Come on, LSU.

We’re counting on you.

Do us a favor.

Put UCF out of its misery.

Take care of business in the Fiesta Bowl.

We don’t need any more what-ifs.

No offense to the Knights, but this shadow national championship thing has run its course. At least it should have. You came make it official by kicking off the New Year with a victory. Prepare accordingly. No excuses, either, about a lack of motivation or players not being available. Your backups were higher-rated recruits than UCF’s starters, and the Knights don’t have their star quarterback, either.

UCF has had a great run. That 25-game winning streak is outstanding. Best in the country.

A second consecutive undefeated season would be quite an accomplishment.

But we don’t need another claim to a national championship that was never won. Neither does UCF, to be perfectly honest.

Last year it was kind of cute. And there was some significance in the fact that the Knights were the only undefeated team in the country. That victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl earned some gravitas, especially since Auburn had beaten the real national champion – Alabama.

You know how hard it is to beat Alabama. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

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Louisiana sports betting is officially live in much of the state. Whether it is betting on SEC football or LSU football games or the Heisman race each year, if you live in Louisiana, you can now do it from your mobile phone.

Anyway, we can sympathize. This College Football Playoff system was set up to make it virtually impossible for a team like UCF to actually play for a national championship.

In fact, if you had beaten Texas A&M in any one of those seven overtimes, or regulation for that matter, you’d have finished ahead of UCF and you’d probably be the ones with their noses pressed most tightly against the CFP window looking in from the outside.

It must have been frustrating last year to dominate your conference, win every game on your schedule – especially when no one else in the country did that – and be told you’re not good enough to be among the four schools playing in the CFP. And, worse, then watching a team that didn’t even win its half of its conference get into the Playoff and win the national championship.

We feel the Knights’ pain. We really do.

These what-ifs have to be harder on them than anyone else.

As much as we would like to see them rewarded more significantly for their success, deep down we don’t believe they would have beaten Alabama last year.

Do you?

Maybe the seedings would have allowed them to play Georgia or Oklahoma or Clemson in the semifinals.

But we don’t think they would have beaten any of those teams and even if they are better than we’re giving them credit for – and we really do think they’re really good – and they could have knocked off one of those other teams in a semifinal, they were going to run into Alabama at some point.

They did a heck of a job taking care of Memphis and Houston and Cincinnati. They ain’t Alabama, or Georgia, or LSU for that matter.

Taking care of business – even in dominant fashion – in the American Athletic Conference doesn’t make you one of the four best teams in the country.

But enough about last season. The Knights can keep selling all the national champion T-shirts and hats they want. Good for them.

But enough is enough. And that’s where you come in, Tigers.

Do this New Year’s what those other Tigers from Auburn couldn’t do last New Year’s: Put UCF out of its misery.

If the Knights beat you they’re going to be 13-0.

Again.

They’re going to be left wondering, “what if we had gotten a short at the CFP?”

Never mind that they’re not going to be the only undefeated team this season. Sure it’s possible, but that’s not going to happen unless Oklahoma wins this whole thing, and we really don’t think that’s going to happen, do we?

Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame are all undefeated.

One of them (Alabama or Clemson) is going to finish undefeated and No. 1.

Let’s not have another undefeated team gumming up the works by claiming a shadow national championship.

We realize the CFP winner is most likely to be Alabama, and we also realize you really don’t want to do anything to help Alabama.

Don’t do it for them.

Do it for yourself. Do it for the rest of us.

And most all, do it for UCF.