Heard it From Hoard: Column 60Last week after the election of Barack Obama, we heard political commentators say, "I never thought I'd see this in my lifetime." In a few weeks, longtime Cincinnati football fans could be using the same phrase. The UC Bearcats are three wins from playing in the Sugar Bowl or the Orange Bowl. Let that sink in. Savor it. Cherish it. Begin thinking about travel plans. Now slap yourself across the face. As magnificent as Saturday's white-knuckle win over West Virginia was (I called it "the biggest win in school history" on the broadcast), the 'Cats are a long way from a BCS payday. On Friday night in Louisville, they'll face a school that's beaten them 5 straight times and won 9 of the last 10 meetings. The week after that, they'll host the Pitt Panthers who are 7-0 all-time against Cincinnati. And if you think the home finale against last-place Syracuse is a gimme, I would simply remind you of December 1st last year when West Virginia - a 28-point favorite at home - saw its berth in the national championship game erased with a 13-9 loss to Pittsburgh. Think of it this way. It takes four NCAA tournament wins to get to the Final Four right? Well, the Bearcats just survived the first round. "This win doesn't mean anything unless you can back it up against Louisville and I don't even know what that 'Keg of Nails' looks like - our guys haven't had that taste of winning down at Louisville," Coach Kelly told us after the game. "November is for contenders and we're a contender. We've got three left - two at 'The Nip' - and it's going to be an exciting November for all Bearcat fans." I'm all for excitement, but we're going to have to install a defibrillator in the radio booth is there's another finish that rivals the West Virginia game. I was in the stands at Fenway Park last month when the Red Sox rallied from a 7-run deficit in the 7th inning to beat Tampa Bay and stay alive in the ALCS, but UC's 26-23 win was even more exciting because the team that collapsed, somehow managed to shake it off and win. I'll admit to second-guessing Coach Kelly's decision to take the intentional safety with 1:11 remaining, but his reasoning was sound. "At the time, you're making decisions based on what you want to eliminate," Kelly said on Monday. "You don't have the ability to use hindsight. What you're trying to do is eliminate the worst-case scenario. The worst-case scenario would be a blocked punt in that situation. So I took that off the table." If there's anything Coach Kelly would have done differently, it would have been to stay aggressive on defense after giving up the safety. "We got into the prevent defense which we all know 'prevents' you sometimes from winning, so we learned some things obviously as coaches," Kelly said. "We probably got a little too soft. We should have just played our defense." No need for a position by position report card this week. A win like that earns straight A's across the board, but a few individuals deserve mention. Aaron Webster played a great game with a team-high 13 tackles and received BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors, but I thought tackles Terrill Byrd and Adam Hoppel were the keys to an incredible performance by the defense. Their consistent push into the backfield forced Pat White and Noel Devine to frequently stop and reverse direction as the Bearcats became the first team in more than seven years to hold WVU to less than 100 yards rushing. Offensively, I thought Jacob Ramsey (18 carries, 83 yards) had his best game as a Bearcat. I didn't see many gaping holes against the Mountaineers tricky 3-3-5 defense, but Ramsey seemed to gain at least four yards every time he got the ball. And what can you say about Mardy Gilyard? One week after becoming a Youtube sensation for the most famous "hug" at UC since a certain former basketball coach, Gilyard became the first player in Cincinnati history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same season. It was a very memorable night. With a chance to get even more memorable over the next three weeks. I'd love to hear from you. The address is email@example.com. Enjoy this week's photo of the handsome lad who polished off his Halloween candy in record time.