Cal’s Oct. 5 Pac-12 home opener against Washington State has been set for a 1 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.
Cal’s Sept. 28 football game at No. 2 Oregon has been set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff and will be telecast on the Pac-12 Networks, the conference announced.
Be prepared for a game that runs past 11:30 p.m. If we’re lucky.
Meanwhile, first-year Cal coach Sonny Dykes, a former baseball player at Texas Tech, will throw out the opening pitch at Monday night’s A’s game against the Angels.
The Bears (1-2) have a bye this week, giving them additional time to prepare for the high-scoring Ducks (3-0).
Cal has lost four straight to Oregon, including by a 59-17 margin in Berkeley last season.
The Pac-12 Conference released its men’s basketball schedule, adjusted for TV dates and times.
Thirteen Cal games have been shifted to new dates to accomodate TV.
And the days of the Thursday-Saturday arrangement in conference play are gone. The Bears play two Thursday games in the Pac-12, then eight Wednesday contests.
Here’s the updated schedule:
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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LOADING UP IN NONCONFERENCE
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).
Greeted in recent days by a firestorm of opposition from its fans, Cal announced the 2014 Big Game against Stanford will remain at Memorial Stadium and would not be moved to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour announced the decision in a letter to fans and supporters.
Barbour said all aspects of the proposal were considered, but that the athletic department reached out to alumni, students, donors and ticket holders to solicit feedback.
“We listened to — and are grateful for — what they told us,” she wrote.
Jeffrey Warren, who broke the story last Friday that the game might be move through his blog, “A Cal Fan’s View,” was pleased.
“I”m excited. I’m happy for the kids,” said Warren, suggesting most of them wouldn’t have made the trip from Berkeley to Santa Clara. “The students would be playing beer pong in the fraternities and watching the game on TV.”
*** Click here to read Sandy Barbour’s entire letter.
The 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority have proposed to Cal and Stanford that the 2014 Big Game be played at the new Levi Stadium, a Cal athletic department official confirmed Friday.
No deal has been agreed upon and both schools would have to sign on. The move to Santa Clara would be a one-time arrangement.
The 2014 Big Game currently is scheduled to be played at Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium. If it’s moved to the 49ers’ new facility, it would be designated a neutral-site game, and the series would resume in 2015 at Berkeley.
There is no date yet for the 2014 Big Game. The Bears and Cardinal square off in this year’s Big Game on Nov. 23 at Stanford Stadium.
Need more evidence that Cal is about to embark on one of the nation’s most rigorous schedules?
The USA Today’s coaches poll was released Thursday, and Cal faces three teams ranked in the top four and seven in the top-25.
Previously, Phil Steele ranked Cal’s schedule the nation’s third-toughest and The Sporting News placed it as No. 4.
Here’s how the gauntlet unfolds:
– Aug. 31: vs. No. 22 Northwestern
– Sept. 14 vs. No. 2 Ohio State
– Sept. 28 at No. 3 Oregon
– Oct. 12 at No. 21 UCLA
– Oct. 19 vs. No. 25 Oregon State
– Nov. 9 vs. No. 24 USC
– Nov. 23 at No. 4 Stanford
We all know Cal’s non-conference football schedule is good — maybe too good — and The Sporting News ranks it as the sixth-best in the country.
Here’s how TSN rates the best and worst schedules in the land:
1. SMU: Texas Tech, Montana State, at Texas A&M, at TCU
2. Arizona State: Sacramento State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame (Arlington, Texas)
3. Florida: Toledo, at Miami, Georgia Southern, Florida State
4. Oklahoma: Louisiana-Monroe, Tulsa, at Notre Dame
5. Clemson: Georgia, South Carolina State, Citadel, at South Carolina.
6. California: Northwestern, Portland State, Ohio State
7. Georgia: at Clemson, North Texas, Appalachian State, at Georgia Tech.
8. South Carolina: North Carolina, at UCF, Coastal Carolina, Clemson
9. Purdue: at Cincinnati, Indiana State, Notre Dame, Northern Illinois
10. Virginia: BYU, Oregon, VMI, Ball State
By conference: SEC (3), Pac-12 (2), ACC (2), Big Ten (1), Big 12 (1), AAC (1).
1. Kansas State: North Dakota State, Louisiana-Lafayette, UMass
2. Baylor: Wofford, Buffalo, Louisiana-Monroe
3. Texas Tech: at SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Texas State
4. Kansas: South Dakota, at Rice, Louisiana Tech
5. Duke: NC-Central, at Memphis, Troy, Navy
6. Vanderbilt: Austin Peay, at UMass, UAB, Wake Forest
7. Louisville: Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, at Kentucky, FIU
8. Arizona: Northern Arizona, at UNLV, at Texas-San Antonio
9. Texas A&M: Rice, Sam Houston State, SMU, UTEP
10. NC State: Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, ECU
By conference: Big 12 (4), SEC (2), ACC (2), Pac-12 (1), AAC (1).
2013 Pac-12 Conference Football Schedule
Thurs., Aug 29
USC at Hawai’i
Utah State at UTAH
Sat., Aug 31
Northern Arizona at ARIZONA
Nevada at UCLA
Colorado State vs. COLORADO (1)
Nicholls State at OREGON
Eastern Washington at OREGON STATE
Boise State at WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON STATE at Auburn
Northwestern at CALIFORNIA
Lots to like about the Bears’ 2013 schedule, starting with a bye between the nonconference and Pac-12 games, which the 2012 team did not get.
And, of course, the Big Game will end the regular season on Nov. 23, returning to its traditional spot on the schedule. Everyone should like that a year after Cal hosted Stanford on Oct. 20 and suffered a 21-3 loss that triggered a five-game, season-ending skid that left the Bears 3-9 and led to coach Jeff Tedford’s firing.
But . . .
New coach Sonny Dykes won’t have it easy.
First of all, as previously announced, the Bears open Aug. 31 at home against a Northwestern team that was 10-3 last season and won the Gator Bowl. Cal has scheduled the Wildcats during what one day may be regarded as the golden era of Northwestern football. A tough opener.
OK, then a win over an FCS Portland State squad that was 3-8 and lost to Washington 52-13.
Then a third straight home game, against Ohio State, 12-0 a year ago, now free of NCAA sanctions and 6-1 all-time vs. Cal. The Bears’ most recent win over the Buckeyes: 28-0 in the Jan. 1, 1921 Rose Bowl.
Cal jumps right into the deep end of the Pac-12 schedule with a Sept. 28 game at Oregon. The Bears also face challenging road conference matchups against UCLA, Washington and Stanford.
The only Pac-12 road game that appears favorable for the Bears is a Nov. 16 game at Colorado and new coach Mike MacIntyre. And Cal struggled to a 36-33 overtime win at CU when the teams last played in 2011.
So, five conference road games — four of them very difficult.
The conference home schedule is not particularly sexy, with games against WSU, OSU and Arizona before USC visits on Nov. 9. The Bears lost to the Beavers and Trojans last fall and did not face the Wildcats.
It’s the dawn of a new era at Berkeley with Dykes running the show. But the Bears will be challenged in 2013.