Ohio is still a ways away from its season opener against Rhode Island – 129 days to be exact. But that doesn’t mean season predictions and expectations can’t be tossed around like the pigskin in a backyard pick-up game.
Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report wrote an article last week that featured eight teams with the best shot to go undefeated in the 2019 season. It featured the typical powers of the FBS – Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma – but it also featured a couple schools in the Group of 5.
One of those schools was Ohio.
Yes, according to Miller, he believes that out of all 130 FBS programs in the country, the Bobcats have one of the best odds at going a perfect 12-0.
He was quick to credit returning quarterback Nathan Rourke as one of the main reasons why Ohio can be perfect. The senior is the catalyst for Ohio’s offense. Rourke had 39 total touchdowns a year ago, but he’ll be without some of his key go-to receivers including Papi White and Andrew Meyer, as well as running backs Maleek Irons and AJ Ouellette with each of them having graduated.
The Bobcats have a favorable schedule, which features home games against some of the Mid-American Conference’s best. Northern Illinois, Miami and Western Michigan all travel to Athens this season. The Bobcats defeated Western Michigan last season, but lost to both the Huskies and the RedHawks.
Their toughest portion of the schedule comes in September when they have back-to-back road weekends at Pitt on Sept. 7 and at Marshall on Sept. 14. Miller cited that if Ohio were to lose at any point in the season, it would be during that back-to-back stretch early on.
Ohio hasn’t had an undefeated season since 1960 when it went 10-0 under then-coach Bill Hess. In that season it won a MAC Title and was also crowned as the National Small College Champion.