CLEMSON, SC – Clemson is ranked eighth in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll released on Thursday. It is the highest preseason ranking for the Clemson football program since 1988 when Clemson was fourth in the preseason for both the AP and Coaches (UPI at the time) polls.
Clemson is the highest ranked ACC team in the preseason poll. Florida State, a Clemson opponent at Death Valley on October 19, is ranked 12th.
This is the eighth time Clemson has been ranked in the top 10 of at least one preseason poll. The highest preseason ranking Clemson has had is number-four. Clemson was number-four by Associated Press in 1984 and fourth in 1988 by both polls.
This marks the 30th consecutive poll Clemson has been ranked in the top 25. The streak dates to early in the 2011 season. It is the third longest streak in Clemson history. Clemson is one of six schools that have been ranked in 30 consecutive polls, joining Alabama, LSU, Stanford, South Carolina and Oregon.
Clemson will open the season against fifth ranked Georgia at Death Valley. It will be the first time Clemson has opened a season at home against a top five ranked team. The previous high ranked team Clemson has faced at home in the opener is an 11th ranked Georgia team in 2003.
With Clemson’s number-eight ranking in the preseason of the USA Today poll, the Clemson vs. Georgia game will be the first opener in Clemson history in which both teams are ranked in the top 10. The previous closest was in 1982 when 11th ranked Clemson played at seventh ranked Georgia. Clemson and Georgia were the previous two national champions entering that game and the contest was played on ABC on Labor Day night in Athens.
At number-five, Georgia is the highest ranked team Clemson has faced in the opener at any site in 50 years. Clemson played at fourth ranked Oklahoma in 1963.
The Tigers will face three teams ranked in the top 12 of the preseason poll this year, fifth ranked Georgia on August 31 in the opener, 12th ranked Florida State on October 19 and seventh ranked South Carolina on November 30 in Columbia.
Clemson has six wins over top 25 teams over the last two years and three of the wins have been against SEC teams. Top 25 ranked SEC teams have lost just seven games to non-SEC teams over the last two years and three of the seven losses have been to Clemson.
This marks the second consecutive year Clemson has been ranked in the preseason top 25. The Tigers were 14th in both preseason polls last year. Clemson finished 11th in AP and ninth in USA Today last season.
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