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It wasn't the football season most around Clemson wanted, but it also turned out not to resemble a disaster and a major streak was kept intact. 

Following a 2-2 start to the 2021 regular season that pushed them out of the rankings, the Tigers won eight of their last nine games, including a 20-13 victory over Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl last month. 

That helped Clemson land 14th in the final Associated Press Poll of the 2021 season that was released Tuesday.  The Tigers (10-3) have now finished in the top 15 of that poll for the 10th consecutive year. 

The last time they didn't end a season in the top 15 was 2011, pre-CFP, when Clemson went 10-4 and finished 22nd in the poll. 

This year does mark the first time the Tigers finished outside the top-10 since 2014.

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Georgia took the top spot after beating Alabama 33-18 in the College Football Playoff national championship game Monday night. The Tigers, who ranked third in the preseason AP Poll, lost their opener to the Bulldogs 10-3 on Sept. 4. 

Dabo Swinney's Tigers landed one spot below No. 13 Pittsburgh, the highest-ranked ACC team and the last squad to beat Clemson, and just ahead of No. 15 Wake Forest. NC State, which also beat the Tigers, finished 20th in the final poll to round out the conference. 

Clemson opens up the 2022 season on Sept. 5 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. 

Final AP Poll of 2021 Season:

  1. Georgia (61)
  2. Alabama
  3. Michigan
  4. Cincinnati
  5. Baylor
  6. Ohio State
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Michigan State
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Ole Miss
  12. Utah
  13. Pittsburgh
  14. Clemson
  15. Wake Forest
  16. Louisiana
  17. Houston
  18. Kentucky
  19. BYU
  20. NC State
  21. Arkansas 
  22. Oregon
  23. Iowa
  24. Utah State
  25. San Diego State

Others receiving votes: Texas A&M 115, Wisconsin 97, Minnesota 47, Purdue 44, UTSA 9, Army 6, Fresno State 2, Coastal Carolina 2, Air Force 1, UAB 1

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