UC's incredible 2008 football season was punctuated by one enormous headline after another. The magical ride led the team and more than 13,000 loyal fans to Miami, Fla. for the Bearcats first-ever Bowl Championship Series game -- a berth in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech on New Year's Day.
UC squandered several scoring chances and struggled to stop the Hokies running game, losing 20-7.
Though picked to finish fifth in the conference, an unlikely UC team fought through a year of quarterback injuries to end their regular season 11-2 and ranked 12th in the country. The watershed season also saw Brian Kelly reconfirm his commitment to coaching at UC after administrators vowed to expand Nippert Stadium and build practice facilities.