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Clemson 19th In the Preseason AP Football Poll

Aug. 11, 2001

Clemson is ranked 19th in the preseason Associated Press poll, released Saturday, August 11th. This is the 18th time since 1936 that Clemson has been ranked in the preseason top 25 of that poll. This is the second straight year Clemson has been in the preseason top 20, as the Tigers were 17th in last year’s preseason poll. The Tigers improved on that by finishing 16th in the final AP poll. Clemson was 14th in the final USA Today poll for the 2000 season. Clemson was 18th in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Coach’s poll released earlier this month.

Clemson’s highest preseason ranking in the history of the AP poll is a number-four ranking. Clemson had that lofty ranking in 1988 and 1984. The 1988 team finished 10-2 and ranked ninth in the final poll. The 1984 team finished 7-4 and was not ranked in the final AP poll. That team led by William Perry and Mike Eppley did finish 20th in the final New York Times computer ranking.

The preseason poll is not always an indication of future success or failure for the Tigers, although it was last season. The previous three seasons Clemson was ranked in the preseason top 25 it failed to finish in the top 25. The 1993 season was the last time prior to 2000 that Clemson was ranked in the preseason and the postseason poll in the seame year.

Last year was the 11th time Clemson was ranked in the Associated Press preseason poll and finished the season in the top 25. That includes a streak of five straight years between 1987-91. There have been nine seasons in which Clemson was unranked in the preseason poll, then finished the season ranked in the top 20. That includes the 1981 season when Clemson was unranked in August, then won the National Championship in January. The last time Clemson went from unranked in the preseason to a final top 25 ranking was 1986 when Clemson finished 17th after an 8-2-2 season.

Of the 17 times that Clemson has been ranked in the preseason poll prior to this year, Clemson has finished higher than the preseason ranking just five times (1958, 1978, 1982, 1990 and 2000). In one season, 1989, Clemson had the same preseason and final ranking.

“I don’t pay that much attention to the preseason polls,” said Bowden. “It is good to be mentioned and receive the national attention. It is an accomplishment to be in the preseason poll for the second straight year. It does show some consistency.” Clemson has now been ranked in the top 20 of the AP poll for 18 consecutive polls. “But, the object is to be in the poll at the end of the year. We did that last year, the first time for this program since 1993. That was one of our goals in the preseason last year, to finish in the final poll. It is obviously a goal to be in the poll at the end of this season as well.”

Clemson in the Associated Press Preseason Poll

Year Pre Rank Final Rec Finak RK
1958 18 8-3 12
1959 8 9-2 11
1960 9 6-4 NR
1978 18 11-1 6
1982 11 9-1-1 8
1984 4 7-4 NR
1987 9 10-2 12
1988 4 10-2 9
1989 12 10-2 12
1990 10 10-2 9
1991 9 9-2-1 18
1992 13 5-6 NR
1993 22 9-3 23
1994 25 5-6 NR
1996 25 7-5 NR
1997 18 7-5 NR
2000 17 9-3 16
2001 19 ? ?

Seasons ranked in preseason and postseason top 25 in bold.