Clemson is joined by ACC member Duke and Big Ten member Northwestern on the short list.
Additionally, Clemson is the only FBS program nationally to finish each of the last five seasons in the top 25 of both polls on the field, and in the top 10 percent of APR scores academically. In fact Clemson is the only FBS program to do it five total times since the data was first announced 11 years ago. Boise State and Stanford have done it four times and Wisconsin three times.
The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each term and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in every sport. The most recent APRs are multiyear rates based on scores from the 2011-2012, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.
This season, Clemson finished second in both the Associated Press Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll on the field after playing in the National Championship game against Alabama. Clemson joins the Crimson Tide’s 2012 team as the only programs to play for the national championship on the field and finish in the top 10 percent of the APR in the same year.
With today’s announcement, Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney is the only FBS coach to have five years in which his team finished in the top 25 in the nation on the field in the fall, then had a top 10 percent ranking in the APR in the spring. David Shaw has done it three times at Stanford and Chris Peterson, now of Washington, did it three times with Boise State.
In terms of total seasons with an FBS program in the top 10 percent of the APR since Swinney became a permanent head coach in 2009, David Cutcliffe of Duke and Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern have done it seven times each. Swinney is third with six appearances since 2009. Troy Calhoun of Air Force is fourth with five, while David Shaw and David Bailiff are tied for fifth with four apiece.
Clemson and Stanford were the only schools in the nation to rank in the top 10 percent of the APR, finish in the top 25 of both polls and win their conference championship in 2015.
Programs with Top 25 Final Ranking on Field and Top 10% APR
(Since 2004-05 when APR Data first computed)
2004-05: Auburn (14-14), Boston College (18-18)
2005-06: Boston College (20-20)
2008-09: Miami (FL) (19-19)
2009-10: Boise State (9-7), Ohio State (5-5), Stanford (4-4)
2010-11: Boise State (8-6), Clemson (22-22)
2011-12: Alabama (1-1), Ohio State (3-NR), Stanford (7-6), Clemson (11-9); Northwestern (17-16), Boise State (18-14)
2012-13: South Carolina (4-4), Missouri (5-5), Clemson (8-7), Stanford (11-10), Wisconsin (22-21), Duke (23-22), Nebraska (NR-25).
2013-14: Clemson (17-15), Wisconsin (18-13), Boise State (20-16)
2014-15: Clemson (2-2), Stanford (3-3), Michigan (12-11), Utah (17-16), Wisconsin (21-21).
Final AP-USA Rankings in parenthesis