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#pounditWednesday, June 7, 2023

Luke Fickell has interesting take on Cincinnati’s lack of respect

The Cincinnati Bearcats had to do a lot to be taken seriously by the College Football Playoff selection committee this season. Even then, they needed some other teams to lose to make the field despite going unbeaten.

That pressure impacted the team, at least according to head coach Luke Fickell. On Sunday, Fickell said the need to prove their worth “took a toll” on players throughout the course of the season.

Most coaches would want players to ignore outside chatter like this, or would vouch for doing so themselves. When Cincinnati was originally snubbed in the CFP rankings, Fickell had a fairly muted reaction. The reality was, despite this, Cincinnati’s fate would come down to how the committee felt about them, so tuning out their opinion was not really an option.

Cincinnati had a few relatively close calls during the latter part of the season, perhaps because of the pressure they may have felt. Now that they’ve made the field, they can play with nothing to lose and take note of some of the rat poison their opponent is so worried about.

Photo: Sep 4, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats coach Luke Fickell stands with his team prior to the game against the Miami (Oh) Redhawks at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

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