The Clemson Tigers finished the 1981 season undefeated and untied (12-0) and were voted #1 in the AP and UPI polls. Following the bowl win over Nebraska, the Tigers were selected as Consensus National Champions by the AP, UPI, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), and National Football Foundation (NFF). The Clemson Tigers of the 1980s were the fifth winningest Division I college football team of the decade, with a record of 86-25-4 (.765).
Clemson head coach Danny Ford was awarded the 1981 Coach of the Year Award by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the FWAA. At the time, Coach Ford was the youngest ever to receive the award, and the youngest to have won a National Championship.
In the 1982 Orange Bowl, Clemson QB Homer Jordan received Offensive Most Valuable Player honors. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in 1981, his junior season, and finished first in the ACC in passing efficiency and 12th in the nation. Jordan was an honorable mention All-American selection in 1981. He was runner-up for ACC MVP behind teammate Jeff Davis, but the team voted him MVP in 1981. Even though Jordan was injured for much of his senior season, he helped lead the 1982 team to a 9-1-1 record and number-eight national ranking. He also earned honorable mention All-American honors as a senior. He ranked as Clemson’s 18th greatest player of the century. Jordan was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 1993.