2018 Goodyear Cotton Bowl CFP Semifinals Notables

by BoCarter | Posted on Sunday, January 6th, 2019


On the eve of the fifth annual College Football Playoff championship game Monday, here are are some notables from the recent Clemson-Notre Dame Goodyear Cotton Bowl CFP semifinal bash:


• Clemson is to 14-0 overall and makes the College Football Championship for the third time in four years.

• The Tigers are 23-20-0 (.535 winning percentage) in bowl games, are 15-15-0 (.500) in 30 all-time appearances in current New Year’s Six postseason contests and rank 15th in all-time bowl games played with 43.

• CU becomes 743-459-45 (.615) as it finishes its 123rd all-time football season. The Tigers remain No. 16 on the all-time NCAA FBS total victories’ list.

• Clemson is now 3-1-0 (.750) in four series games against the Fighting Irish with previous clashes between the schools in 1977, ’79 and 2015. The Tigers move to 1-0-0 (1.000) in bowls/neutral site against Notre Dame.

• The Atlantic Coast Conference power advances to 2-0-0 (.500) against NCAA FBS independent teams in postseason play after downing Boston College 6-3 in the 1940 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at Dallas under NFF College Hall of Fame coach and late Vanderbilt great Jess Neely.

• Head coach Dabo Swinney is now 115-30-0 (.793) as he continues his 11th season as a head coach – all at Clemson.

• Coach Swinney is 6-4-0 (.600) in traditional January 1 or in that vicinity bowl games and goes to 8-5-0 (.615) in all bowl tussles. He also joins Alabama head coach Nick Saban as the only coaches to play in three or more College Football Playoff contests.

• Coach Swinney raises his CFP (semifinals or finals) bowl record to 4-2-0 (.667) with an additional game Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif., against either Alabama or Oklahoma.

• The Tigers capture their third bowl in the last four seasons (3-1-0, .750) and their seventh in the last nine bowl treks (7-2-0, .778).

• Clemson ties its school record for wins in one season with 14 (14-0-0) along with the 2015 College Football Playoff runnerup squad and the 2016 CFP national champion team (both 14-1-0).

• The current “four-peat” ACC champion becomes 1-0-0 (1.000) in games played at AT&T Stadium.

• The Tigers are now are 3-2-0 (.600) all-time against current NCAA FBS independents Notre Dame and Army.

• Clemson is 2-0-0 (1.000) after its second Goodyear Cotton Bowl visit. The first was a 6-3 win over Boston College with two future NFF College Hall of Fame coaches at the helm – Jess Neely at Clemson (later led Rice to fame and fortune in the Southwest Conference) and BC’s Frank Leahy who guided Notre Dame football fortunes from 1941-43, 46-53 after leaving the Eagles following the 1940 season.

• The Tigers join fellow current ACC members Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse as ACC schools to compete in the Classic. They are a composite 6-5-0 (.545) in 11 composite appearances in the GCB.

• Clemson remains as the only college from the state of South Carolina to compete in the Classic. Now a total of 28 states has sent schools to face off in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl.

• The Tigers continue their skein of eight-consecutive 10-win seasons and are a composite 54-4-0 (.931) over the past four seasons.


• The Fighting Irish are 17-18-0 overall and 18-19-0 with two bowl games vacated by the NCAA in their 35th all-time bowl officially and are 12-15-0 (.444) in New Year’s Six bowl clashes.

• Notre Dame is 897-325-42 (.727) for fifth place in NCAA overall victories and completes a streak of eight bowl visits in the last nine years.

• ND trails in its all-time series record with Clemson to 3-1-0 in their fourth meeting overall and first test against one another since 2015.

• Coach Brian Kelly is 5-5 (.500) in NCAA FBS and 16-9 (.640) in postseason play on all levels after going 11-4 in the NCAA Division II football playoffs while he coached at Mt. Union (Ohio).

• Coach Kelly is 80-35-0 in his ninth season as head coach at Notre Dame and 231-92-2 (.716) in his 28th year as a college head coach.

• The 12-1-0 (.923) Fighting Irish almost become the ninth undefeated team in ND history and first unbeaten squad since the 1988 squad that finished 12-0-0 and won the national championship under NFF College Hall of Fame head coach Lou Holtz.

• The Fighting Irish are 5-3-0 (.625) in their eighth Goodyear Cotton Bowl appearance starting with the 1970 Classic, which decided the 1969 national championship by Texas in a 21-17 win. Notre Dame is 5-2 (.714) in its last seven Goodyear Cotton Bowl treks.

• Notre Dame is 6-3-0 (.667) in bowl games played in Texas with eight Goodyear Cotton Bowl clashes and a 33-17 win over Miami (Fla.) in the 2010 Sun Bowl – coach Kelly’s first bowl trek with the Fighting Irish.

• Independent teams in 2018 FBS standings are now 6-3-0 (.778) in the Classic with Notre Dame’s five wins and a 19-15 victory by indy BYU over Kansas State of the Big 12 Conference in the 1997 Classic.

• Notre Dame goes 3-2-0 (.600) on the scoreboard in its last five bowl games since the 2013 season.

• The traditional national power almost certainly finishes 20th or higher in the traditional Top 25 polls for the fifth time on seven seasons. Notre Dame also moves one poll closer to an 800th all-time appearance in the Associated Press Top 25 survey with 798 placements in the AP weekly polls since 1936.

• ND runs its bowl record to 2-4-0 (.333) against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference played in all-time bowls: Boston College, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), and NC State.

• The Fighting Irish also are now 148-64-2 (.699) all-time against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame finished 5-0 against ACC teams in 2018 prior to its matchup with Clemson and has a long-term scheduling agreement to meet ACC schools on a regular basis.

• The Fighting Irish continue with five triumphs at No. 2 behind Texas at 11-10-1 (.523) for most victories by one university in Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classics.

• Notre Dame is 22-4-0 (.846) over the last two seasons for the top back-to-back overall win totals since the 1988 and ’89 teams finished a composite 24-1-0 (.960). It also represents just the second time in school history that the Fighting Irish have won as many as 22 contests in consecutive seasons.

• ND was on course for a possible 12th national championship and a first in either the current College Football Playoff or the previous Bowl Championship Series (1998-2013) standings. The first claimed national title for the Fighting Irish was in 1924 and the most recent wire service or major agency major college crown came for the 12-0 squad in 1988.

• There has not been an overtime game in the 23 previous Classics since 1995 when the NCAA utilized overtime periods for Division I-A bowl teams. The 2005 Tech-Alabama game came as close as any since that inception as Alabama won 13-10 on a last-second field goal. When Joe Unis of Notre Dame kicked the game-winning extra point against Houston for a 35-34 UND win in the 1979 Classic, the overtime clause was not in effect. There have been three all-time ties in Classic annals. To date, the Alabama three-pointer in ’05 vs. the Red Raiders was the lone game-winning play on the final snap from scrimmage in the Classic, and Michigan State came close with a 42-41 extra-point-winning kick against Baylor with 48 seconds remaining in regulation. The Classic is one of a handful of bowls without an overtime stanza since the rule was passed.

• This year’s Dec. 29 date ties for the earliest the Class ever has been played along with the 2017 Classic. The Jan. 7, 2011, LSU-Texas A&M date remains as the latest date in AT&T Cotton Bowl history and the seventh time since 1995 that the Classic was not played on the traditional Jan. 1. Texas Tech has been involved in three of those non-Jan. 1 encounters all-time, and Tech’s first appearance in the 1939 Classic also was a Jan. 2 date. Every Cotton Bowl from 1936-2010 was played on Jan. 1 or 2 except the Dec. 31, 1966, tussle between Georgia and SMU. There actually was not a Classic played in the calendar year 1967, though the Dec. 31, 1966, game is considered as the ’67 outing. The next Classic between Alabama-Texas A&M Classic was held on Jan. 1, 1968. Other non-Jan. 1 games since ’94 and prior to the 2011 AT&T Cotton Bowl were Jan. 2, 2010 (Oklahoma State-Ole Miss), Jan. 2, 2005 (Alabama-Texas Tech), Jan. 2, 2004 (Mississippi-Oklahoma State), and Jan. 2, 1995 (Southern California-Texas Tech). Ole Miss and OSU have become the first pair of teams to play twice on the non-traditional dates outside Jan. 1. Other previous games not occurring on Jan. 1 were Jan. 2 dates in 1939, 1950, 1956, 1961, 1978, 1984, and 1989. 2015 was the first Jan. 1 Classic date since the 2008 Arkansas-Missouri contest after the 2008-14 games were contested between Jan. 2-7 dates after the New Year. Along with ’66, the 2015 and 2017 calendar years are the second and third times two Classics have been played in the same year.

• A current Southeastern Conference team played in every Classic from 1998-2014. The 2015 Baylor-Michigan State encounter was the latest not to include a SEC member, and now the 2016-18 games have not had SEC representation. A Big Ten Conference team competed in the GCB every year from 2014-17 – the first time that combination occurred in the bowl’s now-83-year history.

• There have been 97 different head coaches in the Classic, and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly are the 96th and 97th newcomers.



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