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Monday, September 11, 2006

From the Ground Up

Sure, he has gotten into his share of trouble in the past, but Ohio University Head Coach Frank Solich has managed to improve on a desolate program in the shadow of No. 1 Ohio State.

The former Nebraska head coach took over with the Bobcats after the Cornhuskers dismissed him for a 9-3 season. When Solich came to Ohio, he saw a program that hadn't had a winning season in over four years, with one and two win seasons becoming the norm.

Solich's first season with the Bobcats brought them to a 4-7 record in the MAC, with big losses to Northwestern and Virginia Tech and an upset victory over Pittsburgh.

This season, Ohio is playing a bit better than in years past. After pounding UT-Martin 29-3 in the opener, Solich's Bobcats came back against an impressive Northern Illinois team for a 35-23 win.

So, the question that remains is "Can Solich turn Ohio into a MAC contender?" For that answer let's look to the Bobcat schedule.

They have Rutgers and Missouri the next two weekends, which will prove to be tough tests for the boys in green, but then it opens up into their conference games. Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Illinois, Buffalo, Kent State, Eastern Michigan, Akron and Miami (OH) are all winable games, but will require some good playcalling by the 'ball coach.

At 2-0, a realistic expectation for Solich would be a winning season, but if he can manage a 9-3 record with Ohio, I can assure you he will not be dismissed again.

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