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GameDay Crew: "This Is College Football At Its Best"

Kirk Herbstreit said Saturday's game between Wisconsin and Nebraska is "College football at its best."
Kirk Herbstreit said Saturday's game between Wisconsin and Nebraska is "College football at its best."

MADISON, Wis. -- A throng of reporters gathered on Bascom Hill Friday, waiting for several of ESPN's "College GameDay" personalities to emerge from another meeting in the Education Building. Several students were taken aback by the cameras and microphones, and darted away from the center attention as they left their classes. 

Eventually, the familiar GameDay faces left the building to speak with the media about this Saturday's featured game: No. 6 Wisconsin against No. 7 Nebraska.

"Oh wow," sideline reporter Erin Andrews joked when she saw the reporters waiting for her. "I feel like the president."

Not that Andrews, or her colleagues Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard, were expecting anything less on their second trip to Madison in as many years. 

"We love coming here," Herbstreit said. "Every week we're pretty spoiled. But I've played here, I've come in and called a bunch of games, so for me it's always fun to come in here, believe it or not, being an Ohio State guy."

"Coming back into the state of Wisconsin is like a second home for me," Howard said. "I love it. Good to be back up here in Madison."

Predictably, the discussion shifted quickly to the upcoming game and how well the Cornhuskers fit in with their new conference. Saturday's game will be Nebraska's first conference matchup as a Big Ten member, giving the game even more publicity.

"It kind of ups the ante a little bit," Andrews said of the Big Ten's new addition. "Perfect setting, perfect place, welcome to the Big Ten Nebraska."

"I think Nebraska is a great fit for the Big Ten," Howard said. "Perfect. Jim Delany did a fantastic job bringing them into the fold. I think their brand of football meshes well with what they play in the Big Ten, so I think it's a great addition."

Herbstreit focused more on the upcoming game, talked about how both teams seem to be evenly matched through four games this year. 

"The teams match up very well - I think its the first time Wisconsin's actually going up against a team that can match up physically with them," Herbstreit said. "Wisconsin is tough at home, so to me it's a combination of how Martinez throws, along with how his receivers [play] in one on one coverage on the outside. On the other side with Russell Wilson, this is why he decided to go to Wisconsin - to play in these kind of games."

"If you're a Big Ten fan, your hope should be that these teams go at it, hard, and play their best, and eventually somebody pulls away and wins by a field goal. That would be ideal for the Big Ten."

And when it comes to the Big Ten, Herbstreit isn't hiding how he feels about covering Big Ten football in the fall, after spending his college career as a quarterback at Ohio State.

"I love going down to the SEC," Herbstreit said. "But there's something different about coming here. The weather's cool, it feels like fall, it feels like football, and then to have a tradition-rich school like Nebraska coming in here? This is why I do what I do. To cover games like this."

"This is what it's all about. This is college football at its best."


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