Bowl season is here, and before the best four teams in the country step into the spotlight on New Year’s Day, college football fans will be treated to a cross-country tour of unique venues and uncommon matchups as 74 other teams get a chance to end their 2017 campaigns on a positive note. While it doesn’t approach the nationwide fervor stirred up by March Madness, contests in which fans attempt to predict the winners of every single bowl game have become a staple of the early December lull between Army-Navy and the start of the bowl schedule. But the postseason matchups present a daunting challenge even to the most knowledgeable fans, as every team reacts differently to extended layoffs and unfamiliar neutral site environments.
Below, our experts make their picks for all 40 bowls on the FBS schedule, including the College Football Playoff semifinals and the national championship game. In keeping with the most common bowl pool format, the confidence points assigned to each pick—40 for the most confident prediction, one for the least confident—are listed in parentheses next to each selection. (Each correct pick is worth the amount of confidence points wagered, which means a total of 820 points are up for grabs in a standard entry.) The list of entrants: Andy Staples, Bruce Feldman (who chose not to pick the Foster Farms Bowl, which he is calling for FOX), Joan Niesen, Chris Johnson, Eric Single, Molly Geary and Scooby Axson.