Biggest Stories of 2007 #5

What were the biggest news happenings around the University of Cincinnati during 2007? We continue our countdown of the ten biggest stories to come across the pages of Bearcat Insider for the year 2007.

If your reading this story there is a good chance you were part of being the fifth biggest story in covering the Bearcats for 2007. Three sellouts during the football season marked a first for the Bearcats and the fans support for the teams bowl trip to Birmingham just added to the fact football in Cincinnati is on the rise.

Bearcat Insider talked about the increase UC Football was headed for in attendance over the course of the past three years. In 2007 people started to see what we've been talking about as they hit the gates in record fashion.

With the Bearcats getting off to a 3-0 start and Marshall coming to town, Brian Kelly called for the fans to come to the game and they responded in record fashion. With seats full and people watching from outside the stadium any way they could, the Bearcats went to 4-0 for the first time since 1954 in the 40-14 win.

But Marshall would not be the last giant crowd to head for the Nip in 2007.

After heading to the West Coast for a game against San Diego State and then back East for the first Big East battle of the season against Rutgers, the Bearcats returned to Nippert for rival Louisville. Entering the game with a perfect record (6-0) the Bearcats looked to win the Keg of Nails and take the top spot in the Big East Conference.

The crowd showed up only to watch the Bearcats fall for the first time 28-24 against a Louisville team needed a win. While the loss was painful, Bearcat fans still felt something special was happening with their team.

Before the team returned to their home base they suffered another loss to Pittsburgh and then traveled to South Florida winning a crazy game against the Bulls 38-33. The win set up another big in conference battle against Connecticut who would enter undefeated in conference play.

Despite the efforts of many fans didn't sell out Nippert for the UConn game. It's too bad because the team came out and whipped the Huskies 27-3 opening up the Big East for several teams to take. West Virginia would be next and Mountaineer and Bearcat fans fought to get seats for the big game.

While West Virginia won the game, the University of Cincinnati was a winner with their third sellout of the season and interest in the football program at an all-time high.

The team would win their final regular season game against Syracuse on the road and be invited to the PapaJohns.com Bowl to play former C-USA foe Southern Mississippi.

It wasn't until the night before the game when the full effect of the season was felt as a huge crowd came to hear head coach Brian Kelly address them before the next day's game. Once at the stadium you could tell the Bearcat Nation was taking over Birmingham looking for only the second 10-win season in school history.

The Bearcats delivered in grand fashion during the 2007 season and fans are excited about what will be ahead for 2008 with a great schedule.

Will fans of the Bearcats football program be one of the biggest stories of 2008? If Brian Kelly has his way the Bearcats will be playing in a BCS game as the champion of the Big East.


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