Clemson Schedule Among the Nation's Best
Both Clemson and North Carolina enter Saturday's game with 1-2 records. While both coaching staffs are not satisfied with their respective records, they have faced strong opposition. In fact, according to the latest USA Today/Jeff Sagarin Computer rankings, Clemson has played the second most difficult schedule in the nation, while North Carolina has played the fourth toughest.
Clemson has beaten a top 20 Virginia team (ranked 19th by USA Today at the time of the game with Clemson) and lost to Marshall, now ranked 17th by USA Today, and to Virginia Tech on the road, a team now ranked seventh in the nation by USA Today. North Carolina has beaten Indiana and lost to number-one ranked Florida State and number-24 Virginia.
Of course, Clemson's schedule does not get a lot easier. The Tigers still have to play North Carolina and NC State over the next two weeks, teams who went to bowl games last year, then meet #1 Florida State (Oct. 23) and travel to #12 Georgia Tech (Nov. 13).
Clemson has already played two top 20 teams and there are at least two more on the schedule, Georgia Tech and Florida State. Clemson has played five top 25 teams in a season just once, in 1988. Clemson has faced four top 25 teams five previous season, 1956, 1992, 1993, 1996 and 1997. The 1956 season list of opponents actually consisted of all top 20 teams, the only time Clemson has played four top 20 teams in the same season.
Here is a list of the teams that have played the most difficult schedules in the nation according to the Sagarin Computer poll:
Rk Team Rating
1. Central Florida 89.18
2. Clemson 85.46
3. Notre Dame 81.84
4. North Carolina 81.21
5. West Virginia 80.83
6. Tennessee 80.64
7. South Carolina 80.31
8. Virginia 79.68
9. Sam Houston State 79.67
10. Louisiana Tech 79.48