Kirk Herbstreit ESPN’s Lee Corso, center, waves his hand after putting the Ohio State Buckeyes mascot head on to end “College GameDay” Saturday at Notre Dame. To the left is actor Vince Vaughn, and to the right is ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. (Credit: Austin Hough / South Bend Tribune)

Kirk Herbstreit has never been one to hold back, especially when it comes to fans of his alma mater. Herbstreit and Ohio State fans don’t have a great relationship. And you don’t have to dig deep into the vault to understand that, either.

Herbstreit has often bemoaned about the “lunatic fringe” part of the fanbase that is consistently up in arms about the state of the program. Last month, Herbstreit went on The Pat McAfee Show and called Buckeyes fans  “insane.” He then followed that up by taking aim at those same fans, who were ready to hit the panic button after a 23-3 Week 1 victory over Indiana.

Ohio State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) is coming off a 20-12 drubbing of Penn State. And despite lackluster quarterback play, the Buckeyes were able to win off the backs of a national championship-caliber defense and arguably the best offensive player in the country in Marvin Harrison, Jr.

Even with that, Herbstreit was the subject of ire from Ohio State fans again. On Sunday, Herbstreit ranked his top four teams in the country as follows: Michigan, Georgia, Florida State, and Ohio State.

Lo and behold, Ohio State’s Barstool Sports’ affiliated Twitter page criticized Herbstreit for having Florida State over the Buckeyes.

Perhaps the argument holds some weight, but the Seminoles have three convincing wins over some of the better teams in the country (LSU, Clemson, and Duke). This past Saturday, despite going down 17-7 early, Florida State rallied to win 38-20 for its 13th straight consecutive win.

So maybe they deserve to be placed over Ohio State for the time being. But quite honestly, Herbstreit doesn’t care about the perception. And he had time on Sunday to voice his displeasure.

“Just win out,” he tweeted. “Who gives a **** where anyone is till December.”

Heberstreit was asked by a fan why he’d bother to continue to rank the teams if it didn’t matter until December. It’s certainly a fair question, and Herbstreit provided an astute response.

“Because it’s part of the journey,” he tweeted. “Never said any rankings I put out are important or relevant. Just part of the journey to the last week,” he tweeted. “But to get upset where your team is ranked is a waste of time. Especially if you’re a team like Ohio St-undefeated and control your own destiny. Who cares…just keep winning and you’ll be where you want to be in December.”

It definitely seems as if Ohio State fans have continued to get underneath the skin of the 54-year-old Herbstreit. And who could blame him? His reasoning here is pretty sound, as he points to the fact that being upset about where your team is ranked—especially in October—is was waste of everyone’s time. As Herbstreit says, it won’t matter where Ohio State is ranked the week before Halloween if it wins out the remainder of its schedule.

As of now, the Buckeyes control their own destiny. Currently undefeated, Ohio State will almost certainly be in the College Football Playoff, if it doesn’t drop a game between now and when the CFP Selection Committee convenes.

Regardless of how you feel about Herbstreit, his “who gives a ****” comment points to a deeper issue here. Maybe some fans care too much, and Herbstreit is tired of hearing the bemoaning and whining about the state of the program or where some renowned college football analyst has them ranked on Sunday, Oct. 22.

The conversation will be null and void if Ohio State takes care of business. Say the Buckeyes have a better resume than Florida State and are still ranked below the Seminoles, well, Herbstreit will probably be among the loudest ones banging the drum on why the selection committee got it wrong.

For now, Herbstreit doesn’t think that conversation seems to matter. And it doesn’t seem like he’ll be changing his tune until we get into December.

Let’s get through Halloween and Thanksgiving first.

[Kirk Herbstreit on Twitter]

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.