MOST WINS SINCE 2015, SECOND-MOST SINCE 2011
Clemson has a 97-15 record in the last eight seasons dating to the beginning of the 2011 season. The 2018 campaign marked Clemson’s eighth consecutive season with double-digits wins, the second-longest streak in the country. Only Alabama (103-10) has more wins the last eight years.
The Tigers also have the second-highest winning percentage (86.6) in that time frame. Only Alabama has a higher winning percentage (91.2).
MOST WINS (2011-18)
The recent success has been particularly pronounced in the midst of Clemson’s four-year streak of College Football Playoff appearances since 2015. Clemson and Alabama are tied for the most wins in the country in that span, including splitting two national championships in that time frame.
MOST WINS (2015-18)
CONSECUTIVE 10-WIN SEASONS
ACTIVE STREAKS OF 10-WIN SEASONS
CLEMSON’s 10-WIN SEASONS
Clemson has 10+ wins in eight of Dabo Swinney’s 10 full seasons as head coach, excluding his interim season in 2008 when he only coached the team in seven games. He is one of only three active Power Five head coaches in the country to produce 10-win seasons in at least 80 percent of their seasons at the FBS level.
PERCENTAGE OF 10-WIN SEASONS IN FBS
Note: Active Power Five Conference head coaches during their FBS tenures.
Head coach Dabo Swinney can vividly recall the looks he received when he said Clemson was on the cusp of the winningest decade in program history following a 2010 campaign in which the Tigers finished 6-7. In 2017, that vision became a reality with two seasons to spare when Clemson collected its 88th win of the decade in the ACC Championship Game against Miami (Fla.) to surpass the Tigers of the 1980s (87) for most wins in any decade in school history.
With a rivalry win against South Carolina to close the 2018 regular season, Clemson reached triple digits in wins in a decade for the first time in program history. Included below are the schools that have accomplished that feat.
100 WINS BY DECADE (AS OF JAN. 1)
Note: FBS Programs
Including a 15-0 record last season, Clemson has a 103-22 record in the decade of the 2010s. That computes to an 82.4 winning percentage, the best for any decade in school history and the first time Clemson has won more than 80 percent in a single decade.
In the 1980s, Clemson had a 76.7 winning percentage (87-25-4), the nation’s fifth-best winning percentage. Clemson did not have a losing season in any year in the 1980s under head coach Danny Ford, who coached every game in that decade. Dabo Swinney has coached every game in the decade of the 2010s and has eight winning seasons and one losing season (6-7 in 2010).
CLEMSON’S WINNINGEST DECADES
At 15-0 in 2018, Clemson became the first team in the modern era to record 15 wins in a season. The last major college football team to finish 15-0 was Penn in 1897. Clemson would be the seventh team in major college football history to win 15 games in a season and the first since the 19th century.
15-WIN SEASONS (MAJOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY)
The 15 wins represented a school and ACC record.Clemson has accounted for three of the four 14-win seasons in ACC history.
Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team was the first ACC team to win 12 games in a season. Florida State accomplished the feat five times between 1993 and 2014, including a streak of three seasons with at least 12 wins from 2012-14. They won a then-record 14 games (14-0) in 2013, a mark tied by Clemson in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
MOST WINS IN ACC HISTORY
An attempt to encapsulate the full contribution of Clemson’s 2018 now-departed senior class may be futile, as the group ranked as one of the most successful. Prior to its exit, the 2018 senior class:
• Won two national championships.
• Posted a 55-4 overall record in its four years, tied for the most wins by a senior class in major college football history.
• Was the winningest class in both Clemson and ACC history.
• Became the first senior class in history to play in four consecutive ACC Championship Games, and with a 42-10 win against Pittsburgh, became the first class in history to win four ACC titles outright in a row.
• Became only the second senior class in the country to earn four consecutive College Football Playoff berths.
• Won 46 games against Power Five Conference opponents since 2015, most in the country.
• Was ranked in the AP top 15 in every poll of their careers, including a top-10 ranking in each of its last 59 polls, tied for the longest streak in the country.
• Finished 27-1 at home, tied for the best home record in the country since 2015 and tied with the 2017 Clemson seniors for the most home wins.
• Finished 23-1 in ACC Atlantic Division play and posted 4-0 marks against five of its six ACC Atlantic Division foes, with 4-0 records against Boston College, Florida State, Louisville, NC State and Wake Forest.
MOST WINS BY SENIOR CLASSES
Throughout the 2018 season, Head Coach Dabo Swinney reminded his players that anything Clemson had done once, they’d done again. The 2019 senior class will have the opportunity for that maxim to once again ring true.
The 2019 Clemson seniors are 41-3 since 2016, tied with Alabama for the best mark in the country. The group can tie the 2018 seniors for the best four-year mark in school, conference and Football Bowl Subdivision history with 14 wins in 2019 and can own the record outright if it were to repeat with another 15-0 campaign.
Clemson has won four straight ACC championships, joining Oklahoma as one of just two Power Five Conference schools to have an active streak of four consecutive conference championships.
POWER FIVE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS (2015-18)
From 2015-18, Clemson became the first ACC school to win four outright titles in a row. Florida State was a champion or co-champion nine years in a row from 1992-00, but never won more than three outright in a row.
Last year’s victory in the ACC Championship Game made Clemson only the second Power Five Conference school since the inception of league championship games in 1992 to win four straight conference championship games, joining the Florida Gators, who won four straight SEC Championship Games in a row from 1993-96. Clemson can become the first school to win five straight with a victory in the 2019 ACC Championship Game this year.
CONSECUTIVE LEAGUE TITLE GAME WINS
* – active streak; Note: Power Five Conference schools (1992-18).
Clemson is in the midst of some historically profound streaks in a multitude of categories. Below is a sample of those streaks.
• Has won 58 of its last 62 games overall dating to 2014.
• Has won 34 of its last 36 games against ACC teams.
• Has won 66 of its last 68 games when leading at halftime.
• Is 87-2 since 2011 when leading after three quarters.
• Is 39-0 when scoring first since 2015.
• Has an 87-2 record when totaling more first downs than its opponent since 2011.
• Has a 47-3 record when winning the turnover margin since 2011.
• Is 55-1 when rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
• Is 41-0 when both passing and rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
• Is 40-2 when having a 100-yard rusher since 2011.
• Has won 19 of its last 20 games away from home against ACC teams.
• Has won 19 of its last 20 road games.
• Has won 29 of its last 32 games away from home.
• Has won 36 of its last 37 games at home.
• Has won 28 of its last 29 games against ACC Atlantic Division teams.
• Has won 18 games in a row in September.
• Has won 19 of its last 20 games in October.
• Has won 10 games in a row in November.
• Has won 10 games in a row in December.
• Has won 63 of its last 65 games against unranked teams.
• Has won 20 of its last 21 games against top-25 teams.
• Enters 2019 having won 39 of its last 41 games against teams that ended their season in a bowl game (including 2018 Boston College, whose bowl game was cancelled as the result of inclement weather).
• Has won 68 straight games when holding teams under 23 points (dates to 2010).
Early in his head coaching tenure, Dabo Swinney laid out his belief to then-Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips that the Tigers needed to add tough non-conference challenges on top of their tests in ACC play to serve as a foundation for the program’s growth.
“I had a conversation with Terry Don and said, ‘Terry Don, I know we are not very good right now, but we need to play people because that is going to help me teach and help me develop the culture and the mindset that you have to have to win at the highest level’,” recounted Swinney prior to the 2018 season. “I didn’t think we had that, and that’s what we committed to. That’s what we’ve done.”
That scheduling philosophy and culture change has resonated in the Clemson program, and since 2013, no team can claim more wins against Power Five Conference opponents than the Tigers.
WINS vs. P5 OPPONENTS SINCE 2013
Head Coach Dabo Swinney’s run of excellence in his decade-plus at Clemson has placed him in the company of college football legends.
Swinney enters the 2019 campaign with a winning percentage of .795, the 18th-best among any major college football head coaches in history with at least 10 seasons of head coaching experience. He passed a number of legends in the midst of Clemson’s 15-0 campaign in 2018, including College Football Hall of Famers Bo Schembechler (.775), Bear Bryant (.780) and Henry Williams (.785), as well as Nick Saban (.789), whose Crimson Tide were defeated by Swinney and the Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Swinney (116) enters 2019 nine wins away from reaching 125 career victories as a head coach. Presently, only 96 coaches in major college football history have reached that mark. Other active coaches in striking distance of joining that club this season include Mike Gundy (121), Kyle Whittingham (120) and Bronco Mendendall (115). Swinney is five wins from matching the career total of Danny Ford, who won 121 combined games at Clemson (96) and Arkansas (25).
Entering 2019, Clemson has equaled or exceeded its postseason AP and USA Today rankings in comparison to its preseason rankings each of the last eight years. That included quite an accomplishment in both 2016 and 2018, as it finished No. 1 by winning the national championship to exceed the school’s No. 2 preseason ranking both times.
Clemson has exceeded its preseason ranking each of the last eight years in the coaches poll and has exceeded its preseason ranking in the AP poll in seven of the eight. The lone exception came in 2013, when Clemson was picked No. 8 in the AP preseason poll and finished No. 8. Dabo Swinney is the first head coach in history with a eight-year streak in that area. John Cooper (Ohio State) and Bill Snyder (Kansas State) had five-year streaks.
CLEMSON’S PRESEASON vs. POSTSEASON POLLS
Clemson has been ranked in the top 25 of 67 consecutive AP polls dating to the 2014 season, the third-longest active streak in the nation. That includes a streak of 58 straight top-10 rankings, tied for first in the country with Alabama.
As far as total top-25 rankings since 2011, Clemson has appeared in 122 of a possible 129 polls (94.6 percent). That is the third-most in the nation, trailing only Alabama (129) and Oklahoma (125).
AP POLL APPEARANCES (SINCE 2011)
ACTIVE AP POLL (TOP-25) STREAKS
ACTIVE AP POLL (TOP-10) STREAKS
CLEMSON’S LONGEST AP TOP-25 STREAKS
With a berth in the Cotton Bowl, Clemson extended its school-record bowl streak to 14 years in 2018. Clemson’s 14-year bowl streak is the second-longest in the ACC and eighth-longest in the country.
LONGEST ACTIVE BOWL STREAKS
Clemson’s 14-year streak dates back to a 19-10 Champs Sports Bowl win against Colorado to close the 2005 season. At 14 years, the streak now doubles Clemson’s previous longest streak, which covered seven seasons from 1985-91.
LONGEST CLEMSON BOWL STREAKS
Clemson has posted a 9-5 bowl record under Dabo Swinney, including an 8-2 mark in its last 10 bowl games dating to the 2012 season.
Clemson’s seven bowl wins under Swinney have not come against run-of-the-mill opponents. All seven of Swinney’s bowl victories have come against national-championship-winning head coaches at various levels of the NCAA, including wins against Les Miles, Urban Meyer, Bob Stoops, Nick Saban and Brian Kelly.
SWINNEY’S BOWL WINS (2012-18)
Clemson enters 2019 riding a 15-game winning streak, with all 15 coming during the team’s undefeated campaign in 2018. No other FBS program enters the year with a double-digit winning streak, as the next best streaks are held by Army (nine), Appalachian State and Ohio State (six each).
Clemson’s current 15-game winning streak marks the program’s 10th all-time winning streak of at least 10 games. Recently, Clemson had a 17-game winning streak from 2014-15 that currently stands as the longest in school history. A win against Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship was Clemson’s 15th straight of its active streak, which tied a streak from 1947-49 as the second-longest in school history. The current group can take sole possession of the second-longest streak in program history with a win in the 2019 season opener against Georgia Tech.
The current streak marks the third time Dabo Swinney has had a winning streak of at least 10 games. Danny Ford had three separate streaks of at least 10 games, including a 13-game streak from 1980 through the last game of the 1981 season.
Frank Howard had a 15-game winning streak from 1947-49 and was part of a 13-game streak from 1939-40. The school’s first 10-game winning streak took place under John Heisman from 1899 to 1901.
LONGEST CLEMSON WINNING STREAKS
A season ago, Clemson placed 18 selections on the three All-ACC teams, representing the most in school history and surpassing the 17 Tigers honored in 2015. Eight of those selections return.
CLEMSON ALL-ACC SELECTIONS (2018)
Clemson’s eight returning All-ACC selections (not counting honorable mentions) are the most in the conference in 2019.
RETURNING ALL-ACC SELECTIONS FROM 2018
Clemson’s eye-popping, record-setting offensive campaign in 2018 was authored at the skill positions in large part by underclassmen. The group was led in passing by true freshman Trevor Lawrence (3,280 yards), in rushing by sophomore Travis Etienne (1,658) and in receiving by sophomore Tee Higgins (59 receptions, 12 touchdowns) and freshman Justyn Ross (1,000 receiving yards).
The 2019 season will be only the second time in school history that Clemson will return a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,500-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver from the previous campaign. The only other Clemson team to welcome back such a trio was the eventual national champion 2016 squad, which returned quarterback Deshaun Watson, running back Wayne Gallman and wide receiver Mike Williams.
Clemson was one of only three FBS programs to produce a 3,000-yard passer, 1,500-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver in 2018 and one of only 20 teams (including only nine Power Five teams) to accomplish the feat this decade. If Clemson repeats the feat, it would become the first program this decade to produce a player in each category in back-to-back seasons.
3,000-YARD PASSER, 1,500-YARD RUSHER AND 1,000-YARD RECEIVER(S) (FBS SINCE 2010)
Clemson is the first Power Five program this decade to return a 3,000-yard passer, 1,500-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver from the year before. The only other FBS program to return such a trio was Western Michigan after the 2014 season.
In addition to Clemson’s elite on-field performance in 2018, the squad simultaneously posted one of the best academic semesters in the program’s history. Of note:
– A program-record 66 student-athletes earned a 3.0 or better for the fall semester, eclipsing the previous program record of 56 set in the fall of 2017. It marked the fourth semester in a row 50 or more football student-athletes made a 3.00 or greater.
– Nineteen student-athletes earned a 3.0 for the first time in their academic career. Ninety-four individuals on the team have now earned at least one 3.0 while at Clemson.
– Graduates Judah Davis, Justin Falcinelli, Alex Spence and Christian Wilkins completed their careers having earned a 3.0 or better in every semester they were enrolled.
– During the fall semester, 10 football student-athletes were enrolled in graduate degree programs. Twelve more student-athletes graduated in December, bringing the total number of graduates on the roster to 26. Furthermore, Justin Falcinelli and Christian Wilkins have each earned their Master’s degrees this semester.
– The fall 2018 team was represented in 30 different degree programs on campus, including four different graduate programs (Athletic Leadership, Business Administration, Communication Technology & Society, and Human Resource Development).