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Kirk Herbstreit Has Heartfelt Message For Ohio State Fans

Kirk Herbstreit giving his college football playoff prediction.

ESPN.

Before he was ESPN's lead college football analyst, Kirk Herbstreit played quarterback at Ohio State. He was back at his alma mater for College GameDay ahead of the Buckeyes' game against Penn State, and was pretty happy about the homecoming.

Herbstreit has caught some flak from Ohio State fans over the years, to the point that some believe he moved his family from Columbus to Nashville due to criticism from local fans. He's vehemently denied that idea.

While he keeps things pretty professional when evaluating the Buckeyes, he clearly still has love for his alma mater. After his visit to Columbus today, he had a very nice message for the school, discussing the nostalgia he felt by being back at The Shoe.

That included a shout out to the fans, who he thanked "from the bottom of his heart for making College GameDay so special today."

Ohio State went up big early against Penn State today. A rough third quarter, in which the Buckeyes fumbled it away multiple times, got things as close as 21-17. Ohio State wound up sealing it in the fourth quarter for a 28-17 win.

With the win, the No. 2 Buckeyes clinched the Big Ten East, and will face either Minnesota or Wisconsin for the conference title.

Herbstreit may not have to wait long to see the Buckeyes for GameDay again. It feels very likely that the show will head to Ann Arbor next weekend for Ohio State's road game at Michigan, though obviously the Iron Bowl is always an option as well.

As for tonight, Kirk Herbstreit is off to Tempe to call tonight's ABC game between Arizona State and Pac-12 favorite Oregon, which hopes to remain alive in the College Football Playoff hunt. That game is set to start at 7:30 p.m. ET.