It’s Miami Hurricanes vs. Clemson Tigers in the 2017 ACC Championship Game

CHARLOTTE, NC – DECEMBER 05: General view of Bank of America Stadium before the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship between the Clemson Tigers and the North Carolina Tar Heels on December 5, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

[Pregame live: All the action from GameDay at the U]

MIAMI GARDENS — One of the signs seen Saturday morning in the College GameDay crowd:

“Thank You Dabo.”

Those words, accompanied by a photo of Clemson coach Dabo Swinney shaking hands with a morose Al Golden, was in reference to the 58-0 thrashing the  Hurricanes suffered at the hands of Swinney’s Tigers in 2015. Miami fired Golden the next day, went onto hire Mark Richt, and two years later, had the attention of college football universe on its campus.

On Dec. 2, Miami will get to thank Swinney in person.

The Hurricanes will meet Clemson, the defending national champions, in the ACC Championship in Charlotte. The matchup was decided about 90 minutes before third-ranked UM hosted seventh-ranked Notre Dame at Hard Rock Stadium.

Miami (8-0, 6-0 ACC entering Saturday) clinched a berth by virtue of Virginia’s 38-21 loss at Louisville, which locked up the ACC Coastal Division. It is the first appearance in the conference title game for the Hurricanes, which joined the league from the Big East in 2004.

Fourth-ranked Clemson (9-1, 7-1) beat Florida State 31-14 to sew up the Atlantic side. The Tigers, which won their first national title since 1981 last season by beating Alabama, have not faced the Hurricanes since Oct. 24, 2015. Six weeks after that loss — the most lopsided in Miami’s nine-decade program history — the school hired Richt, who was fired by Georgia after 15 seasons.

Richt is 17-4 since taking over alma mater. His Canes entered Saturday’s game against the Fighting Irish (8-1) on a 13-game winning streak, the longest in the country and UM’s longest since a 34-game winning streak that lasted from 2000-02. With top-ranked Georgia’s 40-17 loss at 10th-ranked Auburn, four teams — Miami, Alabama, Wisconsin and UCF — were left unbeaten.

Clemson’s only loss this season was to Syracuse, a 27-24 stunner Oct. 13 in the Carrier Dome. UM defeated the Orange at home 27-19 on Oct. 21.

"Thank you Dabo"

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