And it doesn’t appear that will change anytime soon
Before expansion brought the Atlantic Coast Conference to a 15-school league, even before Florida State joined it in 1992, Clemson owned the ACC.
Back in the day, people used to say the ACC stood for Another Clemson Championship. The Tigers won or shared 13 ACC titles in the league’s first 38 years, including seven from 1978-’91. In fact, if it was not for probation in 1983, it would have been eight as the Tigers went 7-0 in league play that year. However, the conference did recognize those wins because of Clemson’s NCAA probation.
After Danny Ford was forced out after the 1989 season, Clemson football slipped as the Tigers’ went 20 years in between ACC Championships. But, the Tigers are once again the Kings of the ACC.
Clemson has won the last three ACC Championships and without a doubt will be the favorite to win this year’s conference championship when the media gets together next week at the ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte.
The Tigers are currently in the middle of a seven-year run where it has won at least 10 games in each of the last seven years while compiling an 82-15 record. Only Alabama right now can say it has produced more consecutive 10-win seasons. The Crimson Tide is on a streak of 10 straight 10-win seasons and is 89-9 since 2011.
But right now Clemson owns the ACC and, if last year’s recruiting rankings are any indications, the Tigers are not looking to let go of that title anytime soon. Of the top 30 signees from the ACC’s 2018 Class, Clemson signed five of the top six players in the ACC, according to Athlon.
No surprise quarterback Trevor Lawrence is No. 1 on the list, followed by defensive end Xavier Thomas at No. 2, defensive end K.J. Henry at No. 3, offensive lineman Jackson Carman at No. 4 and wide receiver Derion Kendrick at No. 6.
In all, Clemson signed 10 of the top 30 signees, more than any school in the ACC. Dabo Swinney was able to haul in six overall in the top 10, with wide receiver Justyn Ross falling in line at No. 9 on Athlon’s list.
Cornerback Kyler McMichael came in at No. 13 to give the Tigers seven of the ACC’s top 15 signees.
In case you were wondering, Miami was second behind Clemson with nine, but had just two in the top 10 and three in the top 15. Florida State signed six in the top 30, but three are in the top 15.
There is a big drop after FSU. North Carolina and NC State each signed two players, while Virginia Tech had just one to close out the top 30.
Granted, recruiting rankings don’t always tell the whole story on how the next four years will pan out. However, with the way Swinney and his staff have recruited, plus the culture it has built in Clemson over the last decade, it is obvious the Tigers have a head start on everyone in the league and it will not surprise anyone to see the Tigers continue its dynasty and win a few more ACC Championships before anyone else catches up.
Hot off the press. ‘Back with a Vengeance’ is now available for online orders. TCI takes an in-depth look at the upcoming season as the Tigers march towards another national championship. Order your copy today!