Discover the growing Clemson Tigers Football Dominance With Information on their National and ACC Championship Seasons

2018 Tigers Ranked 5th Best of All-Time

At the beginning of the 2019 season, ESPN ranked what they believed to be the top teams in the first 150 years of college football.  Clemson’s 2018 squad made quite an impression with the No. 5 ranking.

The Tigers domination of defending national champion Alabama 44-16 in the College Football Playoff championship game was a key to CU’s high ranking.

Additional bullet points were gained by the Tigers winning its last 10 games by at least 20 points. The offense excelled with 526 yards per game, and the Tigers’ defensive unit held eight teams to 10 points or fewer. Clemson gave up a mere 13 points per game to lead all of FBS.

The Clemson 2019 National Champions ranks as one of the all-time best teams in the first 150 years of college football

Since the Atlantic Coast Conference first kicked off in 1953, Clemson has been a dominant force with numerous ACC championship seasons.  Head coaches such  as Frank Howard, Charley Pell, Danny Ford, Ken Hatfield and Dabo Sweeney have put their championship mark on the Tigers program,

The Tigers first national championship season was engineered by Head Coach Danny Ford in 1981.  Clemson posted a 12-0 season and were voted No. 1 in the AP and UPI polls following their 22-15 Orange Bowl victory over No. 4 Nebraska.

Following nearly four decades without championship success, Clemson regained its national swagger when Dabo Swinney took over the head coaching reins during the 2008 season.  Swinney built the Tigers into an ACC power as the Tigers began to regain the national spotlight.  Clemson advanced to the College Football Playoffs title game against Alabama following the 2015 season.  The Tigers fell to Alabama, but continued their momentum by earning national championships in 2016 and 2018.  Both of Coach Swinney’s national championships were culminated with victories over Alabama.  The 2016 season was completed with a 35-31 win over the Crimson Tide.  Two seasons later, Clemson dominated Alabama in the 2018 title game by a score of 44 to 16.

Clemson National Championship Seasons
YearRecordCoachPolls/Playoffs
201814-0Dabo SwinneyCFP
201614-1Dabo SwinneyCFP
198112-0Danny FordAP, UPI/Coaches Poll

ACC Conference Dominance

Along with the 1981 national championship, Clemson has been a leader in earning ACC Football Championships. After the league was created in 1953, Clemson gained their first conference title in 1956. The Tigers have also won or tied for conference football titles three years in a row multiple times.

Clemson ACC Championship Seasons
1956, 1958, 1959, 1965*, 1966, 1967, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Clemson National Championship Coaches

Danny Ford led the Clemson program from 1978-1989. Ford posted an overall 96-29-4 record and guided the Tigers to a national title in 1981.

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