Clemson ranks seventh by USA Today and eighth by the Associated Press in the final college football polls released on Tuesday morning. The number-seven ranking in USA Today is the highest final ranking for the Clemson program in one of the two major polls since 1981 when Clemson won the National Championship according to both wire services. Clemson’s number-eight final ranking in Associated Press is the highest for the program in that poll since a number-eight final ranking in 1982. Clemson defeated a then sixth-ranked Ohio State team, 40-35 on January 3 to win the Discover Orange Bowl. It marked the second straight year Clemson had beaten a top 10 team in a bowl game to conclude the season. Clemson closed the 2012 season by defeating a seventh-ranked LSU team, 25-24 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.. Clemson is the only program in the nation to defeat a top 10 team in a bowl game each of the last two years. The 2013 season marks the ninth season Clemson has been ranked in the final top 10 of at least one poll. It is the first time Clemson has had a top 10 final ranking in consecutive years since 1987 and 1988. Clemson was 10th in the final Coaches Poll of 1987 and eighth in the final coaches poll of 1988. This is the third straight season Clemson has finished in the top 25 of both polls. This is the third time in history Clemson has had a run of at least three straight years in the final top 25. Clemson was in the final top 25 for six consecutive years from 1986-91 and for three straight years from 1981-83. Clemson was one of two ACC schools to finish in the top 10 of both polls this year. Florida State won the national championship last night with a 34-31 win over Auburn. This marks the first time since 1997 that two ACC teams have finished in the top 10 of both polls. Florida State and North Carolina did it that year.
Here are some other notes on Clemson and the polls: •Clemson was ranked eighth in the preseason AP poll and eighth in the final poll. This marks the first time Clemson has had the same preseason and postseason ranking in a season in any poll. •This is the fifth time, the first time since 1990, that Clemson was ranked in the top 10 of the preseason AP poll and the final poll. The other years Clemson did it were 1982, 1987, 1988 and 1990. •Clemson will enter the 2014 season with a run of 46 straight polls in the top 25, the seventh longest active streak in the nation. It will be just four short of the Clemson record for consecutive polls in the top 25. Clemson had a streak of 50 from 1989-92. •The 2013 season marked the seventh season Clemson has been ranked in the top 25 of every AP poll. The other years were 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 2000, and 2012. •Today’s ranking is the 103rd time Clemson has been ranked in the top 10 by Associated Press.
•This is the 28th season Clemson has been ranked in the final top 25 by at least one of the polls. In 1956 Clemson was ranked 18th in the final UPI poll, but unranked by AP. That is the only time Clemson has been in the top 25 by UPI and not ranked by AP. Clemson’s 27 final top 25 rankings by AP ranks 19th among FBS schools. •Eight schools have been ranked in the final top 25 of the AP poll each of the last three years. The other schools to do it are Oregon, Alabama, LSU, Florida State, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Stanford. •Clemson is 22-4 over the last two years and all four losses have come to teams that have finished in the top 10 of the final AP poll in their respective seasons. This year Clemson’s two losses were to teams that finished in the top four. •This marked the second straight year Clemson has jumped up four spots into the top 10 of the final poll by defeating a top 10 team in a bowl game. Last year Clemson jumped from 13th to ninth in the USA Today poll by beating seventh ranked LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. This year Clemson jumped from 11th to seventh in the final USA Today poll by beating sixth ranked Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. •When Clemson (ranked 12th in BCS entering the game) defeated Ohio State (ranked seventh by BCS entering the Orange Bowl), the Tigers became the second ACC school to beat a higher ranked team in a BCS bowl. The only other league school to do it was #19 Virginia Tech over #12 Cincinnati in the 2008 Orange Bowl. •This is the ninth time Clemson has been ranked in the top 10 of at least one final poll. Not included is Frank Howard’s 1959 team that was 11th ranked entering the bowl season that year. The Tigers upset seventh-ranked TCU in the Bluebonnet Bowl, 23-7, but in those days there was no final poll after the bowl games. Five of the top 10 teams in the nation lost bowl games that year, so Clemson certainly would have been in the top 10 had there been a poll after the bowls.
Clemson’s Top 10 Seasons Year Record AP USA/UPI Head Coach 1950 9-0-1 10 10 Frank Howard 1978 11-1 6 6 Pell/Ford 1981 12-0 1 1 Danny Ford 1982 9-1-1 8 NR Danny Ford 1987 10-2 12 10 Danny Ford 1988 10-2 9 8 Danny Ford 1990 10-2 9 9 Ken Hatfield 2012 11-2 11 9 Dabo Swinney 2013 11-2 8 7 Dabo Swinney