Tigers have opportunity to accomplish rare feat

Tigers have opportunity to accomplish rare feat

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Tigers have opportunity to accomplish rare feat

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Wednesday's Thoughts

Clemson finds itself with an opportunity to do something that has been done just twice in the history of the Associated Press Poll … win three national championships in four years.

If the Tigers do the unimaginable, they will join Notre Dame and Alabama as the only schools to win three AP national championships in four seasons. Notre Dame first did it with AP national championships in 1946, ’47 and ’49. Alabama joined them when it won the AP national championships in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

In all, just nine times in the 86-year history of the AP Poll has a team repeated as national champions. Seven programs have done it overall, with Alabama repeating three times (1964 and 1965; 1978 and 1979; 2011 and 2013).

But the opportunity to make history does not end there. Clemson also has the opportunity to become just the second team to win 30 straight games since 1971. The only program to do it was Miami from 2000-2003 when it won 35 straight games.

The kicker to all of this, the last team to win 30 or more games in a row and win multiple AP national championships was Bud Wilkerson’s Oklahoma teams from 1953-’57. The Sooners won an NCAA record 47 straight games, while also being crowned the 1955 and 1956 national champions.

However, as Dabo Swinney says, “You can’t win 30 without getting to 29 first.” The Tigers will be vying for their 29th consecutive win against No. 2 Ohio State on Dec. 28 in the Fiesta Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff semifinals. Should the Tigers win, they will head to New Orleans on Jan. 13th and play the winner between LSU and Oklahoma for the national championship.

“I’m thankful for those previous teams that gave us this opportunity, and it’s just a blessing,” Swinney said. “Hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity to go compete and see if we’re good enough to get to the top of the mountain for the whole thing… But these seniors won their 54th game today, and that’s one off the college football record.”

Now extended to 28, the Tigers’ win streak is tied for the 15th-longest streak of all-time.

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