The No. 1 item on the 'goal board' posted in Clemson's West End Zone team auditorium is "win the opener."
It doesn't say "beat Georgia."
The objective may be one in the same this year, but the distinction is important as Dabo Swinney attempts to pilot his team through the treacherous hyper-charged buildup to college football's marquee opener.
Yeah, he knows it's a big game.
"I tell our team all the time that everybody is a nameless, faceless opponent," Swinney said last week. "We're playing Clemson every week. That's our toughest opponent every single week - Clemson.
"That's the mentality that I've tried to ingrain in these guys, so that there's no up-this-week, down-next-week; this is a big game, this is not a big game. When the scoreboard lights up, it's big, regardless of the name on the jersey."
That being said, Swinney knows this one is different - at least from the fans' perspective.
"When I first got the job in December of '08, I remember someone asking me about how excited we were to play Georgia in 2013," Swinney recalled. "I'm like 'I just hope I can live 'til 2013.' That was the furthest thing from my mind. But that tells you the significance of this game."
Swinney is glad to have the experience of last season's opener against Auburn in the Georgia Dome to build on.
"Just like last year when we opened up with a game like Auburn, in Atlanta on national TV, there's just so much more noise, from a national standpoint, surrounding the game than if you were playing more of a non-BCS type opponent," he said. "And then you throw in the fact that it's Georgia - Clemson-Georgia.
"I grew up watching Clemson-Georgia, and it's been neat watching it unfold. Both teams finished in the top 10 last season, it's Clemson-Georgia, ESPN GameDay (probably, but not officially), a night game, all that stuff. It makes it exciting. Our players don't live in a cave."
Swinney says it's important for the coaches to help the players manage the hoop-la, and their own excitement.
"It's something you have to manage and be really careful of," Swinney said. "If you just put everything into this game as a win-or-else type of deal, and you win the game, if you don't manage it the right way, it's a letdown and a rollercoaster deal. And vice-versa.
"If you don't win the game, both of these teams have great aspirations - big goals and big dreams for the season. Both of us hope to be in the top-10, competing for the whole thing when it's all said and done. The winner of this game isn't guaranteed a slot, and the loser of this game is not guaranteed to be out of it. Georgia lost an emotional game early last year, and they were five yards away from playing for the national title. Alabama has won it two years in a row, and they lost at home in November.
"The key thing is to stay focused on the right things, which is your commitment, your preparation, your work ethic, what out our formula for success is, as we've defined it at Clemson. The rest of it will take care of itself."
Tomorrow: Swinney's winning formula, and what the Tigers learned last season.