Gamecocks, Tigers finish ranked in top 10 of polls

South Carolina football finished the 2012 season as the highest ranked squad in school history, it was announced today.

The Gamecocks finished eighth in the final Associated Press poll and seventh in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll, both one spot higher than in 2011.

The Gamecocks finished the season with an 11-2 record following a 33-28 win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl on January 1, and have posted a school-record 11 wins in each of the past two seasons.

South Carolina has recorded the most wins in two- (22), three- (31) and four- (38) consecutive seasons in school history. In addition, the Gamecocks have been ranked among the nation’s top-25 for 47 consecutive polls, the most in school history and tied for the fifth-longest current streak in the nation.

The 2012 Gamecocks defeated four teams that finished among the AP top 25 including Georgia (5), Clemson (11), Vanderbilt (23) and Michigan (24).

* Clemson finished ninth in the final USA Today poll and 11th in the final Associated Press poll according to the polls released on Tuesday morning. It is the first time since the 1990 season that Clemson has finished in the top 10 in either of the two polls.

Clemson was ranked 13th by USA Today and 14th by AP entering the bowl season. But the Tigers defeated LSU, then ranked seventh by USA Today and ninth by AP entering the bowl season, by a 25-24 score in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on December 31. It was the highest ranked team Clemson has defeated in a bowl game since the 2003 season when the Tigers defeated sixth ranked Tennessee in the same bowl, 27-14.

Clemson was ranked in every poll this year and has a streak of 29 consecutive polls being ranked, the third longest streak in school history. This is the first time since the 2000 season and just the fourth time in history that Clemson was ranked in the top 25 of every poll during the season.

Clemson was last ranked in the top 10 in the 1990 season when the Tigers were ranked ninth in both final polls. It is the eighth season that Clemson has finished in the top 10 of at least one poll. Clemson also had a top 10 final ranking in at least one poll in 1950, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988 and 1990.

Clemson finished with an 11-2 record, its most wins in a season since 1981 when the Tigers were 12-0 and won the national championship.

Three of Clemson’s 2013 opponents finished in the top 10 in the final USA Today and AP polls. Georgia finished fourth, while South Carolina was seventh, and Florida State eighth in the final USA Today polls. Clemson opens the season 2013 season on August 31 with a home game against Georgia.

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