Screen plays Today's Non-playoff Bowl
No. 18 Houston vs. No. 9 Florida State
11 a.m. from Atlanta, ESPN
Records: Houston 12-1, 7-1 American Athletic; Florida State 10-2, 6-2 Atlantic Coast
The skinny: For Houston and the American Athletic Conference, respect is on the line. Though coach Tom Herman says his team already has proved it belongs in one of the six games in the College Football Playoff, a lopsided loss would support doubters who refused to rank the Cougars higher despite having only one loss. Florida State's seniors could become only the second class in the nation with 50 wins, following Boise State (2008-11). … Houston will rely on QB Greg Ward Jr., who emerged as one of the nation's top dual-threat players as he ranked third in the nation with 19 rushing TDs while throwing for 16 scores. Florida State counters with RB Dalvin Cook, who set a school record with 1,658 yards rushing. He rushed for 18 TDs and ranks second in the nation with 7.86 yards per carry.
The stat: When ranked, Houston is 3-1 against Florida State.
The line: Florida State by 7