Preview 2017: Is It Finally Ohio’s Turn To Win The MAC?
In the mix just about every year under Frank Solich, can Ohio finally break through and win the MAC?
Keep knocking on that door, Ohio.
The Bobcats have been consistently very good, but as some point they’ll get the right team and the right season to finally finish the drill and take a MAC Championship again.
The last MAC football title? 1968. The four championship appearances since 2006 have been nice, and being bowl eligible for seven straight years has been solid, but eventually, Frank Solich’s team needs a break.
The second act has been great, but he’s missing that one final piece.
Nebraska would kill now for a head coach to go 58-19 in six years like Solich did back from 1998 to 2003, and he’s been able to make Ohio a consistent factor, but even with 88 wins in 12 years – and a 59-37 MAC record – with eight bowl appearances, the program is stuck.
Ohio hasn’t been bad, and it hasn’t been special, it’s been … just okay.
But there’s something to be said for the consistency. There hasn’t needed to be a total rebuild, and most MAC programs would love to have won six games or more in ten of the last 11 years, but it deserves that one big win in Detroit to finally validate the era.
Nine programs, though, have won the MAC championship game. Does Solich have the team to do it this year?
At the very least, his team should be back in the title game equation. It’s not as good as Toledo, Western Michigan, Central Michigan or Northern Illinois, but all four of those are in the West.
The Bobcats need to settle the quarterback situation, but the running backs are deep and strong, and the receiving corps is more than good enough to get by. The line has to replace a few parts, but it’ll be fine.
The kicking game will probably be the best in the MAC, and the defense will be stronger in the back seven to overcome the loss of three starters up front. If another pass rusher can emerge to replace Tarell Basham, everything will be just fine.
And Ohio will be good.
Keep spinning that wheel, Bobcats. Keep winning the East, keep getting to the MAC title, and keep hoping to have the right game at the right moment.
Solich will have Ohio right back there again to give it a shot.