Michigan AD Unloads On Kirk Herbstreit

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Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, who played defensive tackle for Bo Schembechler and was 3-1 against the Buckeyes during his collegiate career, is fighting mad over Kirk Herbstreit’s comments about the Wolverines this week. Herbstreit, who never beat Michigan during his time at Ohio State, said on national television that he thought the Wolverines would wave the white flag and cancel its game against the Buckeyes to avoid another humiliating defeat.

“I still think Michigan waves the white flag (and) potentially avoids playing Ohio State next week,” Herbstreit said during ESPN’s College Football Playoff show. “Is that fair? … Michigan could opt out, basically, and keep Ohio State out of (playing) six games to qualify for the Big Ten championship. That doesn’t make sense to me.”

Kirk issued an apology, but Warde was still livid during a Wednesday video press conference:

“I have to pause because my words, the anger, I was infuriated by the insinuation that Michigan would do anything other than play a football game,” Manuel said. “We’ve been playing this game since 1879. We’re the winningest program for a reason, because we play whoever’s in front of us. The only way we want to keep anybody from moving on is to beat them on the field as a player.

“To insinuate that, to say something other than that, is a statement by a fool. It is something — I can’t tell you how embarrassed I am for the Big Ten conference to have one of their representatives, who played this game, to say that about any team in this conference. And to say it about college football and the student-athletes around this country who are trying to play games, during a pandemic, it is ridiculous and sad.”

Michigan football might be down in the dumps, but Warde has a pulse and he’s officially fired up. It sounds like we’re going to get a game in Columbus, and there might be a bonus cage match if Warde ever runs into Kirk on the street.

Warde is also clearly in the right here. Michigan might get their brains beat in, but they have always shown up for the pounding. That is, until their game against Maryland this weekend, which has been canceled due to COVID.

Herbie moved on from that drama only to incite more drama by melting down on a Detroit radio show Wednesday over the state of college football. “What the hell is happening to our sport?” Herbstreit said on 97.1 The Ticket.

“I’m worried about the sport overall,” he said. “I’m worried about the focus strictly on the playoff, that if you’re not one of the playoff teams, ‘Why does it even matter, who cares? Let’s just opt out, let’s get ready for the NFL.'”

A possibly overworked Herbstreit seems like he could use a break. After crying about racial injustice in September and now melting down with a couple weeks to go in the regular season, Herbie might want to grab a Snickers and disappear when the CFP crowns a champion in January 2021.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. Kirk helped fuel this focus strictly on the playoffs and now he is worried about it? I know it’s selfish for a player to opt out when his team has been eliminated from playoff contention, but I can’t say if I were in the position I would do anything differently. They created this playoff system that rewards only 4 teams so now for most teams the season doesn’t matter at all. The school I cheer for will never make the final 4 so my interest in college football has declined because I know their games are pretty much meaningless. They need to scrap all these bowl games or structure them into a 16 team playoff. If it were expanded many more teams would feel like they would have a shot at making it. To offset the extra playoff games they could shrink the regular season to 9 games.

  2. The focus on the playoffs is the focus of the media (not Outkick, the lying scum sucking media).

    Real fans of the game of football and colleges do care about their team and the games. I CHOSE to watch the Egg Bowl as opposed to the Iron Bowl because it was a much better game competitively. But if the Iron Bowl was the only game on, I’d watch it anyway.

    Time to get the focus back to competition and athletics and away from the Dr Pepper Poulan Weedeater Home Depot AT&T College Football Playoffs brought to you by ESPN/Disney.

  3. I get Kirk is probably still an Ohio State homer…but he’s finding out the difference between saying theories like that as a fan in the man cave vs. saying that as an analyst on national television.

  4. I’m not a Herbstreit fan. I’m sure as heck not a Harbaugh fan. Avoiding the humiliation of being trounced by Ohio State and keeping them out of the conference championship is advantageous to Michigan. If they can also keep them out of the playoff, well party time in the progressive hellhole of Ann Harbor.

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