BIG NOON KICKOFF Announces Big Ten Championship Game Kickoff Time, Discusses College Football Playoff Rankings and More

On today’s edition of BIG NOON KICKOFF, host Rob Stone, analysts Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Urban Meyer and Charles Woodson and reporter Bruce Feldman look at the Big Ten’s Championship Game criteria, break down the first College Football Playoff rankings and more.

FOX Sports announced on today’s show that the Big Ten Championship Game moves to the network’s premier BIG NOON SATURDAY time slot, at 12:00 PM ET on Saturday, Dec. 19. That weekend, BIG NOON KICKOFF will be live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at 10:00 AM ET.

Feldman reports on the criteria for teams to be eligible for the Big Ten Championship Game:
“Even though the Buckeyes sit there at 4-0, if they are not able to play the next two games in the regular season, then they would fall behind the Big Ten criteria for the minimum six games needed to qualify for the Big Ten title game. Now there’s one caveat in here, – if the total number of games for the whole league falls below an average of six, that could give them some flexibility to get in. But our math tells us that for that to happen, the Big Ten would need to have 12 of the next 14 games over the next two weeks canceled for that threshold to be altered.”

Meyer reacts to teams potentially not meeting the minimum number of games played requirement:
“Your heart breaks in half when you think about the discipline and all of the things and the sacrifices that the players have made, and to get those positives.”

“They worked so hard, and it is gone. I mean, when you start talking about 21 days – some conferences have 10. Twenty-one days – it might be over.”

Quinn says that the Big Ten should be flexible under the circumstances:
“The Big Ten and college football, they’re going to have to be flexible. If you look at how the NFL has been able to survive for the most part, making some adjustments, but they’ve adapted as the season has gone along. That is where Kevin Warren, the Big Ten Commissioner, he may have to change the threshold based on what they agreed to earlier. I know it hasn’t impacted all teams – Wisconsin and now Ohio State – but it is impacting the conference. It is impacting where the conference can potentially go at the end of the year.

“Some people might say that is unfair to all the other teams if we are just making this about Wisconsin or Ohio State. No, it is not, because it is unfair to those athletes. Ultimately, there are going to be more teams, I’m sure, impacted by this down the stretch. But in my mind, they’ve got to be flexible; they’ve got to figure out a way of lessening that minimum and allowing Ohio State, whenever they do come back to play, to still be a part of that conversation for a Big Ten Championship.”

This week, Urban’s Playbook takes a close look at the 3-4 defense and how it’s working for Cincinnati and BYU:

Woodson points to penalties and red zone defense as areas in which Michigan needs to improve:
“When you talk about this Michigan team and can they get back on the right track, we’ve talked about coaching a little bit, but it’s also on the players as well. When I look at a couple of key things for this team, what they have to do better, penalties show up No. 1. This team has 34 penalties for 335 yards on the season.

“In the red zone, 82 percent of the time giving up touchdowns and 95 percent of the time touchdown or field goal. They got to bow up in the red zone, they’ve got to stop teams from scoring. If they can’t do that you cannot win. Those are two categories if this team is going to turn it around, they’ve got to get better in those areas.”

Meyer looks at culture and talent acquisition as key issues with the Wolverines program:
“When a coaching staff is hired, at the end of that tenure or during that tenure, they’re going to be successful or they’re going to fail for two reasons. You have to develop and implement a culture. No. 2, you have to acquire talent – it’s called talent acquisition and development.

“They are 2-5 in the last seven games. I think it is time to blow it up. I think it is time to really evaluate the culture and dig deep.

“Don’t start saying there are bad players – that’s not fair. Now you do have to evaluate your staff and your assistant coaches because we start talking about talent acquisition – that’s called recruiting. Are you recruiting the right players that fit our puzzle? Are they being developed?

“Everything is fixable. I’m not sure you have the next two weeks, but you have got to really lift that hood up and say okay, tell me about our culture, is it the right culture? Do we need to change? Second, talent acquisition – are we recruiting the right players? And as important as recruiting them, what are you doing? How is your weight room? How is your nutrition program? How is your training staff? How are your assistant coaches?

Meyer on Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh:
“He is a great football coach. He won 70 percent of his games in the NFL. You can’t all of a sudden say he is a bad football coach. That is not fair. Football programs are complicated. I always tell people they are living organisms. You don’t just say that is a team. That team is changing. Are you solid in culture? Are you solid in talent acquisition? And your plan? If not, fix it.”

Meyer reacts to the first set of College Football Playoff rankings:
“I think Cincinnati should be higher. I think BYU should be much higher. Take the helmets off and put them in the Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten – they could easily be in those conference championship games. That’s how good I think they are.

“The question I have is this, when the eye test is this important, who is pushing play on the clicker, and what are you watching?

“If you start talking about eye tests and you have never done this [clicks clicker], then to me, you’re at data analysis. You’re simply looking at yards per game, total offense, total defense, but you have some teams playing five, some seven, some 10 [games].”

Bush says BYU got buried in the first Playoff rankings:
“They got buried in the rankings. I kind of viewed BYU and Cincinnati on the same level – same caliber of football teams. Both play great defense; BYU may have the best quarterback in college football; they’re both undefeated. I just didn’t understand how they dropped so far down. I really didn’t see that big of a gap between Cincinnati’s strength of schedule and BYU’s strength of schedule. That was the one that shocked me a little bit.”

Leinart says not to count out the Big 12 in the CFB Playoff conversation:
“I think when you look at the schedule, the Pac-12 is in trouble, with Oregon losing, USC missing a game today. Don’t sleep on the Big 12. And I know you guys are going to laugh at me when I say this, but when Oklahoma lost their second game earlier in the season, we wrote them off. And now, all of a sudden, Oklahoma’s at No. 11, which was a really high ranking. And they’re playing probably as well as anybody in the country right now.”

Recently announced as a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Charles Woodson joins Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush inside Club Heisman:

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