The college bowl season, especially for schools that end up not making their way into the four-team playoff for the national championship, is one last chance for teams to prove themselves this season, as well as to build confidence in the program for the future. It's an opportunity to make a lasting impression and take home bragging rights and perhaps a shiny trophy to boot.
Looking for help with your picks? Ultimate CFB bowl betting guide: How to bet every game [Insider]
You also have a chance to take home bragging rights - as well as a trip to next year's CFP Championship - by taking part in ESPN.com's free Capital One Bowl Mania game. And, if your entry turns out to be perfect, instead of a trophy, there's a $1 million prize that awaits you.
There are two ways to play -- straight scoring and confidence scoring.
Here's how "straight scoring" works: for each of the 42 bowl games on the college football schedule starting with the AutoNation Cure Bowl on Saturday, December 19, 2015 and running right on through the title game, you simply select the team you think will win the game outright, no point spreads involved. Get the most number of winners correct, and you win a trip for two to the CFP Championship Game in Tampa, Florida on January 9, 2017. If you get all 42 games right, you'll win a share of the $1 million bonus.
"Confidence scoring" adds a layer of strategy to the mix. In addition to picking the winner of each game, you will assign appoint value to each of your selections, starting with one point for the game you are least sure about, all the way up to 42 points for the winner pick you want to be worth the most. Each number between 1 and 42 must be used once and only once. Remember: the higher the number, the more points you'll get for being correct.
Playing with confidence scoring comes with some strategic decisions for the participant. If there's a game with a four-touchdown favorite that is likely to be selected on 90 percent or more of contest entries, then picking the underdog might end up propelling you into first place. But of course, that's only if the upset actually takes place.
Similarly, if you roll the dice by placing a very high confidence value on a "pick 'em" game that everybody else is likely to place very low on their lists, and you accurately select the winner, you can propel yourself to the top of the leaderboard. But again, if you're wrong, then you've likely taken yourself out of running for the 2017 trip to Tampa.
Note: For either contest, consult our Bowl Mania strategy guide HERE. Also check out Abram's Ranking all 80 Bowl teams according to Vegas and Solar's Contrarian Betting Strategies for the Bowl games and ESPN Stats & Information's FPI breaks down the bowl games.
Each participant is also asked to submit their guess for the final score of the CFP Championship Game. In the event of a tie in either the straight or confidence scoring games, this prediction will be used to determine the winner of the contest. All perfect entries, if any, (42 points -- one point per win -- in straight scoring, or 907 points in confidence scoring) will split the $1 million bonus. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for ESPN.com's Capital One Bowl Mania game today! We're confident you'll have fun-- and don't forget to tell your friends to play as well at ESPN.com/bowlmania!