Is 2019 Heisman Race Down to Two?

The 2018 college football season saw three players assert their dominance as the best players in the game by far. Quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama, and Kyler Murray of Oklahoma were unstoppable. And while it was Murray who ended up winning the Heisman Trophy before becoming the first overall pick in the NFL draft, this year's Heisman Trophy race looks like it is reserved for Lawrence and Tagovailoa to lose.

For Trevor Lawrence, the rise to the top of college football last season was a surprising one. Lawrence started the season sitting behind previous starter Kelly Bryant on a team that looked like it was good enough to get to the College Football Playoff regardless of who their quarterback was. But Lawrence earned the starting job and made the most of it en route to a blowout win over Alabama in the national championship game. Now, with Bryant heading to Missouri to play, this is undoubtedly Lawrence's team.

But the scary thing for opponents on Clemson's schedule is not only the fact that Lawrence will likely get better in his second full year as a college quarterback. It is also the fact that Lawrence will have some motivation to remain the starter, thanks to the signing of a five-star recruit at quarterback by the Tigers. D.J. Uaigalelei will be joining the Tigers' quarterback room, and will not only help the Tigers when Lawrence is done in Death Valley, but will potentially motivate Lawrence to continue to play at the highest level.

Tagovailoa, meanwhile, was also a surprising starter for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Nick Saban's squad had to choose him over Jalen Hurts to win the 2018 national title game over Georgia, and went with him for the full 2018 season as well en route to another national title game appearance. And while Tua wasn't able to outplay Lawrence in the championship game, he showed that he is certainly one of the best players in the country right now.

For both Lawrence and Tagovailoa, there simply isn't that impressive a field of Heisman contenders behind them heading into the 2019 season. The latest American football odds on Bet365 have Lawrence and Tagovailoa both at +250 to win the award, with the next best odds to win the trophy going to Hurts at +1200. Hurts will be starting at Oklahoma, the school that has produced the last two Heisman winners in Baker Mayfield and the aforementioned Murray. But barring a massive improvement in Hurts' game, or the game of another player this season, it will likely be Lawrence or Tagovailoa holding the Heisman at the end of this year.

And the battles between these two quarterbacks might not be done on Heisman night in New York, either. Both the Crimson Tide and Tigers are at the top of the list of favorites to win the College Football Playoff. If they lock up the top two seeds in the four-team tournament, we could see a rematch for the ages between them for the national title.

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