass interference? And do you have a The Photo framed and on a wall in your house?
Ummmm, this was pre-instant replay. What I always tell Miami fans – there was a pass play to Chris Gamble, in regulation, on a 3rd-and-seven. He made a catch and he got his foot down and they called him out of bounds. The next play, OSU punted to Roscoe Parrish, and he returned it like 80 yards to set up the eventual game-tying field goal. Without that punt return, the game’s over, it’s a first down, and Ohio State kills the clock and there is no pass interference call.
[The pass interference] was such a gray area … the way the official first reacted, he should not have called pass interference. You could make an argument that there was contact early on the play, when the ball was in the air. But later in the play, there was no contact, it was a no-call. The way he reacted initially, I don’t know why all of a sudden later, he decided to throw the flag.
[The Photo] … Three or four different people sent it to me. I don’t have it framed personally. When I’m on the air, I would challenge anybody to watch me when I do a game and try to figure out what school I went to. When I’m off the air … I’m an Ohio State fan. Sorry. I went to school there, I was a captain there, my kids wear their Ohio State jerseys almost everyday. They wake up singing the fight song. We’re an Ohio State family. [About the photo] I wasn’t on the air, I’m going to go crazy. My work speaks for itself. The way I’m fair and objective – sometimes I probably go too far in being critical toward Ohio State, but I had a ton of people send me that photo.

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