Predicting the score of every bowl game

  • College football reporter.
  • Joined ESPN.com in 2008.
  • Graduate of Northwestern University.

You no longer have to feign excitement about the College Football Playoff selections, the New Year’s Six bowl pairings or the entire rundown of bowl matchups.

The most exciting part of the first Sunday in December is here: my instant bowl predictions for all 44 games over the next five weeks.

There might have been a time where I dreaded doing these, especially amid all the news in the sport. But as the years have gone on, I have warmed to this exercise, mainly because I’ve improved at it. Indeed, last year’s truncated bowl quick picks produced a 18-8 record, coming off my 32-9 bonanza in 2019. Sure, there were some off-base forecasts (Louisiana Tech over Georgia Southern, Houston over Hawai’i), but also some strong ones (Oklahoma State over Miami with close score predictions).

I’m even getting a few emails from people wagering on my picks (not recommended).

The easy part about my predictions is that they’re straight up, and are made before most point spreads are listed. The challenge here is the timing, both the expediency of making picks and not fully knowing about player opt-outs, coaching changes and other factors that will impact the matchups. As always, motivation level is a big part of the assessment.

With those disclaimers out of the way, the time has arrived.

Ready, set, bowl!

All times Eastern.

College Football Playoff

CFP Semifinal at Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m., ESPN and the ESPN App

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