ARLINGTON, Texas — Jerome Ford envisioned helping Cincinnati win games and a conference title when he transferred there two years ago.
The running back never really thought about facing his former team or being part of the College Football Playoff, though he will do both when the undefeated American Athletic Conference champion Bearcats play defending national champ Alabama in a CFP semifinal at the Cotton Bowl on Friday.
“It didn’t really cross my mind,” Ford said about Cincinnati becoming the first non-Power Five team to reach the four-team playoff. “The only thing I thought about…is how could I contribute to help win games and win a conference championship. Anything else would have been a plus.”
After playing in only four games in each of his two seasons at Alabama, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Ford has 1,242 yards and 19 touchdowns rushing with five 100-yard games in his second season at Cincinnati (13-0).
“I’m a Bearcat and I would kind of appreciate it if people stopped calling me 'the Alabama transfer,'” Ford said.