Cotton Bowl 2021

Cotton Bowl: (1) Alabama vs. (4) Cincinnati

Sorry for many of you Group of 5 hopefuls: It's Alabama, and it's probably not gonna be pretty.

Nicky G
Nicky G

Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)

Time: Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. EST on ESPN

Teams: No. 1 Alabama (12–1) versus No. 4 Cincinnati (13–0)

Line: Alabama -13.5

Summary

The Group of 5 got one!

Unfortunately for Cincinnati, they’re catching an Alabama team that’s seemingly hitting their stride behind Heisman favorite Bryce Young. The Cincinnati secondary boasts one of the best corners in the country with Sauce Gardner (what a nickname), but Alabama just torched the clear-cut best defense in the nation with ease. Even without John Metchie III, this team has too much firepower for the Bearcats to compete with.

This might spell the end of the non-Power 5 teams sneaking into the playoff, at least until they expand it to 8 teams.

Our Pick

Sorry for many of you Group of 5 hopefuls: It's Alabama, and it's probably not gonna be pretty.

Cincinnati was a fun story to follow this year, playing the classic will they, won't they, with the Committee, but the road ends at the hands of Nick Saban. The experience and talent on the Alabama sideline will be too much for the Bearcats to overcome.

The Score: Alabama wins and covers the spread, 42-24

(We do most of my guessing based on a combination of The Smell Test and gut. If you’re looking for stat-based expertise to help you pick your games, check out our friends over at TeamRankings.com. They have a fantastic strategy guide and expert picks, too.)

Bowls

Nicky G

Dad of 3. WVian by birth. ATX for now.