Urban Meyer to the Jacksonville Jaguars could be a done deal as soon as today. Assuming the deal does not fall through, Meyer will leave behind his job at FOX Sports on Big Noon Kickoff, which he is reportedly pretty invested in.
Meyer will take over a franchise with the No. 1 overall pick. That is widely expected to be Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, which has to be one of the major factors enticing him to the Jags.
This isn’t the only major job that Meyer was connected to this offseason. The Texas Longhorns went hard after Meyer, before firing Tom Herman. Eventually, they opted to move on from Meyer’s former OC, and hire Alabama’s Steve Sarkisian.
After Urban Meyer opted against taking the Longhorns job, it looked like he might actually be happy settling with his media job, which has gone very well this year. Big Noon Kickoff really started to push ESPN’s College GameDay, with some saying they prefer the FOX Saturday morning show. If he does leave, Stewart Mandel of The Athletic has some ideas for the names that could step into the “coach” role on the show.
So, who does FOX get to take Urban’s seat on Big Noon Kickoff?
Bob Stoops would be the closest thing in terms of big star. Chris Petersen would be very good at it. Don’t know if either interested.
Mark Helfrich would be *great* at it but probably not high profile enough.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) January 14, 2021
Bob Stoops, the Oklahoma great, retired from the Sooners rather abruptly in June 2017, leaving the job to Lincoln Riley. He reemerged, coaching in the short-lived XFL last winter, before COVID-19 derailed the season. He has the personality and the coaching chops that indicate that he could fit in here well.
Petersen, the former head coach at Washington and Boise State, stepped down from UW at the end of the 2019 season. He has come up for some potential job openings, but it is unclear what the future holds for him.
Mark Helfrich is currently with FOX Sports, which could make a move into that chair pretty seamless. The former Oregon head coach worked for the network in 2017, before a two-year stint as Chicago Bears offensive coordinator. He rejoined FOX in 2020, but as Mandel says, he doesn’t have the same clout as a guy like Meyer or Stoops. Of course, if his analysis is strong enough, he could still be a good choice there.