Bowl Subdivision Independent Schools – Independents
The NCAA features eleven athletic conferences that compete in Division I FBS. However, not every top level football team competes within the confines of a traditional athletic conference. Four NCAA Division I FBS universities act independently: Army, Navy, BYU, and Notre Dame. These schools are all eligible for BCS bowls, though they are not constrained the scheduling process used by traditional athletic conferences. The number of independents has decreased over the years, as many universities found conference affiliation to benefit profitability and bowl game participation.
Notre Dame Football
Notre Dame is the most prominent football independent and has one of the greatest legacies in the history of college football. The Fighting Irish have played since 1887 and captured eleven National Championships and seven Heisman Trophy winners. The program fields strong recruiting classes and churns out consistent NFL talent, having had a player selected in the NFL draft every year since 1977. Notre Dame Football has high economic stability; the university has an agreement to broadcast all home games nationally on NBC, the only such deal with a single university. Notre Dame receives an automatic BCS bid if they finish in the top eight of the BCS rankings. Notre Dame’s historic rivalries include those with fellow independents Army and Navy, which frequent the Fighting Irish schedule.
The Army Black Knight, located in West Point, New York, have a proud football history. Army won three consecutive National Championships from 1944 to 1946 and has produced won three Heisman Trophies as a school. The football program abandoned its independence from 1998 to 2004 to join the Conference USA, but it has since returned to independent status. The Army has not produced considerable NFL talent, as those enrolled at the United States Military Academy are obligated to serve in active duty upon graduation. Army’s has rivalries with Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Navy, which is considered to be one of the greatest rivalries in football’s history. The two universities first face off in 1890 and have competed annually since 1930. Typically the final game of college football’s regular season, Army-Navy has become an important part of college football’s history.
The United States Naval Academy, based in Annapolis Maryland, has participated in college football since 1879. The Navy Midshipmen claimed the universities only National Championship in the 1926 season, in which Navy did not allow a single point. Joe Bellino and Pro Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy for Navy in the 1960 and 1963 seasons, respectively. Navy leads the series in their rivalry with Army, which has spanned over three centuries.
In 2011, Brigham Young Football opted to leave the Mountain West and become NCAA Division I FBS’s fourth independent football program. The BYU Cougars have been a contender in the NCAA over the past decade, with several top twenty-five finishes since 2000. BYU claimed its lone national title in 1984. The school has also produced a Heisman winner in Ty Detmer, as well as Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young. The university is a private Mormon institution. Because of this, BYU employs strict honor code for its athletes. Its football team is often older than others as well, as many players spend two years on Mormon missions.
FBS Independent Football Betting
College football’s four FBS independents have a number of great wagers surrounding them. Notre Dame Football is intriguing to many due to its competitiveness, legacy, and national exposure. The Army-Navy Game is also a favorite for many college football gamblers. The annual contest comes with an incredible history, as well as some gritty, hard-nosed football games. All football odds regarding different types of FBS independent football bets are available at our daily betting tips.