Historic playoff: Alabama-Cincinnati, Michigan-Georgia | Honolulu Star-Advertiser – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-12-06 19:55:42 –

Irving, Texas >> The postseason of college football has evolved from a detached bowl to the BCS to the current four-team playoffs, so it didn’t really embrace the underdog like the NCAA tournament.

From Tulane to Utah, Boise State University to TCU, and UCF, start-ups have occasionally had the opportunity to shed blue blood in big bowl games, but have a legitimate opportunity to win the national championship in the postseason. I never entered.

College football finally has the first Cinderella team: Cincinnati broke the glass ceiling.

Bearcats will play Alabama in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Eve after being selected for the College Football Playoff today. Michigan will face Georgia in the Orange Bowl Semifinals on December 31st, and the winner will compete in the National Championships in Indianapolis on January 10th.

Fourth-seeded Cincinnati is the first team to reach CFP from non-Power Five conferences in this postseason eight-year history. Bearcats (13-0) will win the American Athletic Conference and head for the postseason as the only undefeated team in the country.

“Today is a historic day. It really is. In the world of sports, this is history,” said AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco. “This is probably a lot, and many didn’t expect to see it.”

Previously, the so-called Group of Five conference teams never even approached the playoffs.

“We don’t want to raise the flag of a school other than a big school, we just want to be us,” said Luke Fickel, director of Cincinnati.

When the Bowl Championship Series began in 1998, Tulane was undefeated at Conference USA and couldn’t even spot one of the flashy bowl games. Former President Scott Cowen of the University of Tulane was one of the first to attack the BCS as an exclusive cartel.

Under then coach Urban Meyer, Utah became undefeated as a member of the Mountain West in 2004 and reached the Fiesta Bowl, but was only able to play a decent Pittsburgh team. In other words, Utah didn’t have a shot to get first place.

Boise State University created the brand for its potential to become a BCS Buster at the Western Athletic Conference and won a notable Fiesta Bowl for Oklahoma in 2007. TCU was in the Mountain West when he won the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin in 2010.

Utah and TCU have been scooped up by a Power Five meeting. If you can’t beat them, ask them to join you.

The playoffs doubled or quadrupled the number of teams that had a chance to win the national title in 2014, but it didn’t seem to help the little guys.

UCF won 25 games in a row in 2017 and 2018 and never exceeded 8th place in the selection committee rankings. After being the only major college football team to finish the 2017 season undefeated, the Knights have even declared themselves national champions.

Cincinnati laid the foundation for this year’s run by achieving undefeated in last year’s regular season before losing to Georgia in the field in the second half of the Peach Bowl.

Aresco admitted that this run sometimes felt bittersweet to him. Cincinnati, along with UCF and Houston, will soon leave the Americans for the Big 12.

Bearcats made history with little discussion. Playoffs selection committee chairman Gary Balta said Cincinnati had a strong consensus in 4th place ahead of 5th place Notre Dame, who had only one defeat against Bearcats at home in early October. .. Ohio State University finished in 6th place.

“This will be a real challenge for us in every aspect, shape and shape,” said Nick Saban, director of Alabama.

Bearcats might not have been so comfortable on the field if things had changed in Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game. Oklahoma State University, who was fifth in the game’s CFP ranking, was a few inches short of recording a go-a-head touchdown in the last minute of losing to Baylor.

Saban, who said he played at Kent State University at the Mid-American Conference, said Cincinnati’s achievements were a positive development for the sport.

“I absolutely think everyone who participates in the Division I level of college football should feel the opportunity to participate in the playoffs,” Saban said.

Two teams from the same meeting have joined the CFP for the third time and have occurred at the SEC for the second time. Many years ago, Alabama defeated Georgia in overtime to win the national title.

The conference leaders are considering expanding the playoffs from four to twelve in 2024, so only two Power Five Leagues, the SEC and the Big Ten, will participate this season. I missed the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time. The Big 12 has been shut out for two consecutive seasons, and the sixth Pac-12 has no team in the playoffs.

Other big bowl games have also been set up:

Michigan State University (10-2) vs. ACC Champion Pitt (11-2) at the Peach Bowl on December 30th.

Notre Dame (11-1) vs. Oklahoma (11-2) at the Fiesta Bowl on January 1.

Pac-12 Champion Utah (10-3) vs. Ohio (10-2) at the Rose Bowl on January 1st.

Mississippi (10-2) vs. Baylor (11-2) in the Sugar Bowl on January 1st.

Cincinnati’s reward for making history is against the Defending National Champion at the Dallas Cowboys home.

Crimson Tide will be in the seventh playoffs after bringing Georgia its first setback of the season in the title game of the Southeastern Conference on Saturday.

Alabama (12 -1) seemed to lose from being excluded from the playoffs fight for the match against Georgia. Instead, Bryce Young and Tide lit up the bulldog’s proud defenses and won the top seed.

The Savan Alabama dynasty has won three playoff championships and three BCS titles since 2009.

Georgia (12-1) managed to stay on the field as the third seed and became the second team to lose the conference title game and play off. Notre Dame did the same last season. It’s a move driven by a pandemic’s modified schedule when he lost a rematch with Clemson during the lonely season playing at ACC.

The bulldog will make his second CFP appearance when he meets the second seeded Michigan (12-1) in the Orange Bowl. Jim Harbaugh and Wolverines will be in the playoffs for the first time after winning the Big Ten for the first time since 2004. Michigan, who won 2-4 last season, is also the first team to play off after being unranked. Pre-season AP Top 25.

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