Kirk Herbstreit has SEC thoughts.
Everyone’s favorite ESPN college football analyst returned Saturday morning in Knoxville, Tennessee, with opinions about the league. He touched on a variety of topics, as expected.
Here are a few of the highlights below:
— It was clear Herbstreit was excited to be back at Tennessee. He talked about how “this was Alabama” during the Peyton Manning era. When speaking about the Volunteers’ potential, he said, “The table is set.” He said the Vols can’t get to Atlanta without beating Florida.
— Herbstreit said the Gators will bring defense. He said the biggest key will be to see if Tennessee’s offensive line will show up and meet the challenge.
— Herbstreit seemed fascinated by the dramatics surrounding LSU-Auburn. He said, “Can you imagine being the losing coach in LSU vs. Auburn?” He said that game is “the epicenter of drama.”
— Herbstreit said that until Tennessee beats Florida and Alabama, the Vols are still in a growing process. The first few games this year show that Tennessee hasn’t done anything to deserve the early hype. He said he’s interested to see how the Vols will handle adversity today. “The team has to get it done today,” he said.
— Herbstreit said that running the ball remains Arkansas’ identity, even with some early trouble this season in the area. He said Texas A&M will have to load the box to stop the Razorbacks’ attack. He said Austin Allen is accurate throwing the ball, and there could be opportunity in the play-action game for Arkansas.
— Herbstreit said this is where we will find out about the core leadership of this Ole Miss team. The Rebels can still finish 10-2, he said. “This is a good football team,” Herbstreit said. He thinks the Rebels can still have a big year.
— Herbstreit doesn’t think there’s a lot of pressure on Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. He said the noise on the outside is greater than the chatter on the inside. “I think they’re playing where you’d expect them to be,” Herbstreit said. But he thinks Les Miles will feel massive heat if LSU loses.
— Herbstreit said that if Tennessee’s offensive line has “any pride at all,” then the group will show up Saturday. He said Florida “knows” it can win this game and Tennessee “hopes” it can win this game.
— Herbstreit thinks Ole Miss will show resiliency. He said Chad Kelly will be too tough for Georgia.
— Herbstreit picked Arkansas to win because of the Razorbacks’ ability to run the ball and use the play-action pass.
— Herbstreit picked Auburn over LSU.
— Herbstreit picked Tennessee to snap its losing streak against Florida.