Kirk Herbstreit thinks UCF can pull the upset

UCF head coach George O'Leary - Could use the underdog role to help his Knights upset Baylor.
UCF head coach George O’Leary – Could use the underdog role to help his Knights upset Baylor.

ESPN/ABC lead college analyst Kirk Herbstreit has a feeling that the Fiesta Bowl might just be a better game than most of the national analysts think. Baylor is a big favorite over the Knights of the University of Central Florida to win the New Years afternoon BCS Battle in Glendale, Arizona.

While Herbstreit will be in Pasadena with his broadcast partners Brent  Musburger and Holy Rowe as they call today’s Rose Bowl game between Michigan State and Stanford, he will be watching the Fiesta Bowl game following his telecast. The game will also be on ESPN following the Rose Bowl at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Monday we talked about the Baylor-UCF game as well as some of the other non BCS games.

JW: What are your thoughts on the Fiesta Bowl?

Herbstreit: I think most people feel that Baylor has too much offense for Central Florida and that they will win this game big. I don’t see it that way, of course I will say that and Baylor will win by 50 points. But I like that UCF and their coach George O’Leary has a chip on his shoulder. He has taken over the defensive coaching responsibilities since his defensive coordinator took a head coache’s job. O’Leary loves crafting defensive game plans and I  think that he can really put together something to slow down Baylor and keep this game close.

JW: So you like that UCF embraces being the underdogs?

Herbstreit: Yes, they have read the newspapers, watched TV and heard on the radio that they don’t have a chance to beat Baylor. You have to feel that UCF wants to make a point to all of those people that do not feel that they are worthy of being in a BCS bowl game. This Central Florida team has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball and any team that feels they have been overlooked or disrespected is a team to look out for. Also, the Fiesta Bowl has a history of the underdogs winning here, so I could easily be convinced that the Knights could win this game.

JW: Any non BCS Bowl games that you think could be fun to watch?

Herbstreit: I like the Capital One game in Orlando with Wisconsin and South Carolina. Both teams looked like they could have been headed a BCS game. In Wisconsin’s case they lost to Penn State to end the season which took them out of a BCS bowl consideration. In the case of South Carolina it was a matter of too many good teams this year in the SEC. If both of these teams show up ready to prove something then we should be in for a great game.