CFB Preview 2016: NCAA Independents Football

NCAA Preview 2016

NCAA Independents

The NCAA football season is near.  Get ready to play CFB at FanPicks (click to play). With the impending kickoff in Sydney on August 26th, FanPicks will cover every NCAA conferences and their teams for the 2016 season. If you’ve missed the CUSA CFB preview, click here. Now let’s get to the NCAA Independents.

With UMass’ departure from the Mid American Conference, roll call among FBS Independent college football teams has inched up to four this year as the Minuteman join the ranks of Independents.

Army West Point Black KnightsArmy logo

Since winning 10 games in 1996, the Cadets have been to one bowl game and finished with a winning record just once (2010). The 13 years before then: 35-115. The 5 years since then: 14-46.

BYU Cougars BYU logo

Former BYU fullback Kalani Sitake is coming home for his first stint as a head coach and he’s bringing a familiar name with him — Heisman winner turned offensive coordinator Ty Detmer. They take over a program that has won at least eight games in each of the last five years and returns enough talent to keep that streak alive in 2016. The question is if Sitake can push the program any higher than predecessor Bronco Mendenhall against a perennially front-loaded schedule.

Massachusetts MinutemenUMass logo

Mark Whipple has made the largest improvement recruiting the last five years combined. One of those recruits, SO RB Marquis Young, was one of only 5 backs in the nation last year with at least 150 carries and a 6.0 YPR average. JUCO QB Andrew Ford, former 3-star recruit with Virginia Tech, who is expected to replace Blake Frohnapfel, will join Young in the backfield.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Notre Dame logo

Coach Brian Kelly has two capable quarterbacks to choose from in Deshone Kizer and Malik Zaire, but also has a difficult schedule to contend with. To make matters worse, they’ve suffered a sizable blow to its offense Wednesday when gifted tight end Alize Jones was declared out for the 2016 season. The sophomore, arguably their most touted recruit in the 2015 class, acknowledged on Twitter that it was due to academics.

CFB 2016 Other Previews

The American

ACC Atlantic

ACC Coastal

Big 12

Conference USA

Big Ten East

Big Ten West