The semifinal of the College Football Playoff is to take place on Sunday, and the Cincinnati Bearcats are showing up for more than just themselves at the field of Jerry Dome when they take on Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Cincinnati Bearcats have infamously only lost one game since the past two years. The team has had a winning streak of 44-6, since 2017, the first year when their current coach Luke Fickell started leading them. Since then, Cincinnati has claimed double-digits wins in every season except last year when they had 9-1 due to the short pandemic schedule, with many games cut off.
Regarding how much this semi-final means for all undermined teams and players who were denied this spot at the College Football Playoff, coach Fickell took a humble approach saying, “I don’t know about all of that. I know what our goals are and how difficult a task is on its own. I appreciate it very much if our success means something to other people out there, but I also don’t think they see us as some surprising story. We expect to have that success.”
The Bearcats do not consider themselves underdogs at the least, with their junior offensive lineman Dylan O’Quinn even going as far as saying, “We’ve heard a lot about this David versus Goliath talk. But the fact of the matter is everybody puts their pants on the same way.”
Their opponents in the game, the Crimson Tide also hold the same view, disregarding the notion that the Bearcats are any sort of underdogs in the overall game and championship. Their statements and opinions go as far as stating that the Bearcats might be the favorites in this College Football Playoff semi-final.
The Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Will Anderson Jr. stated, “I still feel like we’re the underdog in this game. All year we have been disrespected,” all this from the same player who has won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Even according to ESPN’s matchup predictor, the Crimson Tide hold about 70.7% chance of winning while the Bearcats are at 29.3%.