Happy Tuesday, everyone. There is a full day of bowl games on tap for you, starting with the Birmingham Bowl featuring Auburn as 2 point favorites over Houston according to Draftkings sportsbook. They are still projecting the Alabama score at about 36-22. For his money, Kirk Herbstreit thinks Cincy matches up about as well as could be expected.
“I think their corners give them a chance defensively,” Herbstreit said. “They have a defensive line that’s undersized but quick. They are a veteran team, so I don’t think they’ll be in awe looking over and seeing Alabama. (Quarterback) Desmond Ridder is going to have to make some plays.”
Fair or not, Herbstreit said, Cincinnati will be carrying the flag for all non-Power Five teams.
“There will be a lot of people watching to see how Cincinnati does and tries to take the low hanging fruit whether they are competitive or win or whether they lose (and get blown out).”
Alabama could do college football a great service by putting the hammer down on the Bearcats, which would undoubtedly give the committee pause when considering future G5 contenders.
Jerome Ford is tired of being called a transfer.
“I’m thankful for everything Coach Saban had done for me, and that opportunity to play at Alabama,” Ford said. “But I’m a Bearcat and I would kind of appreciate if people stopped calling me ‘the Alabama transfer.’ I’m a Cincinnati Bearcat.”
Nobody can possibly blame Jerome for transferring when he did considering the depth chart at the time, but he’d be seeing the field quite a bit this season had he stayed.
Will Anderson is reaching.
Meanwhile, despite Bama being a clear favorite heading into kickoff, Tide star linebacker Will Anderson said he feels his team also can lay claim to having underdog status in the CFP semifinals.
“I feel like we’re the underdog in this game,” he told reporters on Monday. “All year we’ve been disrespected.”
The comment came just 10 days after teammate and defensive lineman Phil Mathis made similar claims about the Tide shifting their mindset to adopt the “underdog mentality” against the Bearcats.
If the mentality motivates them then I’m all for it, but there is no credible way to spin Alabama as an underdog.
Pete Golding doesn’t have time for your complaints.
“I don’t listen to the outside noise, to be honest with you,” Golding continued. “I think if you’re a football coach and you do that, I think you get out of this profession pretty quick. You can go start selling insurance or playing golf.”
Golding said there was “no bigger critic of me than me” though Saban does a good job staying “on top of us.”
Fan opinions aside, it seems pretty clear that Saban is pleased with Pete.
Shehan Jeyarajah at CBS has Bryce Young as the key player in the playoff field.
1. Alabama QB Bryce Young
If there was any doubt that Young can be the most impactful player in college football, he put it to rest during the SEC Championship Game. Young threw for 421 yards and three touchdowns against a previously-unmarred Georgia defense, a performance impressive enough to win the Heisman. If Young is performing at peak potential, there might not be a team in college football that can stop the Tide. With Metchie out for the season, he needs to be even better.
Last, Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins are well positioned after last night’s win over COVID-riddled New Orleans.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was just fine for the second straight game, completing 19 of 26 passes for 198 yards, one touchdown and an interception. The bright spot on that side of the ball was rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle, who reeled in 10 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, setting a Dolphins rookie single-season record for receiving yards in the process.
Miami became the first team in NFL history to win seven straight games and lose seven straight games in the same season. More importantly, it guaranteed itself a playoff bid if it wins its remaining two games.
Waddle is only five catches away from the all-time NFL rookie record, which he should get in next week’s 16th game of the season.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.