If more than four teams could qualify for the College Football Playoff, Friday’s game between Cincinnati # 8 and Georgia # 9 would be even more at stake.
Instead of playing for a Peach Bowl trophy, the two teams could play for a Final Four spot.
On Thursday, Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell and Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart advocated an extended playoff with 8, 12 or 16 teams.
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“We have to give a team like Cincinnati the opportunity to play in the playoffs (and that’s) the only way to do that,” said Fickell. “Everyone has the opportunity to play in the playoffs. Sometimes the chips don’t fall where they fall. If your non-conference games are canceled, you probably won’t get a chance to do so. ”
“I would agree with Luke,” said Smart. I’ve always believed that the decisions and results, as well as the championships and trophies, should be decided on the field. It is more difficult every year to agree that it will be decided in the field because there arguably someone who is left out. “
But while neither team will win a national championship this season, Fickell said that game is still very important to UC.
The Bearcats are playing their first New Year’s Six Bowl game since the 2009 season. After winning the American Athletic Conference title, UC competes against one of the best programs in college football.
“It’s obviously different for our boys,” said Fickell. “What you know is the Birmingham Bowl, maybe the Military Bowl. Even though we’ve been in different places and doing different exercises for a bit longer, they definitely know that there is a difference. I think that’s what they’re looking forward to. “
No violation updates for UC
Gerrid Doaks and James Wiggins, Second Team All-American Safety, were restricted with injuries in the AAC title game.
Fickell declined to provide updates on her status.
“We have a different practice today, so we usually make these decisions (only) after today’s practice to see what they are like,” said Fickell.
In Wiggins ‘case, Fickell said seniors’ safety had been compromised by the team’s 15-day hiatus due to coronavirus.
“Everyone is just talking about COVID,” said Fickell. “There are many other factors that may even be associated with some COVIDs. James Wiggins came back from COVID and took a 14, 15 day break (influenced) what we saw with him in the last game. “