Inside ‘Big Noon Kickoff’ and Fox’s big dreams for a new Saturday staple – The Athletic


LOS ANGELES — The very first shot of “Big Noon Kickoff” to open Week 6 was of Jim Harbaugh, stepping off the Michigan team bus and strolling into the Big House to take on Iowa. And here was Urban Meyer, seated 1,900 miles away in a studio on the Fox lot, prepared to spend his day talking on television about his former rival. For the third time in five weeks, Fox’s Saturday morning pregame show is the lead-in to a Wolverines game. And they still can’t get Meyer to utter the word “Michigan” on TV.

Meyer had some initial trepidation about how to approach his former foe. The feedback he got from management: Don’t even worry about it. Say good things when they’re playing well. Say bad things when they’re bad. A month in, he’s getting the hang of it. “They have to win today,” Meyer declared later in the show. “They have to win.” And he’s right, that’s no troll. When it’s time for picks at the end of the show, the graphic with his prediction says…

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