Best team in the nation? Kirk Herbstreit explains his choice
One recent topic on ESPN’s “College GameDay” was who is the No. 1 team in the country, and host Rece Davis phrased it by saying that to answer that question, imagine you were just dropped in from outer space.
On “The College Football Podcast with Herbie and Pollack,” analyst Kirk Herbstreit recalled that Desmond Howard, David Pollack and himself all chose Ohio State. That was before the action from Week 5.
“If you’re looking at it based on, this is the best part about it, it’s subjective,” Herbstreit said. “Everybody listening has their own way, ‘We have to keep Clemson No. 1, they won the national championship last year, and how are they not No. 1. Until they lose, they’ve got to be No. 1.’ There’s that school of thought. That’s fine. I’m not arguing against you. I happen to do it my way.”
Herbstreit said it’s a new season, and that players from 2018 aren’t on Clemson’s roster, for example. After four or five weeks into the season, he starts to form opinions that there are land mines out there, and reactions follow.
“I would have Ohio State (No.) 1 now, based on the execution, and based on the way, ‘Look who’ve they’ve played, they haven’t played anybody,’ but what do you do with an inferior opponent,” he said. “You go bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, get out of my way, and you go on to the next week. That’s what Alabama’s doing right now, it’s what Ohio State has done. I think the best job of you have teams like Auburn, probably played the best schedule that’s out there. Oklahoma’s kind of similar to what Ohio State’s doing. Bang, bang, bang, although there’s still, want to see their defense be challenged a little bit more. But to answer your question, I would have Ohio State right as the most complete team through five weeks of football.”
Herbstreit said that Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is a proven commodity who has played in the national championship, and will be tested by the likes of LSU and Auburn.
Herbstreit said Ohio State QB Justin Fields has not turned the ball over, and is in command of the offense. But it’s fair to question how he will perform against a better defense like Michigan State this week, for example, but the analyst said he ha a good idea how Fields will perform.