Football

Independent Football 2021 Predictions

Independent Football 2021 Predictions.
Photo by Robert Franklin.

Before diving into our Independent football 2021 predictions, make sure you check out our previous conference previews:

Next up on our football preview list – the Independents.

There are seven independent football teams this year, leading the way as always in this category is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

The teams that stand out to me from the Independent perspective is Notre Dame, Liberty, Army and BYU. All of these teams have various question marks, they could have great seasons or just ok seasons. It should be a fun journey for each.

Here are your Independent Football 2021 predictions:

Projected Records

  1. Notre Dame (12-0)
  2. Liberty (11-1)
  3. Army (9-3)
  4. BYU (8-4)
  5. UCONN (3-9)
  6. New Mexico (2-10)
  7. UMASS (2-10)

Awards and Post Season

Predicted Playoffs

Notre Dame

Awards

  • Offensive POY – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
  • Defensive POY – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  • Coach of the Year – Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
  • Freshman POY – Blake Fisher, OL, Notre Dame
  • Transfer of the year – Jack Coan, QB, Notre Dame

Top Teams Breakdown

See all of the teams and their schedules here.

Notre Dame

  • 2020 Record: 10-2
  • Preseason Prediction: 12-0
  • Predicted losses: None
  • Big wins predicted: Wisconsin, Cincinnati, USC, North Carolina

After making the playoffs the last two out of three years, many are expecting the Irish to take a step back into a 9-3 or 10-2 record. But after watching Jack Coan in practice all summer, I actually think people are underrating the Irish. I expect the offense to click on all cylinders. With Kevin Austin hopefully health, and Kyren Williams back, they should be able to have a deep passing game to go with their potent running attack.

With Marcus Freeman coaching the defense now, I expect we will see a more aggressive approach that will create turnovers and easy points for the Irish. I think Vegas has the Irish’s win total at 8.5, if you are feeling lucky, go put a bunch of money on the Irish, you will get plenty back.

Liberty

  • 2020 Record: 10-1
  • Preseason Prediction: 11-1
  • Predicted losses: Ole Miss
  • Big wins predicted: Syracuse, Louisiana, Army

That explosive offense from last year should continue into 2021. You have the outstanding Malik Willis leading the team in Hugh Freeze’s offense and they should again click from the start.

Looking at their schedule, they only face one team that could keep up or outscore them and that’s Ole Miss. This could be a special year for Liberty.

Army

  • 2020 Record: 9-3
  • Preseason Prediction: 9-3
  • Predicted losses: Wisconsin, Wake Forest, Liberty
  • Big wins predicted: UConn, Ball State, Air Force, Navy

The Army offense should again be what you expect. Running, running, and guess what, some more running. This year you will also see a more veteran team with not a lot of turnover from last year.

The concern will be around the offensive line as they have to replace a few parts there, but if they find the right replacements they should again have a solid season.

BYU

  • 2020 Record: 11-1
  • Preseason Prediction: 8-4
  • Predicted losses: Utah, Baylor, USC, Washington State
  • Big wins predicted: Arizona State, Arizona, Virginia

What a season that was in 2020! What can you expect from this year? Well, this isn’t going to be the same explosive offense as Zach Wilson is now a NY Jet. BYU will have to throw a new starter at QB out there and hope everything clicks as it should.

Right now it appears that option will be Baylor Romney or Jaren Hall. Both are capable options, but not sure either will score as many points as Wilson.

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