The David and Goliath theme of Cincinnati doing battle with the Alabama Crimson Tide has been popular for the past three weeks. Ivan Maisel framed the contest in modern terms as the “Have Not” hanging out with the “Haves” though at the Cotton Bowl there is only one ‘Have’.
Maisel’s opening paragraph is too good for a mere link.
"The Cincinnati Bearcats occupy that sweet spot in time before expectations sour accomplishment, before championships are demanded, before a College Football Playoff semifinal is taken for granted. Nick Saban doesn’t need to lecture Bearcats fans about entitlement."
Luke Fickell does not have to worry about getting his team up for the game. His players have something BIG to prove about their team and themselves. An opportunity to slay college football’s most fearsome dragon awaits. The Bearcats will be ready. They will fight hard. It will not be enough. Games sometimes play out in odd ways, so it is not that Cincinnati has no chance to win. What they have is little chance.
A midwest guy, Steve Greenberg, refusing to fuel the ‘Cincinnati has a chance’ hype, wrote in the Chicago Sun Times.
"Can we just be honest with one another here? The Bearcats showing up at AT&T Stadium for a playoff game against Alabama is kind of like your overalls-clad Cousin Earl staggering into the Union League Club for dinner with the Pritzkers. Look, I’m not saying the Group of Five power didn’t earn its shot. What I’m saying is Cincy has no shot. The Bearcats are a heck of a team, but so were Florida State in 2014, Michigan State in 2015, Ohio State in 2017, Notre Dame in 2018 and Oklahoma in 2019. Those teams lost their semifinal games by an average of 34 points."
The Bearcats are good enough, deserving of a Playoff slot, or not, to keep the game closer than 34 points. The game’s outcome though is not in doubt. What follows are five reasons why. Five were chosen for brevity. The list could have been 10 reasons – or more.