Kirk Herbstreit has done almost everything as an ESPN college-football analyst, but broadcasting three games in five days will be an unprecedented test for him.

On Aug. 31, Herbstreit will be in Bloomington, Indiana, for Ohio State’s opener against Indiana. Immediately after that game, he will fly to Atlanta for the Sept. 2 showdown between Alabama and Florida State at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He’ll stay in town for the Tennessee-Georgia Tech game two days later.

“It’s challenging,” said Herbstreit, the former Ohio State quarterback who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, after moving from Columbus in 2011. “I’ve never done three games in five days. You always want to be ultra-prepared. That’s always been my style. With that in mind, I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

But it’s not time to get immersed just yet. Herbstreit thinks teams need a couple weeks of training camp for questions to begin to be sorted out, so he will wait a little longer before starting his in-depth research.

Alabama is ranked No. 1 and Florida State No. 3 in the preseason coaches poll, and Herbstreit said he can’t recall an opening-week game with teams ranked that high.

But he is also intrigued by the No. 2 Buckeyes’ game against the Hoosiers. Ohio State hasn’t opened its season with a conference game since 1976. Indiana has played the Buckeyes tough in recent years, and there’s the story line of OSU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson coaching against the program that fired him in December.

“I think it’s exciting to have this big a game, to see a conference game on the road for Ohio State,” Herbstreit said. “It’s very different from seeing a San Diego State or a Hawaii or a MAC team — just the traditional home opener. This is different. Anytime you go on the road, it’s tough.”

Herbstreit spent time with Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow, who was working with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. in San Diego.

“I know he’s incredibly fired up and thinks this team can be better than a year ago,” Herbstreit said of Lagow. “I think there’s some young talent that’s going to step up, and he feels the defense has a chance to be outstanding. They’re very experienced at linebacker and in the secondary.

“He kind of had a sheepish grin about the opportunity, and the game and the year. He feels they’re going to be a surprise team in the Big Ten.”

As for Ohio State, Herbstreit expects the Buckeyes to be “really good,” and he thinks Wilson will help invigorate an offense that he said became predictable last season.

The 31-0 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals should provide additional motivation.

“If you’re a player, and your lasting memory is how you felt walking off that field that night in Phoenix, you’re champing at the bit,” Herbstreit said. “They have so many guys who return who had that nasty experience. I have to believe this is a very hungry team.

“I think a lot of people felt internally that they were maybe a year ahead of schedule a year ago, and this would be the team that could make some noise and make a run.”

Soon enough, everyone will find out.