No. 1 Alabama vs No. 4 Cincinnati: 2021 CFP Semifinal preview, TV schedule

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /

2021 CFP Semifinal Game Preview: No. 1 Alabama vs No. 4 Cincinnati

When: Friday, December 31 at 3:30 pm ET on ESPN

Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

A familiar sight for the Crimson Tide and their fans, Alabama returns to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on New Years Eve for a CFP Semifinal showdown with Cincinnati in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

The 2021 SEC Champions, Alabama enters the College Football Playoff as the No. 1 overall team in the country at 12-1, and are coming off a 41-24 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game in their previous game. An impressive showing from the Crimson Tide, Alabama scored 41 points on the nation’s top defense in the contest, as well as forcing two interceptions from Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett V, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

Having won seven consecutive games since suffering their lone loss at Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide enter the CFP averaging 42.2 PPG for the year on offense, as well as allowing 20.2 PPG defensively. Led by head coach Nick Saban, this is Alabama’s seventh appearance in the CFP where the Crimson Tide hold a 6-1 record in semifinal games with their lone loss coming back in the inaugural CFP in 2014 against Ohio State.

Cincinnati on the other hand enters the CFP as the 2021 AAC Champions, and are ranked as the No. 4 team in the country at an undefeated 13-0. Coming off a 35-20 win over Houston in the AAC Championship Game, the Bearcats were able to pull away from Houston with a dominant third quarter, one where Cincinnati out-scored the Cougars 21-0.

As mentioned previously, the Bearcats sit at an undefeated 13-0 for the year, and are averaging 39.2 PPG offensively, as well as allowing only 16.1 PPG to opponents. Owning a resume headlined by wins over Notre Dame and Houston, the Bearcats are led by head coach Luke Fickell, and are the first Group of Five team to ever make the CFP.