CollegeFootballNews.com Preview 2017: Independent Rankings
The 2017 CFN Preview ranking of all the Independent teams.
Where do the Independent teams rank going into the season? This is NOT a ranking of how the teams are projected or predicted to finish. This is a ranking of how good they all appear to be going into the fall.
Preview 2017: Independent Rankings
There’s hope for the Minutemen to finally break through and start to actually win – even if the schedule isn’t a breeze. They’ve got a few good talents to get the passing game going – TE Adam Breneman leads the sold receivers – but the lines are going to be the problem. There won’t be any push for the ground game, and the D line doesn’t have the talent.
Last year’s team that finally broke through to beat Navy and go to a bowl game was good. This year’s version should be even better. QB Ahmad Bradshaw leads another dangerous option attack, but the key is the defense.
The Black Knights have a strong group of defensive backs, while the secondary will be good enough to get by. But it’s the offense that’ll take over games behind a veteran line that’ll be the program’s best in years.
The Cougars have the potential to be fantastic, especially defensively. Fred Warner leads one of the nation’s top linebacking corps that’ll need to make a ton of huge plays behind a line that needs a little work.
There’s work to do among the offensive skill spots, but Tanner Mangum is a veteran quarterback who’ll make everyone around him better. The O line will dominate at times, the special teams are great, and the coaching staff should be settled in going into its second year. It’s all there for a big season.
1. Notre Dame
Start with a tremendous offensive line, and let everything else roll from there. Mike McGlinchey and Quentin Nelson are NFL blockers who’ll led the way for, RB Josh Adams, who’s set to grow into a star. QB Brandon Wimbush will be a great fit for an attack that’ll be far better and far more consistent.
The defensive line might not be a killer, but Myles Morgan and the linebacking corps will be a plus, and the secondary should be fine in time. Will it be enough to get into the College Football Playoff hunt coming off a disastrous season? The Irish will be stronger, but they won’t be pushing for Atlanta,