Dabo Swinney before Clemson vs Furman on September 1, 2018. (Photo by Austin Silvey/Staff)
CLEMSON, SC - With their 27-7 win over Boston College in Chestnut Hill on Saturday night, the Clemson Tigers clinched their fourth straight ACC Atlantic Division title.
In their four year run of dominance in the Atlantic, the Tigers have only lost two conference games. In 2017 they lost to Syracuse on the road 27-24 and in 2016 they lost at home to the Pittsburgh Panthers by a score of 43-42.
The Panthers joined the ACC in 2013 and have faced Clemson just that one time in Death Valley. The two schools have only met one time before the 2016 matchup -- in 1977 they went head-to-head in the Gator Bowl. The Panthers won that bout in dominant fashion with a final score of 34-3.
With that being the only two matchups between these two programs, that can mean only one thing....
The Tigers are 0-2 all-time against Pittsburgh University; Dabo is 0-1 as their head coach.
Pittsburgh continued their unpredictable run at the ACC Coastal division title with a 52-22 thumping of Virginia Tech on Saturday, taking them to a 6-4 overall record and 5-1 in the conference.
The Panthers final two matchups will be on the road against Wake Forest and then they end the season traveling to Miami; a team they beat at the end of last season to issue the Hurricanes their first loss of the year.
Trailing closely behind the Panthers in the division standings are the Virginia Cavaliers who have also played above expectations placed on them in the preseason. They sit at 7-3 overall with a 4-2 conference record.
Pittsburgh defeated Virginia back on November 2 in Charlottesville 23-13 -- giving the Panthers the tie-breaker should they finish with the same conference record.
Virginia will finish their season on the road as well with games at Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. If the Cavs want a chance to win the Coastal they will have to win out and hope that Pitt loses out. Any other scenario results in the Panthers winning the division.
Should the latter happen, the Tigers will have a chance to get their first victory over the Panthers.
Along with that, Clemson will also have a chance to make some ACC history in Charlotte. The Tigers have an opportunity to become the first team in ACC history to win four straight ACC Championships since the title game was implemented in 2005; also four straight over all without having to share the title with anybody.
Florida State was named ACC Champs from 1992-2000 but shared championships in 1995 with Virginia and in 1998 with Georgia Tech.
While the Coastal division hasn't been wrapped up quite yet, who better for the Tigers to get a shot at in their fourth straight ACC Championship game appearance than the Pittsburgh Panthers -- the last ACC team that Dabo Swinney and Clemson University have never defeated.