Clemson Political Football
With the Presidential Election upcoming it seemed appropriate to see if there was any connection between Clemson football games and the outcome of the election. Actually, there isn’t!
Clemson might be the most politically correct team in the nation when it comes to predicting the outcome of an election based on what the Tigers do the previous Saturday.
Since 1896, when Clemson began playing football just a week before the Presidential Election, Clemson has won 18 games in its most recent contest prior to the election. The game following those 18 wins, Republicans have won nine times and Democrats have won nine times.
Conversely, the result of the election seems to have no influence on the result of the Clemson game the next time out. Clemson is 8-6-2 the game following a Republican victory and has a 6-7 mark the Saturday following a Democratic win.
Clemson has played well in recent years during the election season. The Tigers have a 13-3 the Saturday prior to the Presidential Election since 1948 and have won six of the last seven games the Saturday after the election.
The Tigers have had some noteworthy wins in recent years the first game after the election, including a 16-14 victory over South Carolina in 2000, and a 24-17 overtime upset at 10th ranked Miami in 2004. Clemson won an ACC Championship at Maryland (fitting) in 1988 the Saturday after George Bush (41) gained victory. So, Clemson was 3-0 the Saturday after a Bush wins the election.
Clemson defeated a top 20 North Carolina team 40-7 in 1992 the Saturday after Bill Clinton won for the first time, the second largest margin of victory in Clemson history over a ranked team. Four years later, the Saturday after Clinton won for the second time, Clemson upset a top 15 Virginia team on the road, 24-16.
There are some other oddities. In 1984 Clemson defeated Wake Forest 37-14 the Saturday before Ronald Reagan won the election. Four years later, Clemson defeated North Carolina by the exact same score the Saturday before George Bush (41) gained victory.
Clemson Results Before and After a Presidential Election Date President Party Game before Election Game After Election Nov. 3, 1896 McKinley Republican W 14-6 Furman L, 6-12 S. Carolina Nov. 6, 1900 T. Roosevelt Republican W 51-0 S. Carolina W, 39-5 Georgia Nov. 8, 1904 T. Roosevelt Republican T 11-11 Georgia W, 6-0 Tennessee Nov. 3, 1908 Taft Republican L 0-13 Davidson L, 0-8 Georgia Nov. 5, 1912 Wilson Democrat L 7-22 S. Carolina L, 6-27 Georgia Nov. 7, 1916 Wilson Democrat W 27-0 S. Carolina L, 7-37 VMI Nov. 2, 1920 Harding Republican L 0-3 S. Carolina L, 0-7 G. Tech Nov. 4, 1924 Coolidge Republican L 6-50 VPI L, 0-7 Davidson Nov. 6, 1928 Hoover Republican L 7-26 Mississippi W, 12-0 VMI Nov. 8, 1932 Roosevelt Democrat W 18-6 Citadel L, 18-32 Georgia Nov. 3, 1936 Roosevelt Democrat W 14-13 G. Tech W, 20-0 Citadel Nov. 5, 1940 Roosevelt Democrat L 0-13 Tulane L, 7-21 Auburn Nov. 7, 1944 Roosevelt Democrat L 7-13 Wake Forest W, 57-12 VMI Nov. 2, 1948 Truman Democrat W 26-19 Boston College W, 41-0 Furman Nov. 4, 1952 Eisenhower Republican W 13-0 Boston College T, 12-12 Fordham Nov. 6, 1956 Eisenhower Republican W 21-6 VPI T, 6-6 Maryland Nov. 8, 1960 Kennedy Democrat W 24-0 UNC W ,12-2 S. Carolina Nov. 3, 1964 Johnson Democrat W 29-7 Virginia L, 0-29 UNC Nov. 5, 1968 Nixon Republican W 24-19 N.C. State W, 16-0 Maryland Nov. 7, 1972 Nixon Republican L 10-26 UNC L, 6-31 Maryland Nov. 2, 1976 Carter Democrat W 15-12 FSU L, 23-27 UNC Nov. 4, 1980 Reagan Republican W 35-33 Wake Forest L, 19-24 UNC Nov. 6, 1984 Reagan Republican W 37-14 Wake Forest W, 17-10 VPI Nov. 8, 1988 Bush Republican W 37-14 UNC W, 49-25 Maryland Nov. 3, 1992 Clinton Democrat L 15-18 Wake Forest W, 40-7 UNC Nov. 5, 1996 Clinton Democrat W 35-3 Maryland W, 24-16 Virginia Nov. 7, 2000 G.W. Bush Republican L 7-54 FSU W, 16-14 USC Nov. 2, 2004 G.W. Bush Republican W, 26-20 N.C. State W, 24-17 Miami (FL) Nov. 4, 2008 Obama Democrat W, 27-21, at BC L, 27-41 at FSU 18-10-1 14-13-2