"the most important thing for the gator nation to understand is none of my opinions was personal ... i simply felt that the difficulty of the schedule would eventually catch up to a team playing in the best conference in college football and struggling most of the year to get into rhythm-especially offensively ... but, as i said to you earlier, to their credit they (the Gators) put it together when it mattered most-like all great championship-caliber teams do ... if they want me to say I was wrong and I was a moron ... no problem ... i was dead wrong. i was an idiot ... which I've already done several times since Jan 8th."Thank you for that, Kirk. If that is the closest thing to an apology you've got in your pocket, the Gator Nation will take it.
As most college football fans will recall, Herbstreit campaigned heavily for an Ohio State-Michigan rematch, then semi-famously said "I'd like to see both Ohio State and Michigan do well in their bowl games" when the bowls were set.
Herbstreit was accused of everything from being a Big 10 homer, to being part of a conspiracy to keep Florida out of the title game so as to provide an easy matchup for his alma mater. While the latter is an absurd theory, it is true that most Gator fans felt antipathy towards ESPN's Golden Boy for what seemed like an endless tirade against the Gators. Herbstreit even called out CBS' Gary Danielson for taking up the Gators' side of things during the 2006 SEC Championship Game. (Yours truly had a few choice remarks to make about Herbie at that time.)
Half a year later, with 2007 upon us, Herbie defends his opinion as being one he felt was true and heartfelt at the time -- but which was, ultimately, wrong.
For what it's worth, I never felt Herbstreit's anti-Gator campaign was a personal attack on Florida. Kirk is a professional analyst. Frankly, I just can't see how someone with his stature in this profession could maintain a strong enough dislike for a team to actively work against them just for the sake of personal satisfaction. What I do hold against Herbstreit is his arrogant assumption (which I commented on in this article) that he knows more about college football than anyone else because he watches every single college football game in the season.
Last season, Saurian Sagacity pointed out that Herbstreit was in next to last place among picking college football winners heads up. The only pundit Herbstreit beat out for better predictions? Collegefootballnews.com's Clucko the Chicken, who makes picks based on selecting between two feed bowls that represent the two teams playing in a given game. (Seriously!)
So, Kirk Herbstreit, your admission of idiocy is appreciated. Your morondom is noted. And your apology, as it were, is accepted. And I believe the Gator Nation will welcome you to Gainesville again next year. Do us a favor, though, and drop the holier-than-thou act... at least until you can do better than someone other than Clucko. Okay?