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By Tim Bourret // Athletic Communications
When head coach Dabo Swinney took this job on a full-time basis in 2008, he received a lot of correspondence from Tiger fans encouraging him to lead the program back to the days of great success, especially during the 1980s when Clemson won a national championship, captured five ACC titles and had the fifth-best winning percentage in the nation.
At a recent press conference, he talked about the program’s recent run and encouraged Tiger supporters to enjoy this time period.
“These are the good old days,” said Swinney.
His overall goal is to make this the most successful decade in Tiger football history.
Clemson is well on its way with 58 wins in this decade in just six years, and this year is not over. Two more wins and this program would reach an average of 10 wins per year for this decade.
This group of 20 seniors that will run down the Hill for the final time this weekend did not come to Clemson with a lot of high recruiting rankings, but it obviously came to Clemson with a lot of heart and leadership. There have been many players who did not become prominent players until their senior seasons, but when they were asked to step up, they did.
Here are some of the accomplishments for the 2015 senior class:
• Has a 42-7 overall record, and with a win today, it can set the school record for most wins in a four-year period. That would be some accomplishment in the seniors’ final home game.• This class has an 85.7 winning percentage, best in school history. It will have to continue winning to keep that record. The second-best mark is 84.4 by the 1984 seniors, a group that included William Perry. That class finished 37-6-2.• The group already has the school record for conference wins (27), a mark that was reached last week with the win at Syracuse. This group is an incredible 27-4 against ACC teams. With a win today, it would give this group an 87.5 winning percentage in league play, the best mark since the 1941 class was 16-1-1 (.917) in Southern Conference games.• This group is 25-2 at home, and with a win today, it would tie the school record for home wins by a senior class. Last year’s seniors were 26-2. A 26-2 record would also tie the mark for the best winning percentage by a class at Memorial Stadium, a facility that dates to 1942. Clemson’s 1930 seniors are the only class better from a winning percentage standpoint with a 96.4 mark (13-0-1). That group played its home games on Riggs Field.• In terms of national rankings, this group has been ranked in 58 of 61 polls. That includes a streak of 15 in a row that is active. This week marked the 29th time it was ranked in the top 10, and this year tied the record for the highest national ranking with a No. 1 mark in the release of the first College Football Playoff poll on November 3.• The class has already been a part of some of the biggest wins in school history. The class has wins over top-10 teams Louisiana State, Georgia, Ohio State and Notre Dame. There is a strong chance Clemson will face another top-10 team in the postseason.
Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment by the class is beating eight of the top-17 teams in college football history in terms of winning percentage. The list includes Notre Dame (No. 1), Ohio State (No. 4), Oklahoma (No. 5), Florida State (No. 11), Louisiana State (No. 13), Georgia (No. 14), Miami (Fla.) (No. 15) and Auburn (No. 17).
It has been an impressive list of accomplishments, but as Swinney has said to this team in recent weeks, “There is still so much more out there to accomplish.”
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