GLENDALE, Ariz. — Central Florida has carried the chip on its shoulder all the way from Orlando to the Arizona desert.

Left out of the College Football Playoff, the seventh-ranked Knights have a chance for a second straight undefeated season and self-proclaimed national championship if they can beat No. 11 LSU in Tuesday’s Fiesta Bowl.

“It’s kind of frustrating when you don’t get a lot of recognition or whatever like that,” UCF defensive back Richie Grant said. “We think we can play with anyone.”

The Knights (12-0) have proven that over the past two seasons, taking a 25-game winning streak into State Farm Stadium on New Year’s Day.

UCF proclaimed itself national champion last year after finishing as the only undefeated team in the FBS. The Knights went all out despite Alabama’s earning the official national champion title, celebrating with a pep rally in downtown Orlando, a parade at Walt Disney World and a proclamation by Gov. Rick Scott.

UCF kept winning this season, including a stirring comeback against Memphis in the American Athletic Conference title game.

Yet when the College Football Playoff semifinalists were announced, the Knights were never a consideration despite finishing as one of four undefeated teams in the FBS.

While fellow undefeateds Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame joined one-loss Oklahoma in the playoff, UCF was No. 8 in the CFP rankings, in large part because its schedule lags behind those of Power Five schools.

So as Alabama and Clemson head to the national title game after lopsided national semifinal victories, the Knights are in the desert to play in the Fiesta Bowl. A New Year’s Six bowl is certainly a huge accomplishment and the hospitality at the Fiesta Bowl is world class, but their only national title shot is of the self-proclaimed variety for the second straight season.

“We’re confident in who and what we are as a football program and believe in our track record, what’s happened here the last couple of years,” first-year UCF coach Josh Heupel said. “At the end of the day, our kids are really focused on the football game that’s before us.”