Frank Solich brought many things to Ohio University in his first season as football coach: National attention, fans and a new attitude.

What he didn't bring was a winning season. At least not yet.

Solich, who was born in Robindale, Indiana County, and is a member of the Cambria County Hall of Fame, guided the Bobcats to a 4-6 record before Monday's game against rival Miami (Ohio).

That's not exactly what the Ohio fans were looking for, especially not after the Bobcats' stunning upset of Pitt in their second game of the season. That win probably raised expectations to an unreasonable level.

Solich, who led Nebraska to the national championship game before being pushed out of town by Steve Pederson - the former Pitt athletic director who took the same position with the Cornhuskers - made a big splash with the victory.

But the Bobcats' schedule, which featured five teams that went to bowl games last year, proved too much for the two-time Big 12 coach of the year at a school that is known more for partying than for its football team.

Ohio has only two winning seasons in the past two decades.

That kind of legacy cannot be overcome immediately.

Solich, who sat out the 2004 season, brought more attention to the Bobcats than wins alone could have. The Bobcats played on national TV six times this season.

None of those games was bigger than the 16-10, overtime win over Pitt. It was the first home game of the Solich era and drew a record crowd of 24,545. Overall, attendance was up 25 percent for Ohio games.

There also was a change in campus atmosphere, according to Todd Koenig, a Bishop Carroll graduate and the Bobcats' starting strong safety.

"There's more excitement at the book stores," he said. "They have a lot more products, (such as) jerseys."

Solich not only graced the Ohio football media guide, but the Bobcats also built their marketing campaign around him, adopting the motto "Got Frank!"

But Solich also brought something more to Athens. It's something that can't be measured with attendance figures, TV contracts or T-shirt sales.

Solich brought a change in attitude to an Ohio team that had lost 35 games in the past four years.

"The attitude of the team (was a big change)," Koenig said. "What he brings to the table - great coaching techniques and schemes - really helped us to bring out our best game as a team."

Solich's first season wasn't an overwhelming success - a loss to Miami on Monday would give the Bobcats the same record as they had under Brian Knorr in 2004 - but it did show that there is hope for the future.

The next step is luring better recruits to Athens, which is no easy task for a school in a state with eight Division I-A programs.

Still, Solich's name recognition and his connections in the state - he moved to Cleveland after leaving western Pennsylvania - certainly will help.

But Solich will need to bring more than attitude and recruits to Ohio next season. The novelty of the nationally known coach at a lesser-known school will have faded. Without wins, the attendance and merchandise sales will likely fall off.

This year, Ohio "Got Frank!" Next year, the Bobcats will need to get wins.

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