This could be Clemson’s best year in its big three sports since 1986-’87
Clemson’s football program may have won the national championship in 2016, but so far the 2017-’18 academic year has been a banner sports year for Clemson Athletics, especially for the football and men’s basketball programs.
Not since 1989-’90 has Clemson had this much success in its two major revenue sports. That season Clemson finished ranked No. 11 in the Coaches Poll and No. 12 by the Associated Press, while the men’s basketball team won the program its only ACC Regular Season Championship and finished the year ranked No. 13 by the coaches poll and 17th in the AP’s Final Poll.
The 1989-’90 season was also a Sweet 16 finish for the basketball program.
Of course the Clemson football team finished this year with a 12-2 record and No. 4 in the final polls after winning its third straight ACC Championship and appearing in the College Football Playoff for a third straight year.
Later today, when USA TODAY releases its final men’s college basketball poll of the season, Clemson will be ranked inside the top 20 after its run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
It will also mark the first time since the 1996-’97 season the Tigers finished in the coaches’ final top 25 basketball poll. That year, Clemson finished No. 8 in the final poll, the highest final ranking ever for the program.
The year is not over yet, Clemson’s baseball team is currently ranked No. 6 in the country and it’s off to a 22-6 start. If the baseball team can continue its pace, it will mark the first time since the 2008-‘09 sports year Clemson finished ranked in a final poll in all three major sports.
However, Clemson has not finished ranked inside the top 20 in all three major sports since the 1986-’87 sports year. That year, the football team went 8-2-2 and finished No. 17 in the AP Poll after winning the ACC Championship, while the basketball team finished 13th in the final AP poll after a 25-6 season and No. 2 finish in the ACC.
The baseball team finished ranked No. 10 that year by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball after going 54-14-1 and finishing second in the ACC.