DETROIT – The Ohio football team has been selected to win the Mid-American Conference East Division in the 2019 MAC Football Media Preseason Poll, the league announced today at its annual MAC Football Media Day. The poll was determined by members of the league's media members. The Bobcats were also selected to win the 2019 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game, which will be held at Ford Field on Saturday, Dec. 7 at noon ET and televised nationally on ESPN2.
In the East Division, Ohio garnered a unanimous 24 first-place votes for a league-best 144 total points. Following the Bobcats, Miami finished second with 107 points, Buffalo was third with 100 points, Kent State was ranked fourth with 62 points, Akron was fifth with 54 points and Bowling Green finished sixth with 37 points.
In the West Division, Toledo was selected first with a division-high 15 first-place votes for 127 points. Following the Rockets, Western Michigan earned five first-place votes for 112 points and was picked to place second, Northern Illinois received three-first place votes for 103 points, Eastern Michigan finished fourth with 83 points, Ball State was ranked fifth with 43 points and Central Michigan was predicted to finish sixth with 36 points. The Chippewas received one first-place vote.
Ohio earned 13 votes to win the MAC Championship Game, followed by Toledo with seven votes, Western Michigan with two, Northern Illinois with one and Central Michigan with one.
Over the last 14 years under the leadership of head coach Frank Solich, Ohio has recorded 106 wins, captured four MAC East Division titles, appeared in 10 bowl games and tallied four bowl victories. The Bobcats recorded their second-straight nine-win season in 2018, capping the year off with a 27-0 shutout of San Diego State in the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl to record their second-straight bowl win. Ohio is set to return three All-MAC selections from the 2018 squad, including senior quarterback Nathan Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada), redshirt senior defensive back Javon Hagan (Jacksonville, Fla.) and redshirt senior punter Michael Farkas (Mishawaka, Ind.).
Ohio will kick off the 2019 regular season on Saturday, Aug. 31, with a home matchup against Rhode Island at Peden Stadium. The contest is slated to get underway at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN+. For ticket information, call the ticket office at 1-800-575-2287 or click here.
The complete 2019 MAC Football Media Preseason Poll follows:
Team (First Place Votes) - Points
MAC East Division
1. Ohio (24) - 144
2. Miami - 107
3. Buffalo - 100
4. Kent State - 62
5. Akron - 54
6. Bowling Green - 37
MAC West Division
1. Toledo (15) - 127
2. Western Michigan (5) - 112
3. Northern Illinois (3) - 103
4. Eastern Michigan - 83
5. Ball State (1) - 43
6. Central Michigan (1) - 36
2019 MAC Championship Game Winner: Ohio (13); Toledo (7); Western Michigan (2); Northern Illinois (1); Central Michigan (1)