The first semifinal matchup this New Year's Eve has been billed by most as David vs. Goliath. Cincinnati, the first Group of Five team to be included in the College Football Playoff, and they've got a tall task ahead of them in reigning champion and perennial power Alabama.
At the half and in the stands, the Bearcat Band will be facing the Million Dollar Band, and to say they've been there before would be an understatement. Bama's band may as well get the playoff logo (Clemson's band informed me that they're stickers) permanently affixed to their uniforms. Still, Cincinnati's band knows they're damn good, and will take the field as fearlessly as their team. However, the Bearcat Band will be taking the field without Director Christopher Nichter and Associate Director Nicholas Angelis, both of whom have been placed on leave for unknown reasons.
This year's Cotton Bowl is also a family affair: The Moorhouse family has a pair of brothers marching in both bands. Senior Christopher plays alto sax in the Million Dollar Band, while his younger brother Noah stayed local and marches the same instrument for the Bearcat Band.