GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit on the set of ESPN College GameDay prior to the game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field. Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

It’s over. It’s done with. It happened.

Florida State was held out of the College Football Playoff because the committee focused on having the four best teams play on New Year’s Day. Without Jordan Travis, the Seminole’s starting quarterback who suffered a season-ending injury, the committee determined that being an unbeaten Power Five conference champion wasn’t ultimately enough to include them, opting for one-loss Alabama instead.

Kirk Herbstreit has defended the committee’s decision and even tipped his hat.

Whether you agree with Herbstreit, he’s made compelling arguments about leaving Florida State out of the CFP. He’s even responded to the notion that he has an agenda. And yet, repeatedly, he’s unable to stand by his convictions, needing to further double and triple down on why Florida State wasn’t included in this year’s CFP.

In Herbstreit’s defense, his mentions on Twitter/X are likely filled with rabid Florida State fans, who have taken issue with ESPN’s coverage of their team’s playoff exclusion, which has highlighted the fact that the ACC will always play second fiddle to the SEC for the network.

Wednesday, Herbstreit took to social media to defend the matter, one that’s been solved already. Sure, Seminoles fans probably aren’t ready to move on, but does Kirk have to keep returning to that well? All those protests could make people presume that he’s being false.

Hebrstreit responded to a fan who used an opportunity to invoke his dog, Ben, before asking why he had Alabama in and Florida State out on Nov. 14 and 18 — which was before Travis’ was carted off for a leg injury in the middle of a 58-13 win over North Alabama. He then put more pressure on the ESPN analyst, asking why Hebrstreit chose to push the narrative for the next three weeks.

He asked for an explanation, and boy, did he get one.

For the TL;DR version, Herbstreit expressed strong opinions about Florida State being left out of the CFP while stating that Michigan, Alabama, Washington, Georgia, and Oregon are all better. Pushing back against the narrative that he has an agenda, Herbstreit turned the tables on FSU, highlighting the 2000 season where Miami was arguably more deserving than the Seminoles of playing in that season’s BCS National Championship Game.

Herbstreit continued to emphasize his right to have an opinion and analyze teams based on his own observations rather than the committee rankings. He acknowledged the subjectivity of the debate and the difficulty of pleasing everyone.

As we’ve maintained, there’s nothing wrong with what Herbstreit said.

We’re just left wondering why he can’t just let it be at this point. The persistent circling back to the issue begs the question: Is he genuinely defending his opinion, or is he trying to convince himself? Herbstreit has held this opinion since November, as the FSU fan pointed out.

Perhaps it’s time for Herbstreit to step back and let the noise settle. His initial defense of the committee served its purpose, and further engagement might only amplify the echo chamber. At the same time, his passion for college football and his desire for a better system is admirable, even if his methods sometimes seem like a never-ending loop.

[Kirk Herbstreit]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.