Still a long way from Danny Ford status, Dabo Swinney is certainly making his mark in Death Valley.
The Tigers will play Saturday for a chance to lay claim to its first ACC title since 1991.
With an 8-4 record (6-2 in ACC play), Clemson has had a somewhat typical year. It's the opening of the newspaper and seeing Clemson atop the ACC Atlantic standings to which fans are not accustomed.
Much of the season's success comes from the phenomenal play of Heisman hopeful C.J. Spiller, who many see as the east coast version of Reggie Bush. Combine Spiller with surprisingly solid play from freshman QB Kyle Parker and a quality defense, and Clemson is a team looking to replace Florida State as the ACC figurehead.
However, some issues did arise during the season, most notably a very sluggish offensive start to the year, which lead to a devastating loss to Georgia Tech and a downright pathetic performance against cellar-dweller Maryland.
Heading into the ACC CG on Saturday, Clemson must let the emotions of a 34-17 defeat at the hands of in-state rival South Carolina die before it arrives in Tampa.
No question Swinney has the ACC's attention, but now he must prove he can avoid deflating the title dreams he helped build up.