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Nathan Rourke (Blake Nissen | Ohio Athletics)

Football: Ohio plays the waiting game ahead of bowl announcement

It took Ohio all 12 of its games to reach bowl eligibility. With its various ups-and-downs throughout the season, Ohio (6-6, 5-3 Mid-American Conference) is in the position it’s in because of itself.

Back in August, the Bobcats were selected as the favorites to win the MAC (again) and doing so without struggle as they were unanimously selected to win the East Division.

Those preseason polls and predictions, however, all fell through. At the end of the season, Ohio sits in second place behind rival Miami.

Certainly, it’s been a struggle for Ohio this season. A treacherous nonconference schedule then followed by down-to-the-wire finishes in conference play for most of the games.

Now after a full season, the Bobcats are one of 79 bowl eligible teams with only 78 spots. In the coming days all 78 teams will soon know its fate and the one team left out will be left thinking, “what if?”

Ohio reached bowl eligible status after its 52-3 rout over Akron on Nov. 26. Immediately after the game, players and coaches alike had comments about being left in the unknown for the first time in a while.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” coach Frank Solich said. “It was not an easy season. We were in ball games where it came down to the last drive, last kick and we were on the wrong side of a few too many of those.”

Four of those to be exact. In four of their six losses, the Bobcats average margin of defeat was by 2.75 points. Three of those four games where in MAC games, while the other one was against nonconference rival Marshall, who is also bowl eligible.

Despite its even record, Ohio has been projected to make some bowl game from various media outlets such as The Athletic, Sporting News, CBS Sports and ESPN, among others.

The Post, in a detailed Twitter thread, examined the case for the Bobcats to go to a bowl game based upon their tough schedule, close losses, how they closed out the season and their recent success in bowl games.

In regards to how Ohio closed out the season, it defeated Bowling Green and Akron a combined 118-27, with a combined offensive effort that featured 1,212 yards and the defense allowed 492 combined yards.

Regardless, the Bobcats will find out in the coming days if their season is over or if they get the opportunity to play one more game.


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