Luke Fickell isn’t trying to stir it up against his alma mater but inevitably he understands how his comments will resonate.

The coach believes No. 9 Georgia, his opponent for the New Year’s Day matchup in the Peach Bowl, will be No. 8 Cincinnati’s toughest opponent during his tenure, not Ohio State.

Ohio State shut out Cincinnati 42-0 early in the 2019 season and qualified for this year’s College Football Playoff as the No. 3 seed despite having three games cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Regardless, Fickell believes the Bulldogs will have more bark than the Buckeyes.

Georgia finished second in the SEC East this season with a 7-2 record.

Fickell played at Ohio State from 1993-96 and then served on the Buckeyes’ staff from 2002-2016 in a variety of roles, including as interim head coach in 2011. Fickell has amassed a 41-20 record in his four seasons at Cincinnati.