2016 College Football Preview: FBS Independents

Day five of the 2016 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW here at THE Ultimate Sports Blog continues with a little bit of a double-header. Not only are we previewing the AAC today here on the blog, but we are also taking a look at those teams who live on the “island of misfit toys”.

Yes, I’m talking about the teams who have no conference. The teams who stand alone and do things the way THEY want to do them! The Independents of the college football world.

BYU. Army. UMass. And of course…..Notre Dame.

Let’s do it.

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Massachusetts Minutemen

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Last Year’s Record: 3-9

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Mark Whipple (6-18 at UMass)

Top Returning Players: Todd Stafford (TE), Fabian Hoeller (C), Michael Boland (OG), Elijah Wilkinson (OT), Peter Angeh (DT), Shane Huber (LB), Logan Laurent (P), James Oliphant (PR)

Top Incoming Players: Andrew Ford (QB), Bilal Ally (RB), Tyler Thompson (RB), Taylor Edwards (TE), Avien Peah (TE)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Florida, Boston College, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, @South Carolina, @BYU

Predicted Record (for 2016): 3-9


Army West Point Black Knights

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Last Year’s Record: 2-10

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Jeff Monken (6-18 at Army)

Top Returning Players: Edgar Poe (RB), Mike Houghton (OG), Jordan Smith (DE), John Voit (DE), Jeremy Timpf (LB), Kenneth Brinson (LB), Andrew King (LB), Brandon Jackson (CB), Xavier Moss (S), Marcus Hyatt (KR)

Top Incoming Players: U.S. Military Academy prohibits the release of recruit-cadet athletes names’ until right before the season starts

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Temple, @Duke, Air Force, Notre Dame, Navy

Predicted Record (for 2016): 3-9


BYU Cougars

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Last Year’s Record: 9-4

Last Year’s Bowl: Las Vegas Bowl vs. Utah

Head Coach: Kalani Sitake (0-0 at BYU)

Top Returning Players: Taysom Hill (QB), Algernon Brown (RB), Jamaal Williams (RB), Nick Kurtz (WR), Mitchell Juergens (WR), Tejan Koroma (C), Ului Lapuaho (OG), Brad Wilcox (OT), Logan Taele (DT), Sae Tautu (DE), Fred Warner (LB), Harvey Langi (LB), Michael Davis (CB), Kai Nacua (S), Micah Hannemann (S)

Top Incoming Players: Jaren Hall (QB), Sione Finau (RB), Jonah Trinnaman (WR), Hank Tuipulotu (TE), Handsome Tanielu (DL), Keanu Saleapaga (DL), Alema Pilimai (LB), Keenan Pili (LB), Troy Warner (DB), Max Tooley (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Arizona, @Utah, UCLA, West Virginia, Toledo, @Michigan State, @Boise State, @Cincinnati

Predicted Record (for 2016): 6-6


Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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Last Year’s Record: 10-3

Last Year’s Bowl: Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State

Head Coach: Brian Kelly (55-23 at Notre Dame)

Top Returning Players: DeShone Kizer (QB), Josh Adams (RB), Tarean Folston (RB), Torii Hunter (WR), Equanimeous St. Brown (WR), Miles Boykin (WR), Alize Jones (TE), Quenton Nelson (OG), Mike McGlinchey (OT), Isaac Rochell (DE), Jarron Jones (DT), Daniel Cage (DT), Nyles Morgan (LB), James Onwualu (LB), Nick Watkins (CB), Cole Luke (DB), Max Redfield (S), Justin Yoon (K), Tyler Newsome (P), C.J. Sanders (PR), Scott Daly (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Ian Book (QB), Tony Jones (RB), Javon McKinley (WR), Chase Claypool (WR), Tommy Kraemer (OL), Liam Eichenberg (OL), Parker Boudreaux (OL), Khalid Kareem (DL), Julian Okwara (DL), Daelin Hayes (LB), Jonathan Jones (LB), Donte Vaughn (DB), Troy Pride (DB), Julian Love (DB), Jalen Elliott (DB), D.J. Morgan (DB), Spencer Perry (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Texas, Michigan State, Stanford, Miami, Navy, Virginia Tech, @USC

Predicted Record (for 2016): 10-2

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