Pressure on LSU to put a stop to Central Fla.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The pressure is on you, LSU, for this Fiesta Bowl thing.
It’s up to you Tigers to put an end to this foolishness once and for all.
The College Football World is begging you, pleading with you.
Central Florida must be stopped.
Like, right now — well, Tuesday, anyway, out here in the high desert.
But this can’t go any further.
This is no longer just annoying.
It’s not in any of the Fiesta Bowl’s official literature — apparently you really can milk a good gag too far — but Tuesday’s Fiesta Bowl could be for a national championship of some flavor.
Not for you, LSU.
But you can have a big say in it.
Central Florida doesn’t exactly keep a low profile — more like college football’s squeaky wheel.
But, just a hunch, it looks like the Knights are up to something again.
True, there’s been no official word on their plans should things go according to their master plan and the Knights beat LSU come Tuesday.
But they’re sneaky like that. There was scant little advance warning last year, either.
And then the next thing you know UCF was claiming the national championship that Alabama thought it won — just the way the College Football Playoff maps it out — with a thrilling comeback against Georgia.
So, you just watch. All it will take is another bowl win, another 13-0 season, another capper with a victory over an SEC blue blood and you’re going to hear the squawking all the way from Orlando to … maybe Winter Park … The Villages perhaps?
Just like last year.
At first it was kind of cute. You wanted to pat UCF on the head, good boy-good boy, for a perfect season.
Alabama kind of yawned about it, as if to say, “Well, OK …”
Well, they had a championship parade at Disney World, didn’t they? That makes it official, right?
Of course, Mickey and Minnie is a day trip for UCF. But one of the computers that was once used in the old BCS rankings, some sci-fi aberration called the Colley Matrix, fell for it and awarded the Knights the No. 1 ranking at the end of the year.
The NCAA was powerless to stop it.
It’s still a free country.
Good enough for the Knights. Another black mark against the BCS, perhaps, but sometimes you just have to build your own trophy and shove it in the world’s face.
No reason to believe it won’t happen again. LSU would be a nice notch in the UCF belt, the final piece of the puzzle for more whining and pouting.
Just like last year.
“Man, I hope not,” LSU linebacker Devin White said here Saturday. “That’s one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever seen.”
White is old school — he called the whole farce a “media stunt.”
“I know who won the national championship,” he said. “I played the (Alabama) team that won the national championship. They deserved the national championship and if I’m not mistaken they’re about to go compete for another.
“I feel like you get a chance to play in the national championship, you win a national championship then you’re the national champions.”That’s the commonly accepted path.
But UCF wouldn’t stage their little playtime championship and go to bed. When last seen they were calling out Florida for dodging them — the Gators were “insulting” with an offer for a 2-for-1 deal where the Knights would visit Gainesville twice and UF would agree to come to Orlando once.
That’s about as square a deal as the is going to get, particularly for an in-state game.But not if you’re suddenly empowered by a national championship that most of the free world rolls its eyes at.
Then the good underdog story becomes the screaming baby on an airliner.
Not to all, of course.
So for a game that’s off the playoff’s beaten path, this one does figure to attract a lot of attention. The divide likely will be along football class lines. There’s your have and have-nots, loosely defined as Power Five conferences and Group of Fives.
A UCF win will be just more ammunition for the locos who won’t be satisfied until the playoff has 60 or 70 teams.There’s a flaw in UCF’s sinister plan this time.
Last year it was Auburn the Knights whipped in the Peach Bowl for the crown jewel in their championship season.
OK, strike up the band.
Auburn had earlier beaten Alabama — connect the dots, you can get to Disney World from there.
LSU, you did no such thing.Still, LSU, best I can tell you have the distinction of playing two (different) defending national champions in the same season.
That’s a neat trick, there.
The first college try did not go well — Alabama 29, LSU 0.That was kind of expected.
This one is much more important.
The nation turns its weary eyes to you. UCF fatigue has become almost a big of crisis as Bama fatigue.