Kirk Herbstreit has started his run through the ESPN carwash in preparation for the upcoming college football season. On Tuesday, Herbie hit Colin Cowherd’s radio show to discuss, among other things, his prediction for the inaugural College Football Playoff. The analyst’s final four are as follows:
- Florida State
- Michigan State
FSU and Alabama are currently ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the preseason AP Poll, whereas UCLA and Michigan State are Nos. 7 and 8. Preseason No. 3, Oklahoma is left out in the cold, as is the Big 12 conference.
Michigan State was likely Herbie’s pick following news that Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller will miss the entire season. FOX college football analyst Stewart Mandel believes, however, that Miller’s absence could cost more than just OSU a chance in the playoff.
Impact of Braxton news: B1G might not get team in playoff. OSU will be very good but not likely 12-0/11-1. MSU loses chance at marquee win.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) August 19, 2014
UCLA may seem like a long shot, given it shares a conference with Oregon and Stanford. However, with Brett Hundley returning, and a relatively weak Pac-12 South, other analysts (most notably Tim Brando) have also made eyes at the Bruins.
As for Bama and FSU, they only have the nation’s toughest conference and the champions bullseye, respectively, with which to compete.
All that’s left now is to play the games.