2018 Independents Preview and Predictions

2018 Independents Preview

Six teams are independent in college football this season.   While Notre Dame is playing a de facto ACC football schedule, independents have a mash up schedule.


  • Can Notre Dame improve on their 10 win season last season?  The Irish were 8-1 heading to last season’s big showdown at Miami where they were blown out.  They rebounded with a win at Navy, then lost at Stanford and beat LSU in their bowl game.  How good are the Irish?  We’ll find out in week 1 as they host the Michigan Wolverines.  Get our week 1 college football predictions to see who wins as the Irish and Wolverines clash in the opener.
  • Army beat Navy and Air Force last season plus won their bowl game.  The Black Knights took a lot of momentum to the offseason.  Can they improve on last year’s 10-3 season?
  • New Mexico State made their first bowl game last year since 1960.  They return 15 starts and should be competitive in every game they play this season.  If things break right, the Aggies could reach double digit wins.

Games to Watch in 2018

  • Notre Dame vs. Michigan – It’s a high stakes opener.  The winner gets the hype train rolling, the loser’s fan base will hit the panic button.  Both teams are cautiously optimistic they can be contenders this season so starting the season with a W is of utmost importance.
  • New Mexico State at Minnesota – The Aggies get their one chance to go to a Power 5 team and make a statement.
  • Army at Duke – This is a tone setter for the season for Army.  A win here propels them forward.
  • Notre Dame at USC – The regular season finale for the Irish is on the road against a team that could be in contention for the Pac-12 title.  A lot could be on the line for the Irish including a New Year’s Day bowl.

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2018 Independents Predictions

22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 10 3
49 Army Black Knights 8 4
125 New Mexico State Aggies 8 4
108 Massachusetts Minutemen 5 7
71 BYU Cougars 4 8
123 Liberty Flames 3 9

See more in our 2018 College Football Preview Access data driven college football predictions all season long.

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