Kirk Herbstreit is well aware about how much Michigan accomplished last season, and looking ahead, the talent the Wolverines need to replace from the likes of David Ojabo, Daxton Hill and Aidan Hutchinson, all NFL first-round talent, including Hutchinson who Herbstreit described as “the pulse of that team.”

“When you lose those kind of players, yeah, you can recruit and have great players step in — but who can provide the energy and the leadership when you’re on the road and need to come up with the big plays?,” Herbstreit said at a charity golf outing, via MLive. “That’s my biggest concern, or thing, that I want to see from them.”

Herbstreit, who was in Lansing, Michigan at a Michigan State event, candidly admitted what it was like to watch the Wolverines turn in that special 2021 season.

“As an Ohio State guy, that day was tough to watch as a fan,” Herbstreit told reporters. “I stood on the sideline and watched the game (at Michigan). But to see how they celebrated and how much it meant to their program, long term, that’s great for their program.”

Along with Michigan, Herbstreit sees “energy and the buzz” around Michigan State, the competitive nature that Penn State, Wisconsin and Iowa bring, and even Nebraska: “they came so close so many times last year.”

All of the developments at Michigan are great for the program, and the rivalry with Ohio State.

“And it was great for Jim Harbaugh, because he’s been so close and he needed that win,” Herbstreit said. “His own fans were ready to turn on him. And if he would have lost that game, there would have been a lot of people calling the shows the next week saying, ‘Enough’s enough. Get him out here.’ There was a lot at stake for him in that game. From that perspective, it’s good.

“I love when that rivalry, personally, is healthy and competitive and kind of going back and forth. I don’t like to see it one-sided.”