Even if you don’t like Nick Saban or Jim Harbaugh – even if you hate them – you have to love their verbal and social-media sparring.
“Well, I love it because I’m a fan like you,” college football extraordinaire Kirk Herbstreit said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think Jim Harbaugh has all of a sudden become like this villain. He’s being portrayed as this villain. He’s helping himself out in that manner with some of his tweets, but for him to call out Nick Saban – he’s called out other coaches on Twitter, he’s called out an athletic director at Ohio State – I think it’s fascinating that he’s the only one I’m aware of that uses that forum to call people out and to have the bravado to do that. I think it’s wonderful as far as storylines and as far as hype and excitement leading up to games. All these tweets, if and when he plays these coaches, they will all surface once again – and he doesn’t shy away from them. It’s not, ‘Oh, oops, I didn’t mean that.’ No, he’s in fact, I think, proud of them when he takes these shots. So I think that part of it’s fun. I think it’s good for the sport.”
While Herbstreit loves the sparring, however, he does not love the sparring topic.
“I’m not a fan of this discussion about satellite camps,” he said. “I think people don’t really understand satellite camps. I think there’s a misconception out there (with some people thinking), ‘How can you take away opportunities from the kids?’ That’s a different type of satellite map than what we’re discussing.”
What Harbaugh is discussing involves major programs traveling around the country (read: the South) and putting their brand on display in a recruit’s proverbial backyard.
“I’m not a fan of that,” Herbstreit said. “I think it’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of money. You’re Michigan, you’re Ohio State, you’re Notre Dame – you don’t need to do this. Or Alabama. Or Auburn. You don’t need to travel to California. Or USC. You don’t need to travel to Georgia to have a camp. I think that idea is tired. I’m just tired of hearing about satellite camps and how they bring so much value. I think it’s a huge waste.”
The other types of satellite camps, though, are not.
“That’s where the smaller schools, the Group of Five schools, maybe travel to Texas or they travel to Ohio State and they travel and they work a camp at a certain big-time program, and they get a chance to see kids that maybe wouldn’t make it at Michigan or Alabama or LSU, but they’re looking for an opportunity at a smaller school,” Herbstreit explained. “Those need to be allowed. Those coaches at a smaller school and kids traveling around to these camps, I’m all for. I think that’s great, that’s needed, it’s an opportunity and it should be provided. But the idea of these powerhouse programs traveling all over the country, I just think it’s ridiculous. I think the guys that are taking advantage of that are having more fun at the expense of the people that are getting frustrated by it than they are actually accomplishing anything. I think they’re just winning an argument. They’re not actually getting anything accomplished.”