Clemson nabs first top-10 finish since 1990 with No. 9 USA Today ranking

Tigers ranked 11th by AP; Bulldogs 4th, Gamecocks 7th, Seminoles 8th in coaches' poll

Dabo Swinney celebrates after Chandler Catanzaro kicks the game winning field goal against LSU

Photo by Mark Crammer

Dabo Swinney celebrates after Chandler Catanzaro kicks the game winning field goal against LSU

By split decision, Clemson has achieved its goal of finishing the 2012 season as a top-10 team.

The Tigers are ranked ninth in the season's final USA Today Coaches' Poll after defeating LSU 25-24 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Clemson came in 11th in balloting for The Associated Press Top 25.

The final top-10 finish is the first for Clemson since 1990, when the Tigers were ranked ninth by both the media and coaches. It marks the Tigers' fifth top-10 finish since Clemson won the national title in 1981.

Clemson is ranked immediately behind Florida State in both polls. The Seminoles are ranked eighth by the coaches and 10th by AP.

Clemson was ranked in every poll this year and has a streak of 29 consecutive polls being ranked, the third longest streak in school history. This is the first time since the 2000 season and just the fourth time in history that Clemson was ranked in the top 25 of every poll during the season.

Clemson was last ranked in the top 10 in the 1990 season when the Tigers were ranked ninth in both final polls. It is the eighth season that Clemson has finished in the top 10 of at least one poll. Clemson also had a top 10 final ranking in at least one poll in 1950, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988 and 1990.

The Tigers finished with an 11-2 record, their most wins in a season since 1981.

Alabama climbed to No. 1 in both versions after thumping Notre Dame 42-14 in the national championship game Monday night. It is the third BCS title in four seasons for the Crimson Tide.

The coaches' poll lists Oregon No. 2, followed by Notre Dame, Georgia, Texas A&M, Stanford, South Carolina, Florida State, Clemson and Florida. Kansas State tops the second 10, followed by LSU, Louisville, Boise State, Oklahoma, Northwestern, Utah State, Texas, Oregon State and Vanderbilt. San Jose State finished in the No. 21 spot, followed by Cincinnati, Nebraska, Northern Illinois and Tulsa.

Also receiving votes were Michigan, UCLA, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Central Florida, Arkansas State, Arizona State, Rutgers, Kent State, Louisiana Tech, Arizona and Ohio.

Oregon is also ranked No. 2 in the AP poll, with Ohio State (ineligible for the coaches' poll) third, Notre Dame fourth, and Georgia and Texas A&M tied for fifth. Stanford is ranked seventh, followed by South Carolina, Florida, FSU, Clemson, Kansas State, Louisville, LSU and Oklahoma. Utah State is 16th, followed by Northwestern, Texas, Oregon State, San Jose State, Northern Illinois, Vanderbilt, Michigan and Nebraska.

Also receiving votes for the AP poll were Baylor, Penn State, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, UCLA, Arkansas State, TCU, Central Florida and Wisconsin.

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Comments » 11

Bigboots writes:

Would it have been too hard to simply post the polls as lists?
1. Alabama
2. Oregon

Etc...

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

1st time since 1990? Wow. Congratulations on almost being relevant.

drunkninja18 writes:

Bull! How is Florida rank ahead of Clemson when they lost to a Louisville team?! If this was a regular season game, they would be out of the top ten! One ACC team that struggle against a MAC team stays in the top ten; while another ACC team played a top SEC team WON but, only moved up in the AP three spots!

FutureClemsonFootballPlayer writes:

in response to YabbaDaboDooDoo:

1st time since 1990? Wow. Congratulations on almost being relevant.

So, SCAR wasn't relevant 3 years ago? just another doormat in the SEC. Now they're just a glorified doormat

johnsmyth writes:

in response to drunkninja18:

Bull! How is Florida rank ahead of Clemson when they lost to a Louisville team?! If this was a regular season game, they would be out of the top ten! One ACC team that struggle against a MAC team stays in the top ten; while another ACC team played a top SEC team WON but, only moved up in the AP three spots!

It is called strength of schedule! Clemson has ONE win against a ranked team, the other two ranked teams they played resulted in losses. Florida has wins against 3 top 10 teams, one loss usually results in a drop in the polls of 4 to 5 places so UF was not going to go from 3rd to 12th after one loss.

johnsmyth writes:

in response to FutureClemsonFootballPlayer:

So, SCAR wasn't relevant 3 years ago? just another doormat in the SEC. Now they're just a glorified doormat

Guess that makes CU the second best doormat in the state AGAIN!

FutureClemsonFootballPlayer writes:

in response to johnsmyth:

Guess that makes CU the second best doormat in the state AGAIN!

not really when we actually have won something

radtiger writes:

in response to FutureClemsonFootballPlayer:

So, SCAR wasn't relevant 3 years ago? just another doormat in the SEC. Now they're just a glorified doormat

I dont think I would call a team that has beat us 3 yrs in a row and shut our offense down a "DOORMAT".....then what does that makes us????

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

in response to radtiger:

I dont think I would call a team that has beat us 3 yrs in a row and shut our offense down a "DOORMAT".....then what does that makes us????

Agree with everything you said except for the "3 yrs in a row" part (it's 4).

TrevorT writes:

in response to YabbaDaboDooDoo:

1st time since 1990? Wow. Congratulations on almost being relevant.

Thanks! I know it's a joy all gamecocks understand well, at least for the past 2 years, out of how many? like 120?

TrevorT writes:

Why is it such a problem to say that there are 2 solid college football programs in SC right now? Personally, I'm proud of that. The gamecocks have the advantage right now, but anyone on either side who doesn't take their rival seriously at this point is a fool.

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