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Alabama joins Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia in playoff

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FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2017, file photo, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts throws the ball during the second half of the Iron Bowl NCAA college football game, in Auburn, Ala. The Associated Press voters prefer Alabama over Ohio State. In the final Top 25 of the regular season, the Crimson Tide was No. 4 and the Buckeyes were No. 5. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Alabama is in.

The Crimson Tide got the nod over Ohio State and will play Clemson in the College Football Playoff on Jan. 1, likely in the Sugar Bowl. Oklahoma and Georgia will meet in the other semifinal — probably the Rose Bowl — on New Year's Day.

Tide or Buckeyes was the question facing the selection committee, the toughest call in the four-year history of the playoff.

The Tide had been more consistent and lost just once The Buckeyes lost twice, including an embarrassing 31-point beating to unranked Iowa, but have the more impressive set of victories. Ohio State won the Big Ten while Alabama did not even win its Southeastern Conference division.

The committee rolled with the Tide, and for the first time the playoff will include two teams from the same conference. Alabama joins SEC champion Georgia and an all-SEC title game is possible.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP

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More AP college football coverage: http://www.collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

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