Clemson Opens at No. 1 in AP Preseason Poll

Clemson Opens at No. 1 in AP Preseason Poll
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney reacts after a touchdown during the first half the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (Source: David J. Phillip)

CLEMSON, S.C. — For the first time in school history, the Clemson Tigers will enter the 2019 football season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 poll, which was released on Monday. It represents Clemson's second No. 1 selection among major polls this preseason, matching its ranking atop the 2019 preseason Coaches Poll.

Prior to Clemson's No. 1 ranking this preseason, the program's previous high had been second, the preseason rank held by both the 2016 and 2018 squads that would each go on to earn the national championship. Clemson's preseason ranking this year marks the sixth Top 5 preseason ranking in the AP Poll in school history, including 1984 (No. 4), 1988 (4), 2016 (2), 2017 (5) and 2018 (2).

Clemson has now been ranked in the AP Top 25 in the preseason in eight consecutive years, matching the longest such stretch in school history. The Tigers garnered a Top 25 preseason ranking from the AP in eight consecutive years under three different head coaches across the 1987-94 seasons.

Under Head Coach Dabo Swinney, Clemson has met or exceeded its preseason ranking in the final AP poll in each of the last eight seasons. Swinney's eight-year streak is the longest by a coach in college football history. The only time in the last eight years that Clemson did not exceed its preseason AP ranking was 2013, when the Tigers both opened and concluded the year at No. 8.

YEAR PRESEASON RANK (AP POLL) POSTSEASON RANK (AP POLL)

2011 NR 22

2012 14 11

2013 8 8

2014 16 15

2015 12 2

2016 2 1

2017 5 4

2018 2 1

2019 1 TBD

Clemson will open the season at Memorial Stadium against Georgia Tech on Thursday, Aug. 29, marking the earliest opener in the calendar year in the program’s 124-year history. The contest will be the first live football game broadcast on ACC Network, which launches on Aug. 22. Fans are encouraged to visit GetACCN.com and the ACC Network FAQ on ClemsonTigers.com to ensure that their cable providers will carry the network.