Nicknamed the "Cradle of Coaches" because of the number of high-profile coaches who got their start at the school, the Miami University football team has struggled to live up to that history in recent years.

Since the start of the 2005 season, the RedHawks have gone just 57-113 with only four bowl appearances.

Bringing in former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin as head coach in 2014 has helped to turn things around, as Miami snapped a 21-game losing streak in his first season and in 2016 became the first program in Football Bowl Subdivision history to win its final six games after losing its first six.

>> Central Ohio players in bowl games <<

The RedHawks won their final three games last season and are 8-5 this season, including a 26-21 win over Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference championship game Dec. 7 at Ford Field in Detroit.

On Jan. 6, Miami will play Louisiana in the LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

"It's been exactly what I thought it would be when I came to Miami," said redshirt senior offensive lineman Jack Schroer, a New Albany graduate. "We were the first class to be the baseline and the past few recruiting classes have built on that. We envisioned winning a MAC title."

The LendingTree Bowl will be the final bowl game before the national championship game Jan. 13 in New Orleans.

Louisiana is 10-3 and won the Group A Division of the Sun Belt Conference, while the RedHawks have won six of their past seven games.

Schroer has served mostly as a backup lineman but started at center in the RedHawks' 23-16 victory over Kent State on Oct. 26. He has been a regular all season on the field goal and punt units after originally being recruited as a defensive lineman.

Schroer is roommates with Dublin Coffman graduate and fellow redshirt senior Evan Crabtree, who has been the program's long snapper for 50 games.

Others from central Ohio listed on Miami's roster are Coffman graduate and redshirt sophomore Nate Robinson (LB) and Gahanna graduate and redshirt junior Donovan White (OL), both of whom are regulars on special teams, as well as Dublin Jerome graduate and redshirt junior Zack Hazlett (WR).

"If you look at the past recent years, you'll see that (Miami has had) pretty average results, but the past couple years we've had so many close games," Crabtree said. "Coach Martin says it a lot, that offense, defense and special teams have all stepped up this year."

*ON TO THE PLAYOFFS -- There are 19 players from central Ohio listed on Ohio State's roster as the second-seeded Buckeyes (13-0) prepare to play third-seeded Clemson (13-0) in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28 in Glendale, Arizona.

The game represents a semifinal of the College Football Playoff. The winner plays top-seeded LSU (13-0) or fourth-seeded Oklahoma (12-1) for the national title.

Pickerington Central graduate Davon Hamilton is the Buckeyes' starting nose tackle and Walnut Ridge graduate Malik Harrison is a starting outside linebacker, with Worthington Kilbourne graduate Liam McCullough serving as long snapper and Olentangy Orange graduate and freshman defensive lineman Zach Harrison also playing a key role.

Malik Harrison has a team-high 69 tackles along with 16 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, while Hamilton has 25 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and five sacks and Zach Harrison has 22 tackles, five tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Another player from central Ohio whose team will participate in the playoff is DeSales graduate Brian Asamoah, a redshirt freshman who serves as a backup weakside linebacker for Oklahoma.

Asamoah has 21 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

*ALSO FROM THE B1G -- After helping Pickerington Central win the Division I state title as a senior in 2017, defensive back Xavier Henderson contributed as a freshman last season at Michigan State.

This season, Henderson leads the Spartans in tackles with 80 and has two interceptions and seven pass breakups.

Michigan State (6-6) will play Wake Forest (8-4) in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium.

Other area players who have contributed for the Spartans include Jeslord Boateng (Coffman), Luke Campbell (Olentangy), Trenton Gillison (Pickerington Central), Dominique Long (Westerville South), Jude Pedrozo (Westerville South) and Jacob Slade (Olentangy).

Michigan has a pair of special teams performers from the area in Westerville South graduate Brad Robbins at punter and Gahanna graduate Camaron Cheeseman at long snapper.

Robbins is a junior who started as a freshman but has been a backup the last two seasons, although he punted four times in the Wolverines' 56-27 loss to Ohio State on Nov. 30.

Cheeseman has played in 37 games for Michigan (9-3), which will play Alabama (10-2) in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1.

Olentangy Liberty graduate Hunter Littlejohn is a fifth-year senior who starts at center for Indiana (8-4), which will play Tennessee (7-5) in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2.

*MORE #MACTION -- Ohio University (6-6) will be looking to win a bowl game for the third consecutive season when it plays Nevada (7-5) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Jan. 3.

There are 14 players from central Ohio on the Bobcats' roster, including Gahanna graduate and redshirt freshman wide receiver Jerome Buckner, who has 18 receptions for 326 yards and two touchdowns but missed two games.

Pickerington Central graduate Jeremiah Wood, a defensive back, has 14 tackles for the Bobcats, who have lost four games by three points or fewer.

"We learned a lot about ourselves this year," Buckner said. "Injuries took their toll on me personally. We have a lot of young guys and we have a lot of potential."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek