Finally, belatedly, Miami is in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game.
It's mostly hard to believe, but the Hurricanes will make their first ACC title-game appearance since joining the league in 2003.
"I'm proud of the team for getting here," Miami coach Mark Richt said, "now we've got to find a way to win it."
That will be no small task. Their opponent is defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Clemson.
"We'll find out Saturday for sure, with Clemson being the great championship-caliber team they are," Richt said. "It'll be a great measuring stick to see where we're at, quite frankly."
Clemson is 11-1 and will be bidding for its third consecutive ACC title and third straight berth in the College Football Playoff when the teams meet Saturday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
"We've just got to stay focused on what we can control and try to play our best four quarters of the season," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "If we can do that, being ACC champion and 12-1 would give us a seat at the table. It's definitely important to be in a good position going into this last weekend."
Seventh-ranked Miami (10-1) is coming off an upset loss at Pittsburgh that spoiled the Hurricanes' bid for a perfect season in Richt's second year at the helm. But a win Saturday could put Miami into the playoff.
Richt, who spent 15 years at Georgia before replacing Al Golden at Miami prior to last season, has overseen a rapid turnaround at his alma mater, guiding the Hurricanes to a 19-4 record in two seasons.
Swinney isn't surprised in the least.
"It was a great move for him," Swinney said. "All he did was win at Georgia. All he's ever done is win. He's great for our league.
"I've always respected Mark Richt. I think he's a great man who truly cares about his players. He's one of the great men in this business. He's always been a very easy guy to deal with."
Richt's team has been built around an opportunistic defense led by safety Jaquan Johnson and linebackers Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney. The Hurricanes lead the nation with a plus-17 turnover margin and also lead the country in sacks with an average of 3.55 per game.
On offense, junior quarterback Malik Rosier has had plenty of big moments, particularly in sparking late-game heroics in victories against Florida State, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and North Carolina.
Running back Travis Homer has been productive, rushing for 861 yards since taking over for the injured Mark Walton, who is out for the season. But the Hurricanes will be without standout tight end Chris Herndon, who suffered a season-ending injury against Pittsburgh.
"Chris Herndon has been a warrior for us, a great leader on and off the field," Richt said. "It's a shame he can't finish with us."
Despite massive personnel losses from last year's national championship team, Clemson is back in the national title hunt for a third straight year thanks to the rapid development of junior quarterback Kelly Bryant, who was charged with replacing two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson.
"Nobody had more pressure on him than Kelly Bryant coming into the season and he has led this team to 11-1 and a state championship, a division championship and hopefully an ACC Championship," Swinney said. "He's always been a guy who could beat you with his legs, but he's become much more of a complete player as the season has progressed."
The Tigers also have flourished thanks to a defense that ranks among the nation's best. Clemson is sixth nationally in total defense and ranks in the top 10 in nine other defensive categories.
Clemson's defensive front features four players who were either first- or second-team All-ACC selections and future NFL draft prospects all -- tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence, and ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant.
"I know it's going to be tough sledding against their defense," Richt said. "Their defensive front, you watch the film and you're like, 'Oh boy,' because their front is so strong.
"They've been able to rely on them against the run and also put pressure on the quarterback without a lot of blitzing. Our offensive line knows it's going to be a great challenge to move them in the run game and protect our quarterback."
The last time that Clemson and Miami played, in 2014, the Tigers rolled to a 58-0 victory in what turned out to be the last game for Al Golden.
"The last time we played them, they had a lot of talent, but for whatever reason that day it was just everything kind of went our way," Swinney said. "But that game has nothing to do with this game. It's all about this team and who can execute and do things the things they have to do to win the game.
"Our guy know what's at stake. So does Miami. That's what makes it fun and exciting. Embrace it."