Sagarin: Clemson Schedule Toughest in Country

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Clemson has the nation's toughest schedule according to ratings by noted computer analyst Jeff Sagarin. According to his latest data, Clemson's schedule has a rating of 82.70, an no team is ranked higher. That rankings should be enhanced after Clemson meets Florida State, the number-one ranked team in the nation by AP and USA Today.

A look to Clemson's schedule tells us why the Tigers are ranked first in the nation. Virginia Tech is ranked first, Florida State fourth and Marshall sixth according to the Sagarin computer rankings. The Tigers should remain first for a while, considering Georgia Tech, ranked 11th, is also on the future Clemson schedule.

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.

Clemson is shown quite a bit of respect by the Sagarin poll. Despite a 3-3 record, Clemson is ranked 18th in the nation by the computer. Clemson is the only team in the Sagarin top 20 that does not have a winning record and the Tigers are ranked higher than defending national champion Tennessee. 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.	Clemson         82.70
	2.	Michigan	82.69
	3.	North Carolina	81.17
	4.	Iowa	        80.59
	5.	Temple	        79.91
	6.	Duke	        79.68
	7.	Virginia	79.53
	8.	Alabama	        78.66
	9.	Miami (FL)	78.65
	10.	Rutgers	        77.82

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