Cincinnati started its fairytale run 2 years ago at a wet Birmingham Bowl —will the Tide end it?

Birmingham Bowl
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl Legion Field scoreboard in 2020. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Who remembers the 2020 TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl? I do. 

With my press pass in hand, minutes before kick-off, I walked into a vacant Legion Field to the tune of “Raindrops are Falling on My Head.”  How hard did it rain that day? The Legion Field scoreboard operator uploaded a cartoonish pic of Noah’s Ark.

Once the hour-long rain delay was over, the Cincinnati Bearcats swamped the Boston College Eagles 38-6.

After the Birmingham Bowl – 2 Fairytale Seasons

Since that win in a near empty stadium that was once the site of many memorable University of Alabama football games, the Bearcats have gone 22-1. Their only loss came from Georgia, who needed a 54 yard field goal with 7 seconds left to overcome an 11-point deficit in the Peach Bowl.

Will the Fairytale Continue?

Will the Crimson Tide end Cincinnati’s magical run at Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas? Very likely.  They are a 13+ point favorite and the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Alabama a 71.2 % chance of defeating the Bearcats.

But, mark it down. If Cincinnati pulls off the biggest upset in the College Football Playoff era on December 31st, remember their fairytale journey began at the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl when the rain was so bad we thought seriously about building an ark.

Where to Watch the Game

Bryant Denny Stadium
Bryant-Denny Stadium at the University of Alabama. Photo via Keilani Hamann

The Cotton Bowl Classic — National Championship Semi-Finals between Alabama and Cincinnati begins at 2:30pm CDT on December 31st on ESPN. 

Looking for special places to watch the big game?

Huntsville – Cinemark has announced that it will show both semifinal games, and the national championship game at their Huntsville.Cinemark Bridge Street (370 The Bridge St) location.

Birmingham Avondale Brewing is one of the official watch party locations for the University of Alabama Jefferson County Alumni Association.

Spanish Fort – Bowling + Football — why not? In the Mobile/Eastern Shore Area watch the big game on the 31st at Eastern Shore Lanes. By the way – they also have laser tag.

Where are you watching the Alabama-Cincinnati Game? Tell us on social media at @Bhamnow — and while you are at it, give us your prediction for the game.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington
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