College Football 2023: Independents
It is early in the month of August 2023 and, as always at this time of year, excitement is building for the coming Football season. That includes NFL and College Football. Most every sports bettor is quite familiar with the NFL as it is certainly the most popular among sports betting markets. Additionally, when it comes to College Football, many sports bettors are quite familiar with the Power 5 Conferences.
The “Power 5” Conferences include the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. Those major conferences in College Football along with the 32 teams in the NFL dominate the attention of most everyone this time of year and heading into the football season. That said, my focus heading into the new season is covering the “other 6” which is the “Group of 5” Conferences as well as the small group of Independents.
These less popular teams which comprise the “other” conferences absolutely deserve some attention and yet many sports bettors are the least familiar with these smaller conferences. That is even with the best value often being found where others just do not focus the attention. That said, I feel there is value in at least giving a “quick hitter” preview at these teams heading into the 2023 season.
Army – The Black Knights are trying to go to a new offensive scheme instead of being run-heavy through the triple-option. Of course there are going to be some growing pains trying to make such a change. But this defense does look respectable and they will be a bit of a tough team to play but only once the offense catches up with the defense!
Connecticut – Huskies made it to a bowl last season and certainly showing improvement under coach Mora. However, this UConn team still ranks as one of the weaker teams in the nation and likely will struggle to get to .500 again this season. More respectable offense than seasons past but hard to trust this defense. Keep an eye on them early this season.
Massachusetts – The Minutemen were improved on defense but were so anemic offensively. They are trying to improve and become more competitive but this offense still has a lot of work to do and their defense can only hold out so long. At some point the offense has to help out but this team just not there yet and really not close. Again will be one of the worst teams in nation.
Notre Dame – Of course this team is the powerhouse of the independents and the Fighting Irish look strong again this season. This is a Top 25 team this season and they look strong defensively. Of course it is easy to like Hartman at QB but will he have enough weapons. This is a different situation than what he was running at Wake Forest and there will be some growing pains. Just different level of wide receiver talent for sure. Very strong program of course but not elite because of concerns about weapons in the offense. Look for very strong defense however.