2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 89 Ohio Bobcats
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Ohio Bobcats
No. 89: Ohio Bobcats
Ohio Bobcats Prespring Status
Just when the season was going along so well, Ohio lost three of its last four games, including in the MAC title game to Western Michigan and in the bowl game to Troy. Can the Bobcats ever get over the hump and actually be the MAC champ – and not lose to a Sun Belt team in a bowl game like it has two years in a row?
As always, Ohio has enough good pieces in place to be one of the favorites to win the relatively light MAC East – at least compared to the West – but the losses are in key spots. QB Greg Windham is gone along with target Sebastian Smith, but the real concern is …
Ohio Bobcats Biggest Issue
The defensive front has to undergo an overhaul. Cleon Aloese is back on the nose, but the killers up front are gone – not to mention leading tackler, LB Blair Brown. Pass rushing terror Tarell Basham is done after a great career, along with Casey Sales at one tackle spot and Kurt Laseak at the other end. The Bobcats came up with a whopping 44 sacks and 105 tackles for loss on the season, finishing fifth in the nation against the run giving up just 104 yards per game.
Ohio Bobcats Biggest Positive
The defensive front might lose the stars, but the linebacking corps – even without Brown – should be a strong foundation for a potentially great back seven. Quentin Poling should be an All-MAC star at one spot, and Chad Moore should hover around the 100-tackle mark for another year. Add in the return of rising safety Javon Hagan and corner Bradd Ellis, and things aren’t quite so bad for the Bobcat D.
Really, Why Are The Ohio Bobcats Ranked Here?
You know what you’re getting out of Ohio. It’ll hover between 6-and-8 wins, be a factor in the MAC East, and give problems to at least one key team on the non-conference slate – watch out Purdue and Kansas. But is there going to be any firepower in the passing game? Can the woeful pass defense be any better without the dominant pass rush to help the cause? There might just enough issues to keep Ohio from becoming the MAC’s superstar.