Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit are set to call their sixth college football national championship together. Wednesday Fowler and Herbstreit participated in a media conference call to preview Monday’s national championship game between No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Clemson at 8 p.m. ET across ESPN networks.
Q. What effect does LSU being at the top of college football have on the sport?
KIRK HERBSTREIT: It’s awesome. They have a passionate fan base. They’ve got a great local venue where when Baton Rouge is cranked up about college football, it’s one of those places that’s great for the sport. I think this is at a level if they can close this off on Monday night, this is a historical year for them, but any time you can throw LSU and their fan base up into the top 5 in the country and in this case at the top of the country, I think it creates a lot of buzz and definitely creates a lot of excitement, not just throughout the SEC but throughout the country.
CHRIS FOWLER: Well, I think it’s fresh blood. The playoff has frankly needed different teams. Clemson has been the kingpin, and in a short time they’ve gone from the underdog team that’s trying to chase down Bama to sitting at the top, and then LSU comes in as although the favorite in this game, they’re still the challenger for the title.
But I think LSU has obviously a rich history. I was there all three times, played for the championship in the Superdome before, and it’s cyclical. LSU is always going to be a championship contender.
I think this particular group with the dynamic offense is what sets it apart. I’m not sure either Kirk or I have seen an offense this explosive in all our years of covering college football, and I think that’s a dimension that LSU teams haven’t had in the past. But yeah, I think you need to have fresh blood in the playoff, different contending teams, and this year for the first time it’s LSU.