Football: Will schedule toughen or ruin Bears?

Will a treacherous nonconference schedule prepare the Cal football team for rough waters in the Pac-12 Conference or send its season into the rocks?

Cal fans will not like the answer history suggests.

The Golden Bears kick off their schedule Saturday night against No. 22 Northwestern in coach Sonny Dykes’ debut at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. for a game the nation will watch on ESPN2.

Another Big Ten heavyweight looms in two weeks when No. 2 Ohio State visits Berkeley. Then, after a week off, the Bears open conference play at No. 3 Oregon — the first of five ranked Pac-12 teams Cal will face.

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Cal is 2-19 in games played when it’s faced two (or more) Top-25 opponents during the nonconference portion of its schedule:

— 1953: lost 25-0 at home to No. 20 Baylor; lost 33-19 at home to No. 6 Ohio State; won 40-0 on the road vs. No. 20 Penn. Final season record: 4-4-2.

— 1954: lost 27-13 at home to No. 2 Oklahoma; lost 21-13 on the road to No. 14 Ohio State. Final season record: 5-5.

— 1959: lost 42-12 at home to No. 13 Iowa; lost 33-0 on the road to No. 10 Texas. Final season record: 2-8.

— 1961: lost 28-3 at home to No. 4 Texas; lost 28-7 on the road to No. 1 Iowa. Final season record: 1-8-1.

— 1965: lost 48-3 at home to No. 3 Notre Dame; lost 10-7 on the road to No. 4 Michigan. Final season record: 5-5.

— 1969: lost 17-0 at home to No. 4 Texas; won 17-14 on the road vs. No. 10 Indiana. Final season record: 5-5.

— 1971: lost 51-20 in Little Rock, Ark., to No. 7 Arkansas; lost 35-3 on the road to No. 14 Ohio State. Final season record: 6-5.

— 1972: lost 20-10 on the road to No. 2 Colorado; lost 35-18 at home to No. 3 Ohio State. Final season record: 3-8.

— 1976: lost 36-24 on the road to No. 16 Georgia; lost 28-17 on the road to No. 4 Oklahoma. Final season record: 5-6. 

— 1999: lost 45-0 on the road vs. No. 5 Nebraska; lost 38-28 on the rod vs. No. 24 BYU. Final season record: 4-7 (later changed to 0-11 after forfeits).


Jeff Faraudo

  • Josh

    Toughen… if you want to be the best you gotta play the best

  • covinared

    2003 split against kstate and mich st. on road. Both rsnked. Ended up over 500.

  • Juancho

    Covina. Please give us an update on the state of dykes wife attractiveness.

  • Juancho

    Daredevil i hope tomorrow you can treat us to a season opening performance on the gameday post.

    Rob bear will also need you to bless that thread with your famous line.

    Hoping all the brothers check in tomorrow.

  • covinared

    Juancho no puedo. Esposa aqui conmigo. Es salosa.

  • Kotempman

    Just got in a argument with the wife…things at the home are braking down…just got home from work on the train and going right back at 535am Saturday morning to LA …very tired and worn out…everything seems to be going against me….why am I not disappointed? I’ll tell you why…I can only work 12 hours on the train…that puts me at the hotel at 6:30pm the latest…the hotel gets ESPN2 on their TV’s….thank you LORD!!!!!!

  • Juancho

    Covina, ten mucho cuidado mi hermano.

    Kotemp – be safe out there brother. I’m a big fan of ordering a pizza in a hotel room, and getting a 6 pack and turning the games up loud.

    Anyone seen the bovine recently? I haven’t seen him post in a while.

  • covinared

    Jeff: made a mistake. K state in 2003 mich state 2002. Sorry.