|1||Aug. 31||vs. Rhode Island|
|2||Sept. 7||@ Pitt|
|3||Sept. 14||@ Marshall|
|4||Sept. 21||vs. Louisiana|
|6||Oct. 5||@ Buffalo|
|7||Oct. 12||vs. NIU|
|8||Oct. 19||vs. Kent State|
|9||Oct. 26||@ Ball State|
|11||Nov. 6 (Wed)||vs. Miami||ESPN2|
|12||Nov. 12 (Tues)||vs. WMU||ESPN2/ESPNU|
|13||Nov. 19 (Tues)||@ BGSU||ESPN2/ESPNU|
|14||Nov. 26 (Tues)||@ Akron||ESPNU/ESPN3/ESPN+|
We still have a few more months before the preseason picks are made official, but let’s speed things up and just talk about how Ohio’s the early favorite to win the MAC East. Ohio’s perpetually good under Frank Solich and the team’s quarterback, Nathan Rourke, is probably/definitely better than all other QBs in the league, so that’s a good place to start to make that argument.
And with a schedule like this, Ohio’s high expectations shouldn’t be lowered at all.
The Bobcats open the season with an FCS game against Rhode Island, will play road games against Pitt and Marshall, then come back to Peden Stadium to play Louisianna, a solid G5 opponent, followed by a BYE week to rest-up for MAC play.
The MAC slate looks really manageable for Ohio. For one, I expect Ohio to still be good anyway, but the home/away picks with the opponents given mostly benefit the Bobcats. There no doubt that NIU and WMU are both tough teams to play against, and they’ll both have something to play for when Ohio has to play them, but at least the draw this year is to get them both at home, rather than playing at DeKalb and Kalamazoo again. The rivalry game against Miami has potential to get good — on college football’s 150th birthday, no less! — and I’m sure the Bobcats are happy to have Peden Stadium be the evening’s host.
The Battle of the Bricks will be on ESPN2. Ohio’s next two games, also midweek MACtion matchups, will be on ESPN2 or ESPNU, and the final game of the year, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, may or may not be nationally televised.
The final two games of the season are at Bowling Green and at Akron, both entering 2019 with the lowest expectations in the MAC. If Ohio’s already got a winning record against East foes to this point (at Buffalo, vs. Kent State, vs. Miami) and against crossover teams (vs. NIU, at Ball State, vs. WMU), then the final two ought to be a breeze. (Or not.)