Way back when, in the days after Troy State knocked off the vaunted LSU Tigers at homecoming, the hopes for a 9-3 regular season were pretty low. So now, even with a heartbreaking loss in the Citrus Bowl to Notre Dame, we're trying to keep the focus on what a once-embattled team and coaches managed to achieve in the 2017 season.

The season was, after all, a heck of a comeback. The win against Auburn is one for the record books, part of a string that led to the big bowl appearance — except, unfortunately, that one loss that every fan in his heart probably expected, against our old coach now in Tuscaloosa.

We are fans and shared the hopes for a 10-4 finish. But amid the second-guessing that is an indelible part of big-time sports, we think it's worth a note to say that LSU's Tigers made a great recovery and deserve congratulations for it.