HOUSTON (KTRK) -- With Saturday's win against Temple, University of Houston has the opportunity to advance to a major bowl game.
The celebration began on the stop for a lot of Houston alums.
"I had tears in my eyes when this game ended and had sunglasses on so nobody could see it," Mark Liepens, Class of 1991, said.
For a lot of Cougar alums, this is a defining season for their Alma mater.
"The prestige which comes with this, the potential of going to a bigger conference, this is all major for the university," David Phillips, a 1997 graduate, said.
The change didn't just happen in one season, it started when the university was designated a tier-one academic institution several years ago. University of Houston's reputation of a commuter school was replaced by a majority of students living on a growing campus. A new football stadium and an upgraded basketball arena have also happened over the year.
Board of Regents Chairman Tillman Fertitta says athletics pays for a lot of that when the teams are winning.
"Donors start giving money to sciences, the business schools, athletics excites people and that's just the way it is," Fertitta said.
The university is expected to get millions of dollars for playing in a major bowl game. It will make recruiting top high school players easier.
Coogs title win could lead to financial boost for the University of Houston