Clemson, S.C.—Clemson finished the 2016 season ranked No. 1 in the nation in both the Associated Press and Amway Coaches poll. This is the second National Championship season in school history and the first since 1981.
Clemson finished with a 14-1 record after defeating previously undefeated Alabama 35-31 in the College Football Playoff Championship game on Monday, Jan. 9. Clemson’s 14 wins tie the FBS record for victories in a season (Alabama also finished 14-1 this year). It is the second year both Alabama and Clemson finished with 14-1 records.
Clemson achieved the National Championship while playing the nation’s most difficult schedule according to the NCAA. Since 1977 the NCAA has rated schedules based on the winning percentage of your FBS opponents when not playing against your team. This year Clemson opponents were 107-51 when not playing Clemson for a .677 percentage, best in the nation.
Clemson is just the sixth national champion to have played the nation’s most difficult schedule the season they won the title. The others are Penn State (1982), Colorado (1990), Florida (1996 and 2006), Alabama (2015).
Clemson defeated 11 FBS schools who finished the season with a winning record, including five who won at least 10 games and six who finished in the top 25 of the AP poll. Those schools were #2 Alabama, #6 Ohio State, #8 Florida State, #16 Virginia Tech, #21 Louisville and #24 Auburn. The six wins over teams that finished in the AP top 25 are the most in school history.
For the sixth straight year Clemson finished at least the same in its final poll as its preseason ranking by Associated Press poll. Clemson was second in the preseason AP and Amway Coaches polls, but finished first. Swinney is the first coach in history with a six-year streak in that area. John Cooper of Ohio State and Bill Snyder of Kansas State had five-year streaks.
Here are some other notes about Clemson and the polls:
Final AP Poll of Jan. 10, 2017
Final Amway Coaches Polls of Jan. 10, 2017
March 14, 2019