The Alabama Crimson Tide returns to Dallas for its fifth game in AT&T Stadium going back to 2012. The four previous games were Crimson Tide wins against Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Southern Cal. Friday afternoon’s game will be the Crimson Tide’s ninth Cotton Bowl, going back to 1942.
The game will set a new Playoff participation record for Alabama. After seven Playoff seasons, Alabama and Clemson hold the record for semi-final appearances at six. The Crimson Tide is 5-1 in those games. Alabama already holds the record for Playoff wins with five semi-final wins and three National Championship game victories.
Only six college football programs have had teams in a CFB Playoff National Championship game. Michigan and Cincinnati hope to break through this season. Seven years of Playoff game results can be seen here.
Why Alabama Will Win
The Crimson Tide will win because it is the better team, with the better coaching staff and the better roster of elite football players.
Why Cincinnati Might Win
Cincinnati will be highly motivated to prove it belongs among college football’s top programs. They will compete hard and they are well-coached. The Bearcats have some NFL-level talent. Without John Metchie III in the Tide’s lineup, the very capable Cincinnati secondary has a chance to neutralize Jameson Williams. If other Crimson Tide receivers don’t produce on the big stage, the Bearcats have a chance.
How good of a chance is debatable. It is very difficult to envision Cincinnati beating the Crimson Tide straight up. But if Alabama makes it easier, with enough mistakes and frequent failures to execute, the Bearcats could pull off an upset.
What Will Happen
The Crimson Tide should be focused rather than looking ahead to a National Championship game. Cincinnati will take advantage early if there is any lack of focus by the Tide OR a business-like Tide, executing at a high level, wins easily.
Alabama vs. Cincinnati Odds
According to WynnBET, the Alabama Crimson Tide is a 13.5-point favorite. The Moneyline is Alabama -510 and Cincinnati is +380, with the over-under at 57.5 points.
Alabama vs. Cincinnati Game Prediction
The Crimson Tide wins and covers the spread.
Looking ahead, Georgia is a 7.5 point favorite over Michigan. Some Alabama football fans prefer to not have to beat the Bulldogs again. But the resulting Bulldogs’ meltdown would be sweet cake icing.