Screen plays What championship games to watch today

Big Ten: No. 5 Mich. St. vs. No. 4 Iowa

7 p.m. from Indianapolis, Ch. 9

Records: Michigan State 11-1, Iowa 12-0

The skinny: It's essentially a play-in game. With the Hawkeyes and Spartans ranked No. 4 and No. 5 by the College Football Playoff committee, the winner will likely become part of the four-team field. The consolation prize might be a trip to the Rose Bowl.

The stat: The Spartans are 6-1 in their past seven vs. top-10 teams and have won eight of their past 10 vs. ranked opponents.

The line: Michigan State by 3 ½

SEC: No. 18 Florida vs. No. 2 Alabama

3 p.m. from Atlanta, Ch. 4

Records: Florida 10-2, Alabama 11-1

The skinny: Alabama is looking to lock up a spot in the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row. Florida is too far back in the rankings to crack the four-team playoff, but the Gators could earn a spot in the Sugar Bowl with an upset.

The stat: Derrick Henry has rushed for 1,797 yards this season and figures to get a stiff challenge from the Gators, who rank seventh in the nation in rushing yards allowed (111.3 per game).

The line: Alabama by 18

Pac-12: No. 20 USC vs. No. 7 Stanford

6:45 p.m. from Santa Clara, Calif., ESPN

Records: USC 8-4, Stanford 10-2

The skinny: The Cardinal still could squeeze into the College Football Playoff with a conference title and an upset or two in other title games. The Trojans are trying to cap a drama-filled season with a title in Clay Helton's first game as USC's permanent coach.

The stat: Stanford leads the Pac-12 and ranks fifth in the nation with a 50.9 percent third-down conversion rate. But the Trojans have allowed a Pac-12 best 34.4 percent conversion rate for the season.

The line: Stanford by 4 ½

ACC: No. 10 N. Carolina vs. No. 1 Clemson

7 p.m. from Charlotte, N.C., Ch. 5

Records: North Carolina 11-1, Clemson 12-0

The skinny: With a win Clemson will win its second ACC Championship Game this decade (2011) and secure a spot in the playoff. This is UNC's first appearance in the ACC title game. It has an outside shot at a playoff spot if it upsets the Tigers.

The stat: UNC is allowing 394.9 ypg compared to 497.8 last season. But it faces the task of slowing Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, who led the ACC with 331.6 total yards per game and 36 total TDs.

The line: Clemson by 4 ½

American Ath: No. 22 Temple at No. 19 Houston

11 a.m., Ch. 5

Records: Temple 10-2, Houston 11-1

The skinny: The winner will go to either the Peach or Fiesta Bowl. Houston is looking for its first conference title since winning Conference USA in 2006, while Temple is looking for its first conference title.

The stat: The Cougars posted big numbers on offense this year, the second-most points in the conference at 42 per game and just under 500 yards of offense, but Temple's defense has allowed a league-best 18.8 ppg.

The line: Houston by 5 ½

Conference USA:

Southern Miss. at Western Kentucky

11 a.m., ESPN2

Records: Southern Miss 9-3, Western Ky. 10-2

The skinny: The Hilltoppers seek their first conference title since moving to the FBS level in 2009 and their first league title since winning the Gateway Conference in 2002. The Golden Eagles, making their third championship game appearance, are after their first title since 2011.

The stat: The Hilltoppers lead the league in scoring at 44.2 points per game, just ahead of the Golden Eagles' 41.7 average.

The line: Western Kentucky by 8

Mountain West: Air Force at San Diego St.

6:30 p.m., ESPN2

Records: Air Force 8-4, San Diego State 9-3

The skinny: The Falcons are bidding for their first conference crown since 1998, the Aztecs their first outright title since the WAC in 1986. Most projections have the Aztecs in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24. Air Force could be headed for the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth on Dec. 29.

The stat: The Aztecs are the 10th team in Mountain West Conference history and the first since 2011 to go undefeated in league play.

The line: San Diego State by 6 ½