September 19, 2012 - by
Podcast: Exclusive Interview with Kirk Herbstreit

Sept. 19, 2012

By: Brandon Mellor, Managing Editor

The eyes of the sports world will be on Tallahassee Saturday night for No. 4 Florida State versus No. 9 Clemson and Kirk Herbstreit will be responsible for providing insight and analysis for ABC’s viewership during the national broadcast.

His work alongside veteran play-by-plan man Brent Musberger will be at the end of a busy two days in Tallahassee for Herbstreit, as he will arrive Friday to meet with players and coaches and then serve as one of the featured hosts of “ESPN College GameDay” that will air live from FSU’s Langford Green Saturday morning.

In preparation for the weekend, Herbstreit joined for a special-edition Doak Insider Podcast to share his thoughts on his preseason prediction that FSU would win the national championship, the ‘Noles’ impressive defense despite the absences of Brandon Jenkins and Greg Reid and the opportunity for FSU to truly prove just how dominate it is defensively against the high-powered Clemson offense.

Herbstreit also talked about star defensive end Bjoern Werner, who he wants to profile for a story on “ESPN College GameDay,” and mentioned that the Seminoles’ pass rush is the key to the game. 

“Werner will get plenty of attention, at least during our broadcast on ABC on Saturday,” Herbstreit said.

In addition to speaking on the importance of Saturday night for both programs and the ACC as a whole, Herbstreit also made some interesting comments about FSU’s fan base. 

As you’ll hear at the 7:00 mark of the podcast, Herbstreit said that “some Florida State fans come across to me like they have one foot in and one foot out. I don’t know if they are quite to the point where it’s back to the 14-year run where people believed in the program … “

Herbstreit is quite candid in the interview and raises what I think is a valid point about a certain faction of the FSU fan base. As someone who has lived in Tallahassee since 2002, covered the football team since 2004, and followed the program since the late 1980s, I completely understand the guarded optimism that many fans have about Florida State’s long quest to finally be “back.”

It makes sense and is totally justified.

After living atop the college football mountain for so long, FSU has not-so-quietly had its struggles in recent years — a trend that never seemed imaginable when Peter Warrick was hauling in multiple touchdown receptions against Virginia Tech more than 10 years ago.

The real question is, if you are one of those fans that Herbstreit mentions, what will it take for you to bring that other foot forward and fully invest yourself back into the program? 

Is it a win Saturday against a top-10 Clemson team that has won six of the last nine in the series? Is it an ACC championship? Or does FSU need to win its third national championship before you completely buy in?

Thanks to Herbstreit, it’s fodder for interesting debate and I’m interested to hear your thoughts by tweeting me at @BrandonMellor or emailing me by clicking here

Either way, Saturday’s game is huge — bigger than the week-three showdown with highly-ranked Oklahoma last year — because of the implications it has on the conference standings.

Florida State’s ticket office announced Wednesday morning the the game is officially a sell out and the only way to get tickets to the contest would be to purchase them through StubHub, the official fan-to-fan ticket marketplace of FSU Athletics. With a packed stadium for a national game with conference and potentially national-title hopes hanging in the balance, it’s sure to be absolutely electric.

Herbstreit will be there analyzing it all, commenting on the performances of the players on the field and the coaches on the sidelines. And who knows, maybe he’ll see that second foot step all in for the FSU program by game’s end.

Until then, enjoy this special edition of the Doak Insider Podcast:

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