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The suspension of 10 Florida players for the season opener against Michigan has taken a bit of the luster away from one of the best match-ups on Labor Day weekend. Still, there is plenty of intrigue about what will take place when the Gators and Wolverines hit the field and ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit weighed in with a pick on the blockbuster game.

Herbstreit joined ESPN colleague Ian Fitzsimmons on a recent podcast and shared his thoughts on the contest. (h/t Saturday Down South)

“Any time the Big Ten and SEC get together, people kind of stereotype the Big Ten as big strong and physical and the SEC is guys with all the speed, and I think that’s not necessarily the case with Michigan.

“I think Michigan finds a way to win this game, and I think they’re going to play with a bit of a chip on their shoulder with a lot of people expecting them to kind of go away after they lost so many seniors.”

Seeing an analyst pick Michigan isn’t a surprise given that the good folks in Las Vegas agree that the Wolverines are the favorite. It is encouraging, at least for Big Ten fans, that Herbstreit points out Michigan’s overall speed and physicality and also simultaneously dispels the notion that Jim Harbaugh’s has little talent based solely on the lack of returning starters.

Regardless of which team you believe will win in Arlington on Saturday, the game should be hotly contested and, at the very least, can serve as a nice warm-up for the main event of Florida State and Alabama in Atlanta.

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