This is the highest preseason ranking Clemson has had since 2013 when the program was eighth. Clemson’s highest preseason ranking is history is No. 4 in 1984 and 1988. The only other year Clemson was No. 12 in the preseason ranking was 1989. The Tigers finished No. 12 that year.
Even though Clemson was the preseason favorite to win the ACC championship by media attending the league’s football kickoff last month at Pinehurst, N.C., Dabo Swinney’s team is the second highest ranked ACC team in both polls. FloridaState, the defending ACC Champion, is 10th by the AP, two spots ahead of Clemson. The Seminoles were eighth in the preseason USA Today Poll.
OhioState was the unanimous No. 1 selection (61 voters) by the Associated Press, the first school to be unanimous No. 1 since the AP first had a preseason poll in 1950. TCU is second, Alabama is third and Baylor is fourth. MichiganState is fifth in the preseason AP poll, the program’s highest preseason ranking since 1967.
Auburn is ranked sixth, Oregon seventh, Southern California eighth, Georgia ninth and FloridaState, who will play at Clemson on November 7, is ranked 10th. Notre Dame, who will play at Clemson on October 3, is ranked 11th, Clemson 12th, UCLA 13th, LSU 14th, and Arizona State 15th.
Georgia Tech, who will play at Clemson on October 10, is ranked 16th, while Mississippi is 17th, Arkansas is 18th, Oklahoma is 19th and Wisconsin is 20th. Stanford is 21st, Arizona is 22nd, Boise State is 23rd, Missouri is 24th and Tennessee is 25th.
Clemson is one of 11 schools with the same preseason ranking by the Associated Press and USA Today. That includes the top four schools, Georgia and Notre Dame.
This marks the fourth straight year Clemson has been ranked in the preseason top 25 by the Associated Press. Clemson was 14th in the preseason in 2012 and finished 11th. Clemson was eighth in the AP preseason poll in 2013 and finished eighth. The Tigers were 16th in the preseason in 2014 and finished 15th. Clemson was unranked in 2011 and finished 22nd. Clemson is the only school in the nation to finish at least the same in the post season AP poll compared to its preseason ranking, each of the last four years.
This is the 24th time Clemson has been ranked in the preseason top 25 by the Associated Press. The program has gone on to also finish in the top 25 at total of 13 of those 23 seasons. That includes each of the last three years. Clemson had a five-year run of being ranked in the preseason and the post season top 25 from 1987-91.
Clemson has been ranked in 61 of the last 67 polls dating to the 2011 season and including the 2015 preseason poll. Clemson, Alabama, Oregon and FloridaState are the only four schools to finish in the top 25 of the AP poll each of the last four years.