Which independent FBS school will have the best season in 2019?Notre Dame is the easy answer — on the surface. The Irish are coming off a College Football Playoff appearance, and Brian Kelly returns a talented roster. Notre Dame, however, has company in the independent ranks. POWER 5 PRIMERS: ACC | SEC | B10 | B12 | P12Army, ranked 16th in Sporting News’ preseason top 25, continues to roll under coach Jeff Monken and is looking for more after a school-record 11 wins in 2018. BYU returned to a bowl game as well, and Liberty will welcome Hugh Freeze back to the college coaching ranks. UMass also has a new coach in Walt Bell, and New Mexico State is looking to improve from a 3-9 season.There are several storylines worth watching in 2019. A look at the best among the six independent teams:Independent college football team rankings1. Notre Dame2. Army3. BYU4. Liberty5. New Mexico State6. UMassNotre Dame has a much tougher schedule this season, but Kelly has done an impressive job with the program-wide makeover the last two seasons. The Irish are 22-4 in that stretch, one game better than Army’s 21-5 mark. Those are the two best bets to crack the New Year’s Day Six this season. It’s tough to pick which school will have the better record.Biggest independent games in 2019Army at Michigan (Sept. 7). The Black Knights took Oklahoma to the limit in 2018, and they’ll get a noon kickoff at the Big House to test Don Brown’s defense. A win here would vault Army into the New Year’s Day Six discussion.BYU at Tennessee (Sept. 7). The Cougars also play Utah, USC and Washington in September, but an upset in Neyland Stadium against an SEC opponent would get the most attention.Notre Dame at Georgia (Sept. 21). This game shaped both teams’ seasons in 2017. It will be the same case in Athens in a great quarterback matchup between Ian Book and Jake Fromm.Notre Dame at Michigan (Oct. 26). It’s an odd place on the schedule for one of the game’s classic rivalries, but the Irish catch the Wolverines coming off a trip to Penn State the previous week. Notre Dame hasn’t won at Michigan since 2005.Independent Heisman hopefulsIan Book, Notre Dame. The Irish have not had a Heisman winner since 1987, but Book could have a chance over a full season. He completed 68.2 percent of his passes over 10 games and will add to last year’s yardage and touchdown totals. The big-game spotlight won’t be an issue here.Kelvin Hopkins Jr., Army. The Black Knights haven’t had a Heisman winner since 1958, but Hopkins should pile up the statistics as the quarterback of an option offense. Hopkins was a 1,000/1,000 player last year. Keep in mind that Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds finished fifth in the Heisman voting in 2015.Zach Wilson, QB, BYU. Wilson had a brilliant performance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl by finishing 18 of 18 for 317 yards and four touchdowns. That continued development against the rough September schedule will be key for the Cougars.MORE: Ranking coaches 1-130 for 2019 seasonIndependent stat that mattersNotre Dame, Army and BYU will get the most attention of the independents, and to keep that attention you must play ranked opponents. The Irish are 7-4 against ranked teams the last two years. BYU is 1-4 and Army is 0-2. Given those big September matchups we outlined for all three teams, they need to be on top of their games. Independents’ biggest question: Notre Dame or Army in NY6?That’s a difficult question. If the Black Knights upset Michigan, then there’s a decent chance they could have a 13-0 record at season’s end. The Irish face Georgia, Michigan and Stanford on the road, along with their rivalry with USC and five-game arrangement with the ACC.Both teams have a good chance to get to double-digit victories, but what about crashing the New Year’s Day Six?Independent predictions for 2019Army will make the Wolverines nervous in the second half at the Big House, but without that upset they won’t make the New Year’s Day Six. Notre Dame will lose at Georgia and Michigan but still make the New Year’s Day Six with a 10-2 season. BYU and Liberty also make bowl games, and Hugh Freeze’s name will get tossed around for Power 5 jobs again.