"Do I Looked Scared?"

As time expired in the 101st edition of the Backyard Brawl, both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati fans had reason to celebrate. In handing WVU their second loss of the season the Pitt Panthers also handed Cincinnati their first BCS bowl bid in the school's history. Friday evening Bearcat Insider was there as head coach Brian Kelly addressed the media on this historic day in Cincinnati football history.

But as important as the day's game between the two bitter rivals was for the Bearcats, Kelly didn't concern himself with watching the game from start to finish, as he says he saw just the final 52 seconds of play.

"I was preparing for our staff meeting and I heard some yelling and screaming, I went down to the training room, and (Pitt) had just scored a touchdown," said the UC head man. "I hadn't watched the game. I was pulling obviously for Pittsburgh, but I didn't sit down and watch the game."

Most of Kelly's players had talked Wednesday about watching the game Friday afternoon together and with keen interest in the outcome. After securing at least a share of the Big East title Friday, Kelly met with his team.

"We met; we were out on the field. We talked about obviously the big thing for us now is to finish what we started," said Kelly.

The Bearcat's Senior Day match up with Syracuse Saturday is now all that remains for Kelly and his team in their quest for a Big East championship, as a win will give them sole possession of first place in the league. And after already wrapping up securing the conference's automatic BSC bid, Kelly is not worried in the least bit that his player's won't come out looking to win against the Orangemen.

"Do I look scared?" asked the coach assuredly. "We're going to play hard. They understand what they have to do in representing the university, and our fan base, and the Big East. We need to play well tomorrow."

Despite being in just his second full season with the team, Kelly has told everyone from day one that his goal was to win a Big East title. While fans and the city may be shocked at his instant success at the university, Kelly came in confident all along.

"I don't think you go into this without expecting and wanting to win every game you play and win a championship. We set a goal, and we've been able to hit that goal," says Kelly. "Look, in this business there are no more five year plans; you need to win right away."

Upon joining the Big East conference in 2005, Cincinnati Athletic Director Mike Thomas made what was perceived at the time as quite a bold statement- to win a Big East championship in every sport within five years.

"He's looking pretty smart right now," said Kelly of Thomas. "I think he's got a co-championship in volleyball, he's got one in soccer, he's got one in football, and he'll get one in basketball here in the next couple of years. He's done a great job in bringing the right coaches and the right people here to Cincinnati."

In bringing Brian Kelly to Cincinnati, Thomas also brought an exciting and successful style of football to Nippert Stadium. Friday all of their hard work was rewarded, as the Bearcats can go to sleep tonight knowing that come January they will be playing in a BCS bowl game. As to which bowl game that might be, Kelly certainly has no preference.

"They all sound good to me," said the latest champion in Cincinnati.


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