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Record-Setting Senior Class

Record-Setting Senior Class

By Tim Bourret // Athletic Communications

For years, I have written the final “Last Word” of the season about the senior class who will run down the Hill for a final time. It is an emotional time for anyone who has been with the program for four or five years.

Just think about the work that has been put in by the players who are fifth-year seniors. Five years of 29 preseason practices in the August heat is 145 total practices. There are 14 weeks to the season at four practices a week for a total of 280 practices during the season.

Then there are 15 bowl practices for five years, which equals 75 practices in December and January. And don’t forget about 15 spring practices for four years. It all totals to about 560 practices. And that does not include the games. This class will play game No. 52 today.

But all the blood, sweat and tears have been worth it for this group, for they have left a great legacy. They can further enhance it today by beating South Carolina to become the senior class with the most wins in school history. Last Saturday’s 28-0 win over Georgia State tied the school record of 40 by the 1990 seniors.

Defeating your rival to set the mark would certainly break the record with style, and that is the goal Saturday, one that would be at the top of the list of accomplishments for this distinguished group.

Here are some of the documents of success and leadership for this group.

  • Has 40 wins, tied for most in Clemson history and most since the 1990 season.
  • Has more ACC regular-season wins than any other Clemson class with a 26-6 record. The previous record was 24, set by the 2013 seniors.
  • Has a 25-2 record at home, the most home wins for a senior class.
  • One of just six schools in the top 15 of the final BCS standings in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • Had a streak of 50 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 20 of the AP poll, tied for the longest streak in Tiger history.
  • One of seven senior classes in the nation with 40+ wins.
  • Won or shared the ACC Atlantic Division Championship in 2011 and 2012.
  • Won the 2011 ACC Championship, Clemson’s first ACC title in 20 years.
  • Has played in two Orange Bowl games, the first class since the 1958 seniors to play in two “major bowls.”
  • Has two bowl wins over top-10 teams Louisiana State (2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl) and Ohio State (2014 Orange Bowl). Clemson was the only school in the nation to do that in 2012 and 2013.
  • Has eight victories over top-25 teams, tied for second-most for a senior class. The record is nine, held by the 2013 seniors and the 2006 seniors. As freshmen in 2011, this group helped the Tigers defeat four top-25 teams, most in a season in school history.
  • Has four wins over top-25 SEC teams, more than any other non-SEC class in the country.
  • Has finished in the top 25 in the nation in APR scores and performance on the field (AP) each of the last three years. That includes three straight top-15 finishes in APR scores. 

There is a final accomplishment that is noteworthy and record-setting. Eight current players on the team have already received their undergraduate degrees and 17 more players will join them in December. That means the Tigers will have a bowl roster with 25 graduates on it, more than for any other game in Clemson history.

That is an accomplishment that makes Head Coach Dabo Swinney, Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich and University President Jim Clements very proud.