Saturday morning college football preview shows walk an interesting line, mixing in everything from gameday atmospheres to food and mascot stunts to storytelling features to actual Xs and Os analysis. The particular mix on a given day isn’t always to everyone’s liking, and that’s at times escalated further into public shots. One notable one in 2019 came between Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff and ESPN’s College GameDay, shows with a significant rivalry, with Fox analyst Urban Meyer mocking ESPN’s Pat McAfee for an on-camera jump into the Brazos River ahead of an Oklahoma Baylor game. Here’s that lake jump:
Last time I allegedly did what I’m about to do I ended up in a jail cell ?LETS GOOO @CollegeGameDay pic.twitter.com/bk3FolesBL
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 16, 2019
Here’s what Meyer (seen at right above ahead of the 2019 Fiesta Bowl) had to say about that shortly afterwards in an interview with Mike Hall for (the Fox-owned) Big Ten Network:
Just interviewed Urban Meyer. At one point talked about this year doing tv, he says "I had fun – turns out folks wanna talk about football, they don't want to see jumpin' in lakes or goin on rollercoasters"
…I feel I may know what he was alluding to.
The man is competitive.
— Mike Hall (@MikeHallHere) December 4, 2019
At the time, McAfee shot back with this:
I know it can be hard to remember things but it was a river not a lake.
My mom as soon as it happened said “When you were in the air, I started having heart complications OUT OF NOWHERE”
She’s been completely fine ever since.. happy for her.
Anyways, thanks 4 watching Coach. https://t.co/7yjDJAlGIP
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) December 4, 2019
Well, on Saturday, Big Noon Kickoff’s Clay Travis did his own cannonball jump into the Tennessee River (seen at left above):
“Turns out folks wanna talk about football, they don’t want to see jumpin’ in lakes” – Urban Meyer in 2019.
Seemed good with it today! pic.twitter.com/IBKvVKT4TW
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 29, 2022
Meyer obviously didn’t do this jump himself, and he doesn’t particularly say anything about it (unlike some of the other Big Noon analysts). So it’s not “Urban Meyer suddenly endorses lake/river-jumping.” And it’s highly unlikely he came up with this particular bit. (And it should be mentioned that the Meyer-McAfee feud seems to go a bit beyond that, and has included plenty from McAfee’s side as well.) And if the composition of Big Noon Kickoff was up to Meyer, it probably would be more football analysis and fewer lake jumps. So this isn’t really much inconsistency from him.
But it is funny that three years after Meyer cited Big Noon Kickoff as the serious, football-only show, they’ve done one of the specific things he once criticized GameDay for. That’s a hoisting by one’s own petard. Or a dunking in one’s own river.
[Awful Announcing on Twitter; top right photo of Meyer from Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports]