Final Four in college football is now set
Alabama will play Washington and Ohio State is set to face Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
The selection committee stayed with the same top four as it had going into championship weekend, leaving out Penn State even though the Nittany Lions won the Big Ten title game and beat Ohio State earlier in the season.
The Buckeyes are the first team to reach the playoff in its three-year history without winning its conference.
The unbeaten Crimson Tide is in the playoff for the third straight season and is the top seed for the second time. They will play the fourth-ranked Huskies in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 31.
No. 2 Ohio State is making its second playoff appearance and No. 3 Clemson is in for the second consecutive season. The Buckeyes and Tigers will meet at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, on Dec. 31.
The one difference from last week's top four and the final one was Clemson and Ohio State switched spots. So the Tigers will wear the home jerseys in University of Phoenix stadium instead of the Buckeyes.
Selection committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said the decision came down not to Penn State and Ohio State but the Nittany Lions and Pac-12 champion Washington.
Penn State finished the season on a nine-game winning streak to make a strong closing statement.
"Had Washington had a stronger strength of schedule I do not think that conversation would have been as difficult," said Hocutt, who is also the Texas tech athletic director.
The selection protocol does not require the committee to pick conference champions or the winner of head-to-head matchups.
Alabama has played Washington four times previously, twice in bowls and not since 1986.
Ohio State and Clemson have played twice before, both in bowl games. The last time was 2014.
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org