Season Review: Tigers' three-year run is best in three decades

Over the past three seasons Clemson's offense has set 138 new school records

Orange Bowl - Tajh Boyd holds the ball high after the final snap

Photo by Mark Crammer

Orange Bowl - Tajh Boyd holds the ball high after the final snap

Notes On Clemson's 32-8 Three-Year Run

Clemson has been ranked in the top 25 of both polls for 46 straight polls, and is one of just seven schools nationally that can make that claim, along with Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Stanford. It is the second longest streak of top 25 rankings in Clemson history. Clemson has been ranked in the final top 25 each of the last three years, the first time that has happened since the 1986-91 era.

Clemson has been to a BCS Bowl game two of the last three years and has beaten top 10 teams in bowl games each of the last two years. Clemson defeated seventh-ranked LSU in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl and sixth-ranked Ohio State in the 2014 Orange Bowl. Clemson is one of six schools to go to a BCS Bowl two of the last three years.

Clemson was ranked in the top 20 in each of the last 24 BCS polls, the longest streak of its kind in Clemson history. Clemson is one of just five schools that can make this claim. The others were Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon and Stanford.

Clemson is one of six schools that has been ranked in the top 15 in every final BCS poll each of the last three years, along with Alabama, Stanford, Oregon, South Carolina and Oklahoma.

Clemson has been ranked in the top 15 of the AP poll for 28 straight weeks (active streak entering 2014), the longest streak in Clemson history for top 15 rankings.

Clemson has won at least 10 games each of the last three years, the first time Clemson has done that since the 1987-90 era when Clemson had four straight 10-2 records.

Clemson is one of eight schools nationally and the only ACC school to win at least 10 games in 2011-12-13. The others are Stanford, LSU, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Northern Illinois and Alabama.

Clemson won 11 games in 2012, the most for the program since 1981. Clemson also won 11 games in 2013 and this is the first time Clemson has had back-to-back 11-win seasons.

Top 25 SEC teams have lost just 11 games to non-conference opponents the last three years. Clemson has four of the 11 wins over those top 25 SEC teams.

Clemson has at least one win over a top 10 team each of the last three years. The only other schools to do that are Alabama and Baylor.

Clemson has won 18 consecutive games against unranked teams by double digits. It is the second longest streak of its kind in the nation. Only Alabama has a longer streak with 27 straight.

Clemson has been successful in close games, posting a 6-0 record in games decided by seven points or less over the last three years.

Clemson, Alabama, Texas A&M and Ohio State are the only four schools in the nation to have an undefeated record against unranked teams each of the last two years.

Clemson has won 22 of its last 26 games with the only losses coming to teams that were ranked in the top 12 in the nation entering the game (Florida State and South Carolina).

Clemson has won at least six ACC games three consecutive years, the first time the program has done that since 1981-83.

Clemson ranks eighth in victories nationally over the last three years with 32. That includes eight wins over top 25 teams and five over top 10 teams. Clemson has defeated three top 10 teams in its last 14 games.

Clemson is the only school in the nation to record a win over a top 10 team in a bowl game each of the last two years. Clemson is the first ACC team to do it since Florida State did it three years in a row from 1993-95.

Only Clemson and Baylor have had a 3000-yard passer, a 1000-yard rusher and a 1000-yard receiver each of the last three years.

Clemson offense has established 138 records on offense on a team and individual basis over the past three seasons.

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Comments » 10

Xander5000 writes:

And in three of those years...not one win against Chickenlina. Kind of like having an ice cream sundae without the cherry on top....or a juicy angus steak without 57 sauce or A-1. You appreciate the meal but it just feels incomplete or somethings missing.

clemvol writes:

I'm absolutely sick hearing about back to back 11 win seasons for the Tigers. No, it's only back to back 9 win seasons. Surely no rational thinking fan can consider beating The Citadel or S.C. State or any other fcs school a real win. This is just ludicrous. The "Coots" crowing about 3 seasons with 11 wins is absurd. No matter how you cut it 9 wins is the total. Same thing with Alabama, Florida State, and so forth. Just stop with the "practice games". Don't give me the stories about the small guy beating the big school. The percentages don't compare. Why not schedule Illinois or Colorado or California to fill the out of conference schedule. Do this and STOP scheduling the practice games. All division one schools need to stop being afraid and need to man up. It makes each and every school look ridiculous.

BrandonRink writes:

in response to clemvol:

I'm absolutely sick hearing about back to back 11 win seasons for the Tigers. No, it's only back to back 9 win seasons. Surely no rational thinking fan can consider beating The Citadel or S.C. State or any other fcs school a real win. This is just ludicrous. The "Coots" crowing about 3 seasons with 11 wins is absurd. No matter how you cut it 9 wins is the total. Same thing with Alabama, Florida State, and so forth. Just stop with the "practice games". Don't give me the stories about the small guy beating the big school. The percentages don't compare. Why not schedule Illinois or Colorado or California to fill the out of conference schedule. Do this and STOP scheduling the practice games. All division one schools need to stop being afraid and need to man up. It makes each and every school look ridiculous.

If you take out those wins, Clemson has two double-digit win seasons in its history (1981/2012). Probably eliminates a bunch for other programs too.

I don't think Clemson's necessarily scared as much as they want an easy extra home game for the $$$. It's getting harder and harder to get lower FBS teams to just come to town - they want a home-and-home. So you end up with absurd things like Wake Forest going to Utah State and LA-Monroe this year or BC going to New Mexico State last year.

A 12-game season is a grind, so I don't mind one FCS team on the schedule, especially if it's keeping money instate like Clemson typically does. This next year, they play only one FCS team and that will likely be the practice moving forward.

Clemson's goal, and as Dabo talks about a bunch, is building a "championship" schedule, balancing the mix of strong opponents and some breathers. FSU played one FCS team last year and Alabama played two on its way to a title in 2012. No reason to make your road unnecessarily harder at your title chance's expense.

KIMOSAMI (Inactive) writes:

Scheduling 'lesser' schools is a win-win.
It's a home game for the big school....big stadium, more fans than the little guy. Little guy gets a relatively huge payday, and big guy keeps a wad more than he would have if he were playing, say, Illinois on home and home, even though Clemson would probably beat Illinois at both places.

Plus, it hopefully gives your starters a break, and gives the subs playing time. Both need it. For health and morale. It's a long season, and besides, the younger, or less talented guys deserve to play aa well. They are part of the team and actually play an important role.

Finally, tell Univ. of Michigan they should schedule Illinois(or the equivalent) instead of Appalachian State.....AND THEY WOULD SAY YOU'RE DAM RIGHT.

Did you notice how shoddy Wofford was a couple years ago????? It's ALWAYS a good game with those guys. Their only problem is depth.

At least that's how I see it.

tigerrob44#291802 writes:

in response to clemvol:

I'm absolutely sick hearing about back to back 11 win seasons for the Tigers. No, it's only back to back 9 win seasons. Surely no rational thinking fan can consider beating The Citadel or S.C. State or any other fcs school a real win. This is just ludicrous. The "Coots" crowing about 3 seasons with 11 wins is absurd. No matter how you cut it 9 wins is the total. Same thing with Alabama, Florida State, and so forth. Just stop with the "practice games". Don't give me the stories about the small guy beating the big school. The percentages don't compare. Why not schedule Illinois or Colorado or California to fill the out of conference schedule. Do this and STOP scheduling the practice games. All division one schools need to stop being afraid and need to man up. It makes each and every school look ridiculous.

I agree with what you say. I would go as far as saying there should be a rule against Div 1 schools playing any Div 2 school. The argument is the smaller schools need the money. Send them a check and play Alabama that day instead of XYZ Tech School for the spastic. I think Clemson has said recently they will not play anymore out of state lower division schools but the result is the same. A win for nothing but a win. It does nothing to help your team get ready for a real team like FSU.

Xander5000 writes:

Another problem of scheduling fairness Brandon, is that this is not really done at all programs that are Division-I/Power Conferences. If that is the case why all these years the ACC, Big XII, Pac 12....etc..... was and is always looked at, as basically inferior to the SEC, when the SEC is scheduling Cupcake State, Cream & Berries University or Gravy Tech as well. The high dollar media organizations pumped the SEC up with so much media steriods that some how it all got overlooked that they play small teams too, but its okay for them to automatically have 5 teams considered for a National Title every year. My hats off to teams that play decent real Division-I teams instead of the FCS schools. I would have at least one on a schedule, but after that let everybody should play a Utah, an East Carolina, an Indiana, a Colorado State, a Northwestern....etc...See where I'm going with this?
Its going to be interesting to see how and who gets in this 4-team playoff or 8-team playoff later, eventually. Because if you are going to look at someones schedule and base their qualifying ranking off that then there could be at least 10 p-oed programs out there that deserves a shot.

TigerNE writes:

in response to clemvol:

I'm absolutely sick hearing about back to back 11 win seasons for the Tigers. No, it's only back to back 9 win seasons. Surely no rational thinking fan can consider beating The Citadel or S.C. State or any other fcs school a real win. This is just ludicrous. The "Coots" crowing about 3 seasons with 11 wins is absurd. No matter how you cut it 9 wins is the total. Same thing with Alabama, Florida State, and so forth. Just stop with the "practice games". Don't give me the stories about the small guy beating the big school. The percentages don't compare. Why not schedule Illinois or Colorado or California to fill the out of conference schedule. Do this and STOP scheduling the practice games. All division one schools need to stop being afraid and need to man up. It makes each and every school look ridiculous.

Perfectly absurd. If those don't "count" in your book, then it's only logical to play squad players and not worry even if you lose. They aren't REAL wins after all......Heck, why not just forfeit them?

If you play and you win, it counts. Good grief.

Every game has value. In one case you may get to put in true freshmen and backups to gain experience that would be too risky against tougher competition. In another case you might get exposure to systems that benefit you (e.g. Citadel in prep for GT).

clemvol writes:

in response to BrandonRink:

If you take out those wins, Clemson has two double-digit win seasons in its history (1981/2012). Probably eliminates a bunch for other programs too.

I don't think Clemson's necessarily scared as much as they want an easy extra home game for the $$$. It's getting harder and harder to get lower FBS teams to just come to town - they want a home-and-home. So you end up with absurd things like Wake Forest going to Utah State and LA-Monroe this year or BC going to New Mexico State last year.

A 12-game season is a grind, so I don't mind one FCS team on the schedule, especially if it's keeping money instate like Clemson typically does. This next year, they play only one FCS team and that will likely be the practice moving forward.

Clemson's goal, and as Dabo talks about a bunch, is building a "championship" schedule, balancing the mix of strong opponents and some breathers. FSU played one FCS team last year and Alabama played two on its way to a title in 2012. No reason to make your road unnecessarily harder at your title chance's expense.

My main point is that no Division 1 school needs to beat their chest about double digit wins when you have fcs schools on your schedule. If you have to do this then don't count it as win. As far as schools having to travel then schedule on a regional basis. If schools complain about the cost i don't buy this because college football is a multi- million dollar business. Example: New facilities, coaches salaries ao so forth. With the college football playoff a team does not have to worry as much about a loss. ( I wish it was an 8 team playoff ).With a 12 game schedule i don't believe the grind is an issue. These guys are top atheletes in top shape that work out year round. I think that keeping the money in any state is an easy answer for wanting to pad you win column. I'm not pounding just on Clemson, i'm pounding over every Division 1 school that does this ridicoulous scheduling. I just don't think anyone can be proud of their win column with a "padded schedule".

TigerNE writes:

_clemvol_ Not sure how you conclude existing schedules are not a grind. Maybe they could be MORE grinding, but they are already a grind for almost every team. Just the injuries suffered alone is one measure. And as I commented in the earlier post, there is something gained in most every game played even if an "easy" one. It can be a pretty low risk way for coaches to experiment with players.

But if almost every FBS team is scheduling in a similar way (they aren't), then comparing teams by wins is still valuable. The bigger factor becomes the conferences instead of exactly who the OOC games include. And although not perfect, that gets built into BCS rankings and will affect playoff choices now. (Again, NOT perfect).

Maybe a better argument could be that schools that go too far in playing "easy" games may lose an edge in key games. Bama losing twice at the end of 2013 might have some relation to their playing 4 really easy OOC games, one just before Auburn. I'm counting VT as easy just because they were so bad during the season.

clemvol writes:

in response to TigerNE:

_clemvol_ Not sure how you conclude existing schedules are not a grind. Maybe they could be MORE grinding, but they are already a grind for almost every team. Just the injuries suffered alone is one measure. And as I commented in the earlier post, there is something gained in most every game played even if an "easy" one. It can be a pretty low risk way for coaches to experiment with players.

But if almost every FBS team is scheduling in a similar way (they aren't), then comparing teams by wins is still valuable. The bigger factor becomes the conferences instead of exactly who the OOC games include. And although not perfect, that gets built into BCS rankings and will affect playoff choices now. (Again, NOT perfect).

Maybe a better argument could be that schools that go too far in playing "easy" games may lose an edge in key games. Bama losing twice at the end of 2013 might have some relation to their playing 4 really easy OOC games, one just before Auburn. I'm counting VT as easy just because they were so bad during the season.

The bottom line is: i think i'm right, you think you are right and any other different opinion think they are right. We can always continue to agree to disagree. If we all had the same identical opinion ( other than knowing that SC will lose again, many times to the Tigers )then being a fan would be boring. For now though everyone needs to speak up, don't back off, and stick to your guns. P.S. The schedule still lacks and football is still a rough game.

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