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Brian Kelly congratulates his Bearcats for beating Brian Kelly's Fighting Irish

Beating No. 9 Notre Dame was always going to be sweet for No. 7 Cincinnati. But beating their former head coach in the process? That's the icing on the cake.

No. 7 Cincinnati beat No. 9 Notre Dame, 24-13 on Saturday -- indisputibly the biggest win in school history. It's the Bearcats' first win over an AP top-10 team since defeating No. 7 Rutgers in 2006; the program's first road win over an AP top-10 team, ever, in 24 tries; and snapped Notre Dame's 26-game home winning streak.

"This is huge. It's like a weight lifted off the shoulder," Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder said. Cincinnati never trailed in the game, but after Notre Dame scored to pull within 17-13 midway through the fourth quarter, Ridder led the Bearcats 75 yards in six plays, capped by a 6-yard keeper.

After the score, Ridder gestured toward the packed Irish crowd, a reference toward this pregame quote: “It shouldn’t be loud for too long.”

That swagger permeates the entire program and extends all the way to the official Twitter account. And especially when it comes to the Bearcats' former head coach.

Kelly, of course, was UC's head coach from 2007-09. Hired away from Central Michigan when Mark Dantonio left for Michigan State, Kelly's three full seasons saw the Bearcats go 33-6 with three AP top-20 seasons, two Big East championships, and an undefeated regular season in 2009. In fact, Cincinnati was a Texas field goal over Nebraska away from playing Alabama for the BCS national championship. 

Cincinnati didn't make into that national title game, and Kelly didn't stick around for the subsequent Sugar Bowl -- the biggest game in school history at that time -- against Florida in Tim Tebow's final game as a Gator. Florida rolled the Bearcats, 51-24.

You can say they're still salty about Kelly's departure in the Queen City. 

That's a reference to this quote, in which Kelly acted like he did his program a favor by simply letting the lowly Bearcats in the gates of college football's most hallowed ground.

Kelly quote

The whole thing has a "Really? You're going to talk to us like that?" The Bearcats backed that up by digging into the archives to have Brian Kelly congratulate Cincinnati for beating Brian Kelly's Fighting Irish.

Cincinnati's entire football program is elated the team got the win, for obvious reasons, but you can bet the media team is especially happy they didn't have to leave this delicious content in the drafts folder.