Last updated: August 23. 2014 6:13AM - 46 Views

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CLEMSON — Clemson was ranked 16th in the preseason Associated Press College Football Poll released Sunday. The ranking matches Clemson’s number-16 ranking in the preseason USA Today poll released on July 31.


“I think it is a good place to start,” said Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “With two of our first three games against top 12 teams on the road we will have a chance to improve on that (ranking) early in the season. We look at those games at Georgia and at Florida State as an opportunity, but we will obviously have to play well.”


Overall, Clemson has four games against teams ranked in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 and three of those contests will be played before the end of September.


In addition to games against #12 Georgia on Aug. 30 and at #1 Florida State on Sept. 20, the Tigers play host to #23 North Carolina on Sept. 27, and #9 South Carolina on Nov. 29.


This marks the third consecutive year Clemson has been ranked in the preseason top 16 of the Associated Press Poll. Clemson was 14th in the preseason for 2012 and eighth last year. Clemson finished 11th and eighth, respectively, according to AP each of the last two years.


This is the first time Clemson has been ranked in the preseason for at least three consecutive years since a streak of eight years in a row from 1987-94.


Overall, this is the 23rd year Clemson has been ranked in the Associated Press preseason poll. The Tigers have gone on to finish in the top 25 of those seasons 13 times. But the Tigers have finished in the top 25 both times they have been ranked in the preseason under Swinney.


Conversely, Clemson has ranked in the final top 25 nine seasons without a preseason top 25 ranking. Swinney’s teams have done that twice, in 2009 and 2011. Additionally, Clemson won the 1981 National Championship without a preseason top 20 ranking.


Sunday’s ranking marks the 47th consecutive poll Clemson has been ranked in the Associated Press top 25. The streak dates to early in the 2011 season. It is the second longest streak in Clemson history and three polls off the record of 50 in a row.


Clemson is one of seven schools that has been ranked in 47 consecutive AP polls, joining Alabama, Oklahoma LSU, Stanford, South Carolina and Oregon.

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