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Desmond Ridder and Cincinnati want Alabama and will play them in CFP

Desmond Ridder (#9) throws a pass for Cincinnati in 2021 AAC Championship versus Houston
Katie Stratman - USA TODAY Sports

The stage is ready for the College Football Playoff.

Alabama and Cincinnati will face off in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas) on New Year’s Eve for the semifinal game. The Bearcats are champions of the American Athletic Conference at 13-0.

Luke Fickell, an Ohio State alum, has Cincinnati in the CFP in his fifth season.

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He was on Jim Tressel’s staff at Ohio State in 2002 as the Buckeyes captured a BCS National Championship in a victory over Miami. Fickell served as a special teams coach that year and was the co-defensive coordinator for Ohio State’s 2014 CFP National Championship team under Urban Meyer. He has a championship mindset, and Fickell brings a confident quarterback to face Alabama. Desmond Ridder defended his AAC Offensive Player of the Year title. He has 3,190 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.

Ridder is responsible for 36 total scores (six rushing touchdowns) and is a two-time AAC Champion. According to Fox 19 Now News in Cincinnati, Ridder said the Bearcats are about playing the best teams. He said ‘at the end of the day, football is football.’

“Alabama should be thinking they’re going to get our best, and we know that we’re going to get Alabama’s best,” Ridder said.

Cincinnati is the lone undefeated team in the playoff. 

Per social media, the Bearcats believe Alabama wants them. 

Teams that have cried “We Want Bama” or “Bama Wants Us” have not fared well against the Crimson Tide. Cincinnati has its wish, and we shall see what unfolds. Nick Saban is 5-0 as Alabama’s head coach in matchups at AT&T Stadium since 2012. The Tide defeated Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Southern California, and Notre Dame.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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