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#ClemsonFB: Opens 2018 Campaign At No. 2

Tide and Tigers on top, once again …

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Clemson University will enter the 2018 college football campaign as the No. 2 team in the nation, according to preseason rankings released this week by the Amway Coaches Poll.

The Tigers (0-0, 0-0 ACC) are coming off of their third consecutive appearance in the College Football Playoff.  Head coach Dabo Swinney’s squad lost the national championship to Alabama after the 2015 season, then beat the Tide to capture the 2016 title.  The Tigers lost in the national semi-final round to Nick Saban’s team a year ago.

Swinney’s teams are 101-30 in his nine-and-a-half seasons at the helm of the program.  Since bringing on Brent Venables as his defensive coordinator in 2012, Swinney’s teams are 72-11.

We maintain Venables has been the real key to Clemson’s success.

Alabama – which went on to capture its fifth championship in nine seasons last year – enters the 2018 campaign as the runaway No. 1.  The Tide (0-0, 0-0 SEC) received 61 of 65 possible first-place votes – well ahead of Clemson’s three first-place votes (and the one first-place vote received by Ohio State).

Georgia (0-0, 0-0 SEC) – which took the Tide to overtime in January’s title tilt – enters the 2018 season ranked No. 4.

South Carolina (0-0, 0-0 SEC) failed to crack the rankings, but head coach Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks are on the cusp – entering the season just outside the Top 25.  Last year saw South Carolina enter the rankings (albeit briefly) for the first time since the 2014 season.

Here is the complete pre-season poll …

1. Alabama (61) 0-0 – 1621
2. Clemson (3) 0-0 – 1547 
3. Ohio State (1) 0-0 – 1458
4. Georgia 0-0 – 1452
5. Oklahoma 0-0 – 1288
6. Washington 0-0 – 1245
7. Wisconsin 0-0 – 1243
8. Miami 0-0 – 1091
9. Penn State 0-0 – 1050
10. Auburn 0-0 – 1004
11. Notre Dame 0-0 – 892
12. Michigan State 0-0 – 870
13. Stanford 0-0 – 768
14. Michigan 0-0 – 752
15. USC 0-0 – 691
16. TCU 0-0 – 530
17. Virginia Tech – 0-0 524
18. Mississippi State – 0-0 407
19. Florida State – 0-0 328
20. West Virginia – 0-0 310
21. Texas 0-0 – 265
22. Boise State 0-0 – 261
23. UCF 0-0 – 259
24. LSU 0-0 – 254
25. Oklahoma State 0-0 – 168

Others receiving votes: South Carolina 138, Florida 135, Oregon 105, Utah 81, Texas A&M 67, Northwestern 67, Kansas State 35, Florida Atlantic 27, Memphis 23, Boston College 23, NC State 22, Arkansas State 19, Troy 19, Appalachian State 16, San Diego State 15, Kentucky 8, Iowa State 8, Iowa 8, Washington State 7, South Florida 6, Duke 5, Fresno State 4, Louisville 3, Arizona 2, Houston 2, Army 1, Northern Illinois 1.

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Banner: John Byrum/ Sideline Carolina


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