Clemson in middle of 2019 national title convo
While Alabama is the favorite to win the 2019 national championship, no one should forget about a Clemson Tigers program that should still be among the best teams in the nation. Does Clemson have what it takes to win a second national title in three years?
According to oddsmakers, Clemson has 11/2 odds to win the 2019 FBS national championship. The Tigers opened with 13/2 odds before they were lowered in the last few months. Alabama has the best odds at 9/4, while Ohio State comes in third at 7/1. Georgia has 8/1 odds, while Penn State is at 14/1 and Michigan at 16/1. Check out our College Football Future Odds Page for a complete list of current national championship odds.
Bryant leading QB battle
After starting every game for Clemson in 2018 and leading the team to the national title game where it lost 26-23 to Alabama in overtime, junior quarterback Kelly Bryant would be the obvious choice to once again be the starting quarterback heading into next season. But while Bryant is still the No. 1 QB according to head coach Dabo Swinney, his decent play in the spring game was outshined by excellent play from freshman Trevor Lawrence which has led to a controversy. As one of the premier programs in the country, top-notch incoming recruits are being added annually and Bryant knows he can't rest on his laurels if he wishes to remain starting quarterback. Alabama has the same issue after freshman Tua Tagovailova entered the national title game in place of ineffective Jalen Hurts and ended up throwing the game-winning TD in overtime.
Clemson boasts small, but very talented 2018 class
It remains to be seen which incoming recruits will help the Tigers this fall, but there is no shortage of options despite only signing 17 players which is tied for the lowest amount of commits among the programs ranked in the top 30. But Clemson signed five five-star players in Lawrence, Xavier Thomas, K.J. Henry, Jackson Carman and Derion Kendrick. The recruiting class was ranked fifth nationally by ESPN. It is also the No. 1 class in the ACC, three spots ahead of Miami nationally. Despite all the success the Tigers have had in recent seasons, the highest-ranked recruiting class they had in the previous five years came in 2015 when they were ranked ninth by ESPN.
No one can argue with the always-powerful Alabama having the best national championship odds, but Clemson might be a better bet considering its fantastic recent history and a deep array of talent returning. If Bryant can solidify the starting quarterback role and improve on his 2018 numbers, the Tigers have a great chance of winning a national title. While Lawrence is super talented, his inexperience could cost Clemson in a game or two if he did win the starting job.