First-year Cal coach Sonny Dykes said he’d like to eventually adopt an A-B-C system to nonconference scheduling.
The alphabet has been jumbled this season with a season-opening run of Northwestern, Portland State and Ohio State. That’s a three-week stretch involving two 10-win teams from the Big Ten Conference.
With a Pac-12 opener at Oregon looming, the Bears face the prospect of a 1-3 start if they don’t beat Northwestern in the Aug. 31 opener at Berkeley.
“You can’t really look at it that way, but realistically it’s got to be there in the back of your mind,” Dykes said Friday at Pac-12 media day at Sony Pictures Studios. “I’m sure when they scheduled Northwestern, they weren’t coming off a 10-win season.
“At the time, you could see how Northwestern might have been a B team. Obviously, they’re certainly not now.”
Noting that the Bears have contracted future games against Texas, Dykes said he’d like to maintain one high-profile game on the nonconference schedule each year.
“I think it’s good for college football, good for Cal,” he said.
But the arrangement also comes with the very real possibility of losing that game, adding importance to the other two to create a body of work that leads to bowl eligibility.
“Those other two games are really important,” Dykes said. “We hope we get to the point where we win all three of them every year, but you’ve got to give yourself an opportunity to be successful.
“You’ve got to win your nonconference games.”