1. Cincinnati’s big, giant season
After two straight 4-8 seasons, 2018 was supposed to be stronger for Cincinnati, but 11-2?
Luke Fickell took the program up several notches from the start, coming up with a win at UCLA to kick things off, closing out with another win over a Power Fiver, and doing a great job of rolling through the mediocre teams on the slate in between.
The loss at Temple was a painful overtime game, and getting rolled by UCF in Orlando hurt, but to get the offense to produce again, and to work around a defense that allowed 21 points or fewer eight times, this was a brilliant run.
Fickell is still around, ten of the top 14 tacklers return, and enough offensive talent is back to challenge for a New Year’s Six bowl slot next season.
This might have been the jumping off point.