CLEMSON, SC (WIS) - Over in Tiger Town, it’s championship week. Clemson visits Boston College with eyes on bringing home a trophy.
The Tigers aim to become the first ACC program to win four straight division titles.
"That would be a great accomplishment," said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, "especially for this group of seniors that have accomplished so much already."
Claiming the Atlantic title is far from a sure thing. A night game on the road against a tough Boston College team will prove to be a difficult test.
"We got a huge challenge," Swinney stressed. "Boston College is a tough, hard-nosed very well-coached football team."
Boston College is indeed a much tougher challenge than what the Tigers have faced in previous weeks. The Eagles are playing good football and, in coach Swinney's mind, mirror Clemson in many ways.
“They know who they are, just like we know who we are,” said Swinney. "There’s a lot of veteran experience and veteran leadership on both sides of the ball. So, we’re mirror images of each other in that way. Obviously, we have a chance to clinch the division. We work all year to get to this point, and now, you’re four quarters away from achieving one of our main goals each year.
"This is what championship football is all about. You turn on the tape, and you go, ‘That's why they are where they are.’ They're a really good team."
For one Tigers senior, Saturday's trip to Boston College means a little more. It's a homecoming for Massachusetts native Christian Wilkins.
As a kid, the Eagles were his favorite team and dream school. Wilkins' path ultimately guided him to Tiger Town. However, the Tigers stellar defensive line leader stills hold a special place in his heart for BC.
"I'm just so excited for the opportunity to just go back home," said Wilkins. "I want it to feel like home when I get back, too, like it should be in mid-November. I want it to be negative-40 degrees. I want snow. I want all of that. I'm playing with no sleeves. Nothing warm."
The Clemson team captain relishes the chance to compete in front of family and friends this weekend, along with clipping the Eagles’ wings to deliver the Tigers a fourth straight division title.
"Playing against them, I'm not a fan at all," said Wilkins. "I want to crush them. That's my mindset. I just want to win the game."
Chestnut Hill, Mass., the home of the Eagles, also holds a special place in Swinney's heart. It was there, nearly 10 years ago to the day, he earned his first victory as Clemson's head coach.
“It was November 1st , that first win,” said Swinney. “It was an unbelievable moment. Every time I go up there, I think about that, for sure. Hopefully, we can find a way to celebrate in that locker room one more time.”