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Cincinnati vs. Alabama (CFP Semifinal) Predictions/Updates


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Cincinnati vs. Alabama   

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  1. 1. CFP Semifinals Who wins?


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  • Poll closed on 01/01/2022 at 12:02 AM

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2 hours ago, John Anthony said:

Certainly not a comic book Bama team, especially, with Metchie out.  I still think this defense and Bryce Young will be something UC hasn’t been able to prepare for.  
 

 

This game reminds me a lot of the games like when Utah, Boise, etc. got a chance to beat a top team in big bowl games and did so. Those teams they beat were top programs, but we’re not great teams in that given year. With all the talk of UC not suppose to be there, and Metchie being out. I think this sets up well for UC to pull the upset. 

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11 hours ago, John Anthony said:

Certainly not a comic book Bama team, especially, with Metchie out.  I still think this defense and Bryce Young will be something UC hasn’t been able to prepare for.  
 

 

Bama's run defense and front 7 will no doubt present some problems for the UC o line. Going to have to be able to run the ball with Ford and try to keep the Bama offense off the field. 

I think Ridder and the offense can have some success through the air though.  Bama is really good against the run but pretty average against the pass. This is a game guys like Pierce, Whyle, and Taylor have to utilize their size.

Defensively, I think the Bearcats have an advantage in the secondary over Bama's WR group. Especially with Metchie out. If I'm Mike Tressel I'm telling Sauce Gardner his only job is to shadow Jameson Williams and follow him anywhere he goes. That match up is going to be a lot of fun to watch. Sauce is arguably the best press man coverage CB in the country and we all know what Williams is capable of. 

My biggest concerns are UC getting enough pressure on Young to force quick decisions and stopping the run. Auburn and LSU had success by blitzing every down. Tressel needs to take a similar approach. He can't rely on a 3 man front to consistently get pressure on the QB. Sanders, Brooks/Brown, and Briggs/Vann simply aren't going to win enough one on one battles for that scheme to be effective for 4 qtrs. 

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16 minutes ago, Walter said:

Bama's run defense and front 7 will no doubt present some problems for the UC o line. Going to have to be able to run the ball with Ford and try to keep the Bama offense off the field. 

I think Ridder and the offense can have some success through the air though.  Bama is really good against the run but pretty average against the pass. This is a game guys like Pierce, Whyle, and Taylor have to utilize their size.

Defensively, I think the Bearcats have an advantage in the secondary over Bama's WR group. Especially with Metchie out. If I'm Mike Tressel I'm telling Sauce Gardner his only job is to shadow Jameson Williams and follow him anywhere he goes. That match up is going to be a lot of fun to watch. Sauce is arguably the best press man coverage CB in the country and we all know what Williams is capable of. 

My biggest concerns are UC getting enough pressure on Young to force quick decisions and stopping the run. Auburn and LSU had success by blitzing every down. Tressel needs to take a similar approach. He can't rely on a 3 man front to consistently get pressure on the QB. Sanders, Brooks/Brown, and Briggs/Vann simply aren't going to win enough one on one battles for that scheme to be effective for 4 qtrs. 

Generally speaking, the biggest difference I see in really good teams and the upper echelon is up front and depth. Which for me is the central argument when debating the high-powered P5 schools vs. others. Normally skill players can hold their own if the line of scrimmage is somewhat neutralized. Unless you have some kind of dynamic weapon at QB to neutralize some of that (Ridder doesn't strike me as that guy), it will be a kitchen sink game. I do like the experience UC has, which counts for a lot.

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45 minutes ago, bugatti said:

Generally speaking, the biggest difference I see in really good teams and the upper echelon is up front and depth. Which for me is the central argument when debating the high-powered P5 schools vs. others. Normally skill players can hold their own if the line of scrimmage is somewhat neutralized. Unless you have some kind of dynamic weapon at QB to neutralize some of that (Ridder doesn't strike me as that guy), it will be a kitchen sink game. I do like the experience UC has, which counts for a lot.

We're on the same page and I agree regarding line play and depth being the biggest difference between elite and really good teams.

The comment about stopping the run and getting pressure had more to do with scheme than actual talent or ability. Tough to get to the QB and stop the run in situations where it is 3 on 5 and UC is dropping 8.

When they dial up blitzes and bring 5 or 6, they're tough to move the ball against. That was the game plan against UGA last year and they held them to 45 yards rushing. Everyone from that line is back and they add Malik Vann (DNP v UGA) and Jowon Briggs (transfer from VA) to the rotation. 

If there's a weakness with Bama, it's their o line. Statistically, they're one of the worst teams in the country as far as sacks allowed and tackles for losses. 

As far as Ridder goes, I think he will be the best QB and all around athlete that Bama has seen this year.

The key will be how well the o line for UC plays. They held up pretty well against Notre Dame but Bama and their front 7 is a different level. 

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Couple things:

1.  How did Alabama's O-line go from dumpster fire vs Auburn to elite (considering the hype of the Georgia D-Line) in 1 week?  I really don't know, as I think what @Waltersaid about Bama's Oline weaknesses are valid.

2.  I watched Desmond Ridder play several times at St X and he was always impressive.  I'm not a huge Cincy guy, but am very impressed with what they have done this year.  To me, Ridder has to make several elite plays to go from a sack to a home run to pull this out.  His feet may be as important as his arm on some plays.

3.  Bama's strength this game will be running Robinson, but if UC blitzes every play, I could see a LOT of RPO in this game.  Did Bama RB Sanders get injured in GA game?  He made a good run and then collapsed out of bounds I believe.  Bama doesn't have alot of elite RB depth due to injury.  Could be an issue.  The Bama TE Latu, who is a good player but inconsistent, will need to be Mr. Jekyll and not Mr. Hyde for Bama to be effective, as I think the UC secondary is very underrated nationwide.  And if they can keep Jameson Williams to 1 TD without Minchie, that's a win in my book for UC.

4.  UC needs to isolate RB Jerome Ford on Bama's LBs, I think they have an advantage there.  They can go to that early to alleviate some of the pressure Bama is sure to implement and crossing routes are sure to produce IF Ridder has time to throw.

5.  Can the UC Oline hold up on 3 downs?  Will be important for them and can UC run any?  Would be huge if they could.  I just think Bama's front 7 are very good and also feel Will Anderson is about to make himself a statement game this game.  Georgia held him down, but not sure UC can.

I want UC to keep it close and make a game of it and think they can in the first half, but what about the second half?  I think that's problematic for them.  While UC has played to the level of their competition this year and no offense to ND fans, but Bama is another level.  But I hope UC competes well. 

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First and foremost, I'm so incredibly excited for Luke, the school, the student athletes and the fans -- this town is going to be awesome in advance of this game throughout December.  This is so cool!!!

I actually think UC's only chance of winning this game is it goes under...and maybe way under.  If the total gets to 60 I don't think UC can score enough against Bama to keep up.

If the UC secondary / pass rush can make it hard on the Heisman Trophy winner (😇), than I think they have a puncher's chance.

UC's offense has had this amazing habit of being GREAT for one quarter, good for another, and then bad to average in the other two.  If that happens on New Year's Eve, it's over.  However, if they can be good to great each quarter, sustain drives (UC has had a TON of three-and-outs for a great team this year), and not just rely on the home runs, they have a shot.  

My gut is UC-biased so badly wanting them to win, so I'd say take the points and bet the under and if you win both, UC has a great chance.  If the over hits...Bama rolls, in my opinion.

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I really want UC to win this game, but this game feels like it could get ugly. I like UC's defense, but it's not better than Georgia's defense, while the Alabama offense will be by far the best offense UC had faced.  I think UC can keep it close for a while, but I would take Alabama to win and cover the 14. 

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7 hours ago, Walter said:

We're on the same page and I agree regarding line play and depth being the biggest difference between elite and really good teams.

The comment about stopping the run and getting pressure had more to do with scheme than actual talent or ability. Tough to get to the QB and stop the run in situations where it is 3 on 5 and UC is dropping 8.

When they dial up blitzes and bring 5 or 6, they're tough to move the ball against. That was the game plan against UGA last year and they held them to 45 yards rushing. Everyone from that line is back and they add Malik Vann (DNP v UGA) and Jowon Briggs (transfer from VA) to the rotation. 

If there's a weakness with Bama, it's their o line. Statistically, they're one of the worst teams in the country as far as sacks allowed and tackles for losses. 

As far as Ridder goes, I think he will be the best QB and all around athlete that Bama has seen this year.

The key will be how well the o line for UC plays. They held up pretty well against Notre Dame but Bama and their front 7 is a different level. 

You think Ridder is better than Corral, who is projected to be right around a top 10 pick in the draft?  

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19 hours ago, futurecoach said:

This game reminds me a lot of the games like when Utah, Boise, etc. got a chance to beat a top team in big bowl games and did so. Those teams they beat were top programs, but we’re not great teams in that given year. With all the talk of UC not suppose to be there, and Metchie being out. I think this sets up well for UC to pull the upset. 

There's a big difference in catching one of those top programs in, what is essentially a meaningless bowl game that is being played for pride, and the defending National Champion, in a playoff game.  It isn't unusual to see a team that didn't end the season with the kind of results that it was expecting come out flat in a bowl game.  Playing a team with a boatload of players experienced in the playoffs for a spot in the title game is a different animal.  

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4 hours ago, Carl Spackler said:

There's a big difference in catching one of those top programs in, what is essentially a meaningless bowl game that is being played for pride, and the defending National Champion, in a playoff game.  It isn't unusual to see a team that didn't end the season with the kind of results that it was expecting come out flat in a bowl game.  Playing a team with a boatload of players experienced in the playoffs for a spot in the title game is a different animal.  

I don’t disagree. I also don’t think this is the same type of Bama team we are use to seeing in the playoffs. Let’s not let past Bama teams impact what this years Bama team actually is. 

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6 hours ago, Carl Spackler said:

You think Ridder is better than Corral, who is projected to be right around a top 10 pick in the draft?  

Different players, but yes I think Ridder is not only a better player, but also a better prospect because of his size, arm strength, and athleticism. His work over the summer with Jesse Palmer really helped his development coming in to this season.

Just my opinion, but I think Corral is more a product of the system he is in. If the two switched teams, I don't know that UC is still sitting at 13-0 right now. 

There's a few mock drafts out there that also have Ridder a projected 1st round pick so it's not that big of a stretch to think Ridder is the better player. 44-5 career record over 4 seasons is REALLY HARD to do, regardless of where you are playing. 

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9 hours ago, futurecoach said:

I don’t disagree. I also don’t think this is the same type of Bama team we are use to seeing in the playoffs. Let’s not let past Bama teams impact what this years Bama team actually is. 

Understand your line of thinking here, but what I saw in the Georgia game is where coaching comes into play.  Alabama's OLine was abused, exposed, and played like trash against Auburn, who has a strong DLine.  They turn around in 1 week and outplay arguably the best DLine in the country.  Yes, it is one game.  But I know 2 things:

1.  Cincinnati's Dline isn't as good as Georgia's or Auburn's and

2.  Never pick against Nick Saban with 3 weeks to prepare and when his team is focused.

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