Ohio Football History

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ohio football history

Ohio Football History

Ohio football began in 1894 with an 8-0 loss to Marietta College. Since that day, the Bobcats have posted a 498-516-48 record over their 112 year existence and a 202-243-11 record over their 60 years in the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats have won 5 MAC Football championships in 1953, 1960, 1963, 1967, and 1968, and two MAC East Division championships in 2006 and 2009. Prior to joining the MAC, the Bobcats won 6 Buckeye Athletic Association championships in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1936, and 1938. In 1960, the Bobcats were crowned National Small College Champions after compiling a 10-0 record under Coach Bill Hess. The Bobcats have appeared in four bowl games, losing 15-14 to West Texas State in the 1962 Sun Bowl, losing 49-42 to Richmond in the 1968 Tangerine Bowl, falling 28-7 to Southern Mississippi in the 2007 GMAC Bowl, and losing 21-17 to Marshall in the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

Peden's tenure began rather unceremoniously in 1924, with a 4-4 record. The next year, however, Peden led the 'Cats to a 6-2 season, and wins over the University of Cincinnati and the University of Toledo. From 1926 to 1928, the Bobcats posted winning records every season, with the 1928 team forging a 6-3 season and a marquee 66-6 victory over the University of Cincinnati.

Peden oversaw one of the Bobcats' best-ever spans—seven seasons from 1929 through1935—in which Ohio compiled a cumulative record of 49-9-3. In that period, Peden's squads won four Buckeye Athletic Association championships and enjoyed three undefeated seasons. In 1929, the Bobcats moved into brand new Ohio Stadium, and celebrated with a 9-0 record and just 7 points all season (a lone touchdown to Ohio Wesleyan). The 1935 team upset the University of Illinois in the season opener, 6-0, on its way to a perfect 8-0 season. That year, the Bobcats were led by All-American Art Lewis, a sturdy tackle who was a first-round selection of the New York Giants in the first-ever National Football League draft in 1936. Lewis would go on to become a very successful college coach himself at West Virginia University.

Peden continued his legacy of success following the graduation of Lewis and the other seniors of the 1935 team. He won a Buckeye Athletic Association title in 1936 and another in 1938, with the 1938 team being one of the best under Peden. That team upset the University of Illinois yet again, and also earned victories over Xavier University, Marshall University, and arch-rival Miami University.

The Bobcats would never win another Buckeye Athletic Association title under Peden, though he still led the team through many winning seasons and thrilling victories. His storied 1941 team posted a record of 5-2-1 while outscoring all opponents 108-42. Bobcat football was interrupted by World War II, with Ohio not fielding a team in either the 1943 or 1944 seasons. The 1945 team was 3-4 while struggling to recruit new members after the war and facing a challenging ...
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