Championship on the line Saturday

RALEIGH, N.C. - Virginia's 14-10 loss to Boston College on Saturday makes the Cavaliers' upcoming game in Tigertown more than just a senior day ceremony for the Tigers.

Clemson's 43-23 win over N.C. State sets the stage for the first-ever trip to the ACC Championship for the orange and purple.

Already in possession of the head-to-head tie-breaker over Boston College with the 25-7 win in September, Clemson sits alone atop the Atlantic Division with a 5-2 record.

And with a sixth-straight win this Saturday clinches a spot for Clemson in the championship and another shot at knocking off Georgia Tech.

Boston College is a half-game behind in second place (4-2) with remaining matchups against North Carolina and Maryland. If upset by Virginia, Clemson's berth would still be possible--Boston College would have to lose one of the two remaining games.

As he looked ahead to the upcoming week, coach Dabo Swinney continued to hold true to the idea he's been pitching over the past several weeks.

"It's all about us. It really doesn't matter about anything else. It's about how we play and how we prepare," he said. "This team has really bought into that.

"What a great opportunity we have for our seniors to play their last game at home in Death Valley and to play for a division title and to be able to go to Tampa."

C.J. Spiller and his classmates are "one step closer to heading to Tampa."

"We've been so close," he said. "We've been through so much, but it's not going to get any easier. Virginia is going to come in there next week geared up and ready to go."

As close as Spiller has been to making the ACC Championship before, he won't speculate the feelings until it's official that Clemson has a second date set with Georgia Tech.

"Hopefully, after next week, it will be a better feeling. We've got out eyes on the prize and it's just another we've got to try to get over next week," he said.

Michael Palmer thought back to the past few seasons when speaking to reporters after Saturday's win. What's been so close, but so elusive, is "within our grasp."

"It's something special to be able to say, ‘This is for us.' We don't have to worry about anyone else losing or winning," he said. "We just have to go win…it's a great feeling right now."

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