Ohio Bobcats

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Ohio hands Kansas its 42nd consecutive road loss

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When you are at rock-bottom, there’s no place to go but up.  When you’re like Kansas and have been at rock-bottom for the better part of a decade, though, you do nothing but further entrench yourself in the losing malaise.

Trailing 25-14 in a first half that featured one of the oddest offensive line plays you’ll ever witness, Kansas would get no closer until no time was left on the clock as Ohio pulled away for an embarrassingly easy, not-as-close-as-it-looks 42-30 win.

With the loss, the Jayhawks have now lost an astounding — and embarrassing — 42 straight games on the road.  Their last win away from Memorial Stadium came in September of 2009 against UTEP.  The last road win against a Power Five foe?  In October of 2008 against Iowa State.

Looking ahead, KU will face No. 9 Oklahoma State, No. 20 TCU, Texas and Iowa State to close out the road portion of their 2017 schedule.  In other words, it looks like the Jayhawks will head into the 2018 season looking to snap a 46-game road losing streak.

Kansas already owns the longest road losing streak in FBS history.  The longest such streak at any level of NCAA football?  44 games in a row by Div. II Western Colorado State University from 1926-36.

Look out, Mountaineers; the Jayhawks are coming for you and your record.

WATCH: One play encapsulates last decade of Kansas football

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Kansas has been woeful in football for the last decade, a fact that’s not exactly a state secret.

Since winning a combined 20 games in 2007 and 2008, the Jayhawks have won 20 games, total, the past nine years, including this season.  Take away the five wins in Mark Mangino‘s final season in Lawrence, and KU has a won-loss record of 15-71 since the head coach was summarily dismissed.

The Jayhawks have won just five of their last 70 — 5-65!!! — Big 12 games.  They currently own a 41-game road losing streak, with their last win away from Memorial Stadium coming in September of 2009 against UTEP.  The last road win against a Power Five foe?  In October of 2008 against Iowa State.

KU has lived at rock-bottom for myriad years, but was looking to snap that lengthy road losing streak against Ohio of the Mid-American Conference in Athens in Week 3.  So, of course, this happens:

Kansas football, ladies and gentlemen!

Oh, and snapping that long skein isn’t looking too good at the moment as, at the half, the Jayhawks trail the 1-1 Bobcats 25-14.

Toledo and Ohio top preseason MAC coaches poll

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While most of the 2017 conference predictions and preseason polls have been out there for over a month from the media day circuit, the MAC has held off until today to reveal its preseason coaches poll. As it turns out, the coaches in the MAC have some varied opinions on how things will shake out in the MAC this football season.

Ohio and Toledo were each selected to win the MAC East and West Divisions, respectively, by the coaches of the MAC, although a few others received first-place votes in each division as well. Ohio picked up nine first-place votes in the East to pull ahead of Miami. Ohio won the division last season and hopes to clinch its first MAC championship since 1968. Ohio has never played in back-to-back MAC Championship games, so returning to the game this year would mark a first for the Bobcats.

Toledo last won the MAC in 2004 but the Rockets are widely considered a conference favorite this season. Still, the coaches in the MAC have a different take on the West Division with four other teams receiving first-place votes. Toledo still received seven first-place votes, but defending conference champion Western Michigan picked up two, and Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, and Ball State each received a first-place vote from the MAC coaches.

Here is how the MAC coaches poll looks. For reference, the preseason media poll also tabbed Ohio and Toledo, with the Rockets being named the preseason conference championship favorite. The coaches did not vote on a preseason conference champion.

2017 MAC Head Football Coaches Preseason Poll

Team (First Place Votes)  Points

MAC East Division       

  1. Ohio (9)                                 69
  2. Miami (3)                              61
  3. Bowling Green                    45
  4. Akron                                     41
  5. Buffalo                                   20
  6. Kent State                            16

MAC West Division

  1. Toledo (7)                             66
  2. Western Michigan (2)        58
  3. Northern Illinois (1)            45
  4. Eastern Michigan               35
  5. Central Michigan (1)          31
  6. Ball State (1)                        17

Pair of 2016 finalists headline Outland Trophy watch list

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In yet another sign that the offseason is quickly coming to an end and another season is rapidly approaching, the Outland Trophy has become the latest college football award to release its preseason watch list.

Given annually to the nation’s top interior linemen on either side of the ball, the Outland’s watch list this year consists of 81 players from all 10 FBS conferences.  Headlining that group are Washington State senior guard Cody O’Connell (pictured, No. 76) and Texas junior offensive tackle Connor Williams, two of the three finalists for the 2016 award won by Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.

From the release, courtesy of the Football Writers Association of America:

The ACC (17) led all conferences with members on the Watch List, followed by the Big Ten and SEC (11 each), Pac-12 (10), American Athletic (9), Big 12 and Mid-American (6 each), Independents and Mountain West (4 each), Conference USA (2) and Sun Belt (1).

The list includes 24 offensive tackles, 21 defensive tackles, 20 centers and 16 offensive guards.

In wake of Bob Stoops’ retirement, thought of not being part of a team scares Nick Saban

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With the reverberations of Bob Stoops‘ shocking retirement announcement Wednesday still being felt, some attention has turned to just which long-tenured head coach could be next to step away from the profession.

At the moment, there are currently head coaches who have been at the same program for at least the last 10 consecutive years — Rice’s David Bailiff (2007), Air Force’s Troy Calhoun (2007), Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio (2007), Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz (1999), Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald (2006), Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy (2005), Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo (2007), TCU’s Gary Patterson (2000), Alabama’s Nick Saban (2007), Ohio’s Frank Solich (2005), Middle Tennessee State’s Rick Stockstill (2006) and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham (2005).  Of the Power Five coaches in that group, the oldest, as well as most successful, is Saban, who’ll turn 66 in late October this year.

Saban is in the midst of what will be a Hall of Fame career that stretches back 45 years, the past 27 as a head coach.  Given his age and the ever-growing demands of the profession, it’s natural to wonder how long until the winner of five national championships hangs up his coaching whistle.

As for that particular subject, the coach himself doesn’t seem to even want to think about a future that doesn’t include him on the sidelines.

In the full article from Aaron Suttles of the Tuscaloosa News, Saban expounded on his coaching future and the “r” word.

“I don’t think that anybody can not have those thoughts,” the coach told the News. “But my thought is that I want to do it as long as I feel like I can do it. I really enjoy being around the players. I really enjoy trying to create value for them and their future whether it’s their personal development, seeing them graduate, seeing them develop as football players and have opportunities in life.”

Saban and Stoops and Stoops’ family — there’s a great story HERE about Saban and one of Stoops’ uncles in a Youngstown bar that was robbed — have been friends for more than four decades. Could Stoops’ abrupt decision to step away from the game have an impact on Saban, who earlier this signed off on a contract extension through the 2024 season? That’s unlikely as it seems that Saban has at least a few more good years left in him.

Then again, before Wednesday, most would’ve said the same for the 56-year-old Stoops.