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Before It Joins Power 5, Can Cincinnati Lift the Group of 5 to New Heights?

Earlier this month, the Big 12 and four striver athletic programs hooked up on a Hail Mary of an idea. Hemorrhaging clout with Texas and Oklahoma on their way to the Southeastern Conference in a few years, the conference launched a prayer for continued viability by expanding. BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston answered said prayer, fulfilling their quests to upgrade into the Power 5 cartel.

While those are long-haul decisions that may or may not be transformative, they bring the here-and-now into sharper focus for all four football teams. And what’s very clear is that this is no time to rest and revel in future conference prestige.