Bob Stoops will replace Urban Meyer on Fox's Big Noon Kickoff pregame show, according to a report Monday from the New York Post.
Stoops's profile equals that of Meyer's, a freshly "retired" coach with Hall of Fame credentials whose recent connection to the game gives him an unrivaled credibility to speak on the modern game. I use the word "retired" in quotes because, of course, Meyer left the Fox set to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars and there have been whispers Stoops will eventually do the same, either at the college or pro levels. Stoops spent last spring as the head coach of the XFL's Dallas Renegades but has thus far resisted full-time coaching work.
Meyer was more recently removed from the game when he joined Fox's set. He left Ohio State and joined Fox for the following fall and was an instant hit, providing a schematic authority that ESPN's College GameDay couldn't match.
Simply put, Urban was fantastic on TV, and Stoops will have big shoes to fill.
Stoops is further removed from college football, having not coached since the 2016 campaign. However, he's had plenty of time in front of the camera and represents the next-best option for Fox with Urban off the board.
For Fox's purposes, it also doesn't hurt that Stoops spent his entire 18-year head coaching run in the Big 12, one of three Power 5 conferences Fox holds rights to. That's another trait he shares with Urban, who arrived at Fox fresh off seven years of battle in the Big Ten. (The Pac-12 is the third league for which Fox owns rights.)
And since Urban used his two years of Fox as a tool to keep his football mind active and his face in front of the football-watching public before his eventual return to the game, questions will abound if Stoops is doing the same until the 60-year-old, newly-minted College Football Hall of Famer either puts his visor back on or sticks with Fox long enough that he finally ages out of coaching.
Update: Fox has now announced the hire.