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Nick Saban Makes His Opinion On Cincinnati Extremely Clear

A closeup of Nick Saban wearing a headset during an Alabama football game.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts in the second half of the AllState Sugar Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban isn't taking the Cincinnati Bearcats lightly. Despite putting it on the No. 1 team in the nation Saturday, Saban's team isn't sleeping on the non-traditional football power.

When asked about the Bearcats, the seven-time national champion responded, "We certainly think Cincinnati belongs in the playoff."

No. 4 Cincinnati has had to fight for respect all year from the College Football Playoff Committee. The 13-0 Bearcats are the only undefeated team in the CFP and have a signature win over No. 5 Notre Dame. That said, it's going to take a Herculean effort to beat the Crimson Tide come New Year's Eve. The Bearcats will need another great performance from their AAC Offensive Player of the Year Desmond Ridder to have any shot.

Cincinnati's all-time leader in passing touchdowns threw for three TD's against Houston on Saturday, his fifth game this season with at least three scores. In 13 games, Ridder has completed nearly 66 percent of his passes for 3,190 yards and 30 touchdowns to just eight interceptions.

Alabama was able to pick off Stetson Bennett IV twice en route to their SEC championship win. However, just getting Ridder going is half the battle. If Cincinnati's defensive backs can't contain Bama's receivers it could be a long, long day for Luke Fickell's team.