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When both are top 15 teams, FSU has owned Clemson

Will history repeat itself once again?

Florida State v Clemson Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Jimbo Fisher opened his weekly press conference on Monday by talking up how universally beneficial this weekend’s Clemson-FSU game is for so many parties concerned, calling the primetime showdown “another big ACC matchup, great for our conference, great for our league, great for both teams.” However, history shows that when the Tigers and ‘Noles are each among the nation’s best, the results have been far from “great” for Clemson.

Florida State has a commanding lead in the all-time series, holding a 20-9 advantage, and the Tigers have found it particularly tough to win in Tallahassee, having dropped 12 of 15 at Doak Campbell Stadium. Still, neither mark is as one-sided as the results have been when these two conference foes meet as AP top-15 teams, as is again the case this year, with Clemson at No. 3 and FSU No. 12.

In those five contests, the ‘Noles are 5-0:

  • 1988: No. 10 FSU 24, No. 3 Clemson 21
  • 1992: No. 5 FSU 24, No. 15 Clemson 20
  • 2000: No. 10 Clemson 7, No. 4 FSU 54
  • 2012: No. 10 Clemson 37, No. 4 FSU 49
  • 2013: No. 5 FSU 51, No. 3 Clemson 14

And while Clemson is favored on Saturday, and these top-15 matchups have been close on a couple of occasions, blowouts have only ever favored the Seminoles. Florida State has won the five games by an average score of 40.4-19.8.