Over the past few years, a number of NCAA Football teams have changed conferences. Heading into the 2014 season there are only four major independents left in college football. Those four include Army, Navy, BYU and Notre Dame.
New Mexico State and Idaho were Independents for a single season, but have both made their way to the Sun Belt Conference.
The Independent scene, according to Bovada and betonline, might look different after the 2014 season. BYU is now pushing to be accepted as a member of the Big 12. Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall said BYU would love to be a Big 12 member.
Mendenhall said his team’s attendance was sufficiently high and the winning percentage the Cougars have is more than enough to be accepted by the Big 12 if they conference was looking to expand. Whether that happens or not is still up in the air.
When trying to handicap three out of the four remaining Independents this season – BYU, Navy and Notre Dames – remember collectively they are an exceptional combined 52-31-1 against the number when taking points under their current head coaches.
What is even more interesting, according to topbet and sportsbooks.com, the three teams have combined to go 35-11-1 as underdogs in games where their own winning percentage was under .667 for the season, including an outrageous 27-2 against the number from the fifth game of the season to the end of the season.
Army is returning 9 players on its offense including its starting quarterback and 7 players on its defense including its front four.
The Cadets have a record of 3-23 SU as well as 6-20 ATS vs. Navy and Air Force.
BYU will have 8 starters on offense including their quarterback returning from last season. On defense, the Cougars will have 6 starters back including one lineman.
Mendenhall has averaged over 9 wins per season in the last 9 seasons as the BYU head coach. BYU has also played in a bowl game each of those 9 seasons.
BYU has 353 wins over the past 4 decades. The school trails only Ohio State, Oklahoma and Nebraska in that category.
Navy returns 8 to its offense including their starting quarterback. On defense, the Midshipmen have 7 starters returning including 2 linemen.
Last season Navy won the Commander in Chief trophy of the 9th time in the past 11 seasons. Navy is 92-49 since the end of the 2002 season, including 21-2 SU over military opponents.
Notre Dame returns 5 offensive starters and 5 defensive starters from last season.
The Fighting Irish have the highest winning percentage at .733 in the history of college football.
Everett Golson who was suspended last season due to academics will return to the starting quarterback slot.
The upcoming 2014 NCAA football will have just four independents, but three of the four should play well enough to be chosen for a bowl game during December or January.