On the walls of Clemson’s indoor facilities, you’ll find five goals listed. The first four being win the opener, win the division, win the state championship, and win the conference.
The Tigers are have four checked off with most recently securing their fourth consecutive ACC Championship on Saturday night with a 42-10 win over Pittsburgh on the 10 year anniversary of Coach Dabo Swinney’s hiring as Head Coach at Clemson.
After the ACC Championship win, Swinney eluded to just how the culture that he surrounds himself in has changed, “Congratulations to Pitt, they worked their tails off to get here as well, but this is special, I mean it’s special. I was just saying, ten years ago tonight I got hired at Clemson and we hadn’t won a conference championship in 20 years at the time, and so now to be able to win four in a row ten years later...I’m so thankful for all the teams and all the players.”
While Swinney’s culture in Tigertown wasn’t founded on a championship mentality, the trophies have filled the bare shelves.
There is only one goal left for the 2018 Clemson football team. Win the Closer.
Clemson will have the experience advantage over Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, with the Tigers in their third straight College Football Playoff to the Irish's first appearance. This benefits Swinney's squad somewhat as they mostly know what intangibles to expect from now until the team makes their trip to Dallas around Christmas.
Swinney attested to this on the joint teleconference with Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly on Sunday saying, “There's a lot of distractions. There's a lot of things that come with being a part of this, a lot of things that you have to manage that aren't in kind of a normal game. But, at the end of the day in championship football, you're playing teams where there's just such small margin for error; it's a few plays.”
Clemson and Notre Dame will face off in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl on December 29th at 4 pm ET.
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