Pac-12 opting for league-only games, scratching the Alabama-USC matchup

Auburn photo by Todd Van Emst / Auburn receiver Seth Williams caught the winning touchdown pass in the Tigers' thrilling 27-21 season-opening victory over Oregon last year at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but there will be no football matchups between the SEC and the Pac-12 this year.

The Pac-12 Conference announced Friday evening that a league-only schedule will be implemented in football this season due to coronavirus concerns.

That eliminates a pair of matchups involving Southeastern Conference teams, most notably the Sept. 5 showdown between Alabama and Southern California at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Texas A&M had been scheduled to host Colorado on Sept. 19.

"The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a release. "Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities."