University of Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell has the Bearcats in the College Football Playoff, the first time since the CFP’s inception in 2014 that a non-Power Five program has had the opportunity to compete for a national championship. Even before this year’s impressive breakthrough, Fickell was generating interest from the NFL.

As Tom Pelissero of NFL.com writes, the Lions quietly discussed their head coaching vacancy with Fickell last year.