ACC

Clemson makes history with No. 1 ranking in preseason AP Top 25

New Clemson team with new challenges. That’s business as usual, Dabo says

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney speaks Wednesday, July 17, at ACC Kickoff media event in Charlotte about the upcoming season.
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Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney speaks Wednesday, July 17, at ACC Kickoff media event in Charlotte about the upcoming season.

Clemson has already made history before the 2019 season even starts, but it’s not the kind of history Tigers coach Dabo Swinney cares about.

Clemson is ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP poll for the first time in school history, it was announced Monday. The Tigers are also ranked No. 1 in the preseason USA Today coaches poll, which came out earlier this month.

Swinney downplayed the honor of being preseason No. 1 and said it’s really not much of an honor.

“Unless they bring us a trophy and tear the concrete out over there and put the preseason champs up there, I don’t think we’re going to do that. So it just doesn’t matter,” Swinney said. “ It’s just is a distraction for people to ask me questions about it because it just doesn’t matter.

Alabama is ranked No. 2, followed by Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State.

Clemson plays two opponents ranked in the preseason AP top 25, facing No. 12 Texas A&M in Week 2 and No. 22 Syracuse in Week 3. The Tigers had previously been ranked as high as No. 2 in the preseason twice — 2016 and 2018 — before being preseason No. 1 this year.

“I guess that means that people think we’ve got a good team coming back, and I guess that means that we were a good team last year, so I guess that’s a pro,” Swinney said. “I guess that beats not being ranked at all because everybody thinks you stink. I guess that’s the pro.”

While Clemson made history with its preseason ranking, the Tigers also have a streak that is coming to an end.

Clemson has finished higher than its preseason ranking in the AP poll each of the previous eight seasons. The best the Tigers can do this year is tie their No. 1 ranking.

“Can’t we finish like negative?” Swinney joked. “We’d be zero. I guess that’d be the next one. Super duper (one). Maybe we can tie it. We’d have to change the rhetoric.”

Clemson and Georgia Tech kick off the season as part of the launch of the ACC Network with an 8 pm game next Thursday, Aug. 29.

More about Clemson from The Associated Press:

“Clemson is the 23rd team to be preseason No. 1 and the first first-timer since Georgia in 2008. The Tigers will try to become the 12th team to start No. 1 and finish No. 1 since the preseason poll started in 1950. The last to do it was Alabama in 2017. Only two teams have gone wire-to-wire as No. 1: Florida State in 1999 and Southern California in 2004. Alabama has now been No. 2 to start the season nine times, matching Oklahoma for the most in AP poll history. Just as many teams (11) have started No. 2 and won the title as No. 1.”

AP Top 25



Record

Pts

Pvs

1. Clemson (52)

15-0

1,540

1

2. Alabama (10)

14-1

1,496

2

3. Georgia

11-3

1,403

7

4. Oklahoma

12-2

1,331

4

5. Ohio St.

13-1

1,261

3

6. LSU

10-3

1,199

6

7. Michigan

10-3

1,164

14

8. Florida

10-3

1,054

7

9. Notre Dame

12-1

1,044

5

10. Texas

10-4

1,005

9

11. Oregon

9-4

860

-

12. Texas A&M

9-4

852

16

13. Washington

10-4

786

13

14. Utah

9-5

772

-

15. Penn St.

9-4

651

17

16. Auburn

8-5

578

-

17. UCF

12-1

410

11

18. Michigan St.

7-6

377

-

19. Wisconsin

8-5

370

-

20. Iowa

9-4

330

25

21. Iowa St.

8-5

302

-

22. Syracuse

10-3

209

15

23. Washington St.

11-2

200

10

24. Nebraska

4-8

154

-

25. Stanford

9-4

141

-

Others receiving votes: Missouri 117, Army 94, Mississippi St. 87, Miami 70, Northwestern 63, TCU 57, Virginia 44, Boise St. 38, Cincinnati 16, South Carolina 15, Virginia Tech 12, Fresno St. 8, Utah St. 8, Minnesota 7, Memphis 6, Appalachian St. 5, UAB 3, West Virginia 3, Oklahoma St. 3, Arizona St. 3, Arizona 1, Southern Cal 1.

History: AP Preseason No. 1 Teams

x-won national championship

2019—Clemson

2018—Alabama

2017—Alabama-x

2016—Alabama

2015—Ohio St.

2014—Florida St.

2013—Alabama

2012—Southern Cal

2011—Oklahoma

2010—Alabama

2009—Florida

2008—Georgia

2007—Southern Cal

2006—Ohio St.

2005—Southern Cal

2004—Southern Cal-x

2003—Oklahoma

2002—Miami

2001—Florida

2000—Nebraska

1999—Florida St.-x

1998—Ohio St.

1997—Penn St.

1996—Nebraska

1995—Florida St.

1994—Florida

1993—Florida St.-x

1992—Miami

1991—Florida St.

1990—Miami

1989—Michigan

1988—Florida St.

1987—Oklahoma

1986—Oklahoma

1985—Oklahoma-x

1984—Auburn

1983—Nebraska

1982—Pittsburgh

1981—Michigan

1980—Ohio St.

1979—Southern Cal

1978—Alabama-x

1977—Oklahoma

1976—Nebraska

1975—Oklahoma-x

1974—Oklahoma-x

1973—Southern Cal

1972—Nebraska

1971—Notre Dame

1970—Ohio St.

1969—Ohio St.

1968—Purdue

1967—Notre Dame

1966—Alabama

1965—Nebraska

1964—Mississippi

1963—Southern Cal

1962—Ohio St.

1961—Iowa

1960—Syracuse

1959—LSU

1958—Ohio St.

1957—Oklahoma

1956—Oklahoma-x

1955—UCLA

1954—Notre Dame

1953—Notre Dame

1952—Michigan St.-x

1951—Tennessee-x

1950—Notre Dame

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