FOX’s ‘Big Noon Kickoff’ returns to Iowa City for second time in as many years

The network’s weekly college football pregame show will be broadcast from the lawn between the University of Iowa’s Petersen and Hillcrest residence halls.


Grace Smith

Co-host Reggie Bush answers questions during a Fox Sports Big Noon Kickoff NCAA football pregame show featuring Iowa and Michigan on the lawn by Hillcrest and Petersen Residence Hall at the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Bush said Michigan has explosive playmakers, so Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras is going to be key during the game.

Austin Hanson, Pregame Editor

FOX’s weekly pregame college football show is back in Iowa City for the second time in the last two seasons. “Big Noon Kickoff,” will be broadcast live from the lawn between the University of Iowa’s Hillcrest and Petersen residence halls at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

The program’s cast, former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, Heisman Trophy-winners Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, ex-Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, and host Rob Stone are in Iowa to celebrate Saturday’s matchup between Iowa football and No. 4 Michigan.

The group came to Iowa City in 2021 for an Oct. 9 matchup between then-No. 3 Iowa and then-No. 4 Penn State. The Hawkeyes won the game, 23-20, and the trip left an impression on the “Big Noon Kickoff” team.

“Last year, we were here and we still talk about it,” Bush said after a rehearsal Friday. “I’m not saying this because you’re here. This is one of our favorite stops because of just how involved the fan base is. From the beginning of our early morning show, to the end of the game, it was nonstop energy. It was fun. That’s what football is about.”

Like Bush, Quinn said Iowa’s fans helped bring “Big Noon Kickoff” back to Eastern Iowa. Quinn made special note of Iowans’ hospitality and commitment to the Hawkeyes.

“It’s always the people,” Quinn said. “It starts there. First and foremost, everyone here couldn’t be nicer … The fan base here is incredible. So, that’s part of it. You love getting a taste of local restaurants and food and just the scene and the campus. It’s obviously a beautiful campus. Every time we come here, it seems like the weather is perfect.”

Quinn added that FOX’s crew visited the Vue Rooftop Bar connected to the Hilton Garden Inn on Clinton Street Thursday night. Quinn and company tried Iowa River Power Restaurant on First Avenue in Coralville Friday evening.

FOX’s premier broadcast team will be covering Saturday’s rematch of the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game. Gus Johnson will be on play-by-play, Joel Klatt will handle color commentary, and Jenny Taft will report from the sidelines.

Kickoff is slated to begin as soon as “Big Noon Kickoff” ends. Officially, action between the Hawkeyes and Wolverines will start at 11:05 a.m.

“This is a big game,” Leinart said. “You know, Iowa’s sitting there at 3-1 … Michigan is one of the best teams in the country. They proved that last year. I believe they are again this year, and these are the games that can really change your season. You know, you’re Week 4, Week 5, you win this game, all of the sudden Iowa jumps into the top 25, top 20, they’re showing that confidence. They can start building.

“You lose this game, you kind of fall. You get back to the drawing board and you get ready for next week. These are pivotal games for both sides. Michigan knows [Kinnick Stadium] is not an easy place to play.”