Football: Cal-ASU set for 1 p.m. kickoff on FX

Cal announced that its Sept. 29 home game vs. Arizona State will kick off at 1 p.m. and be televised on the FX network.

The Bears travel to No. 13 USC on Saturday for a 3 p.m. contest.


Basketball: Bears announce 2012-13 schedule — will open Nov. 11 vs. Cal State Bakersfield

Cal will open its 2012-13 schedule Nov. 11 against Cal State Bakersfield at Haas Pavilion.
The highlight of the non-conference home schedule will be a Dec. 9 matchup against UNLV, which posted a 26-9 record last season.
Cal opens Pac-12 Conference play in Los Angeles with games against UCLA on Jan. 3 and USC on Jan. 5.
The Bears’ games against rival Stanford will be played Jan. 19 at Maples Pavilion and March 6 at Haas in the conference regular-season finale.
UCLA visits Berkeley on Feb. 14. Cal will not play Arizona at home this season.
The 2013 Pac-12 tournament will be held in Las Vegas for the first time, beginning March 13 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Cal plays 16 of its 31 regular-season games at home, and will face 12 opponents who won at least 20 games last season, five who advanced to the NCAA tournament.
The Bears’ non-conference schedule also includes a Thanksgiving weekend trek to the Anaheim Classic, where they open Nov. 22 against Drake, and a Dec. 2 trip to Madison, Wis., for a game aganst the Wisconsin Badgers, 26-10 a year ago.
Cal will be led by junior all-Pac-12 guard Allen Crabbe, who helped the team to a tie for second in the Pac-12 last season and into the NCAA tournament.

Basketball: Bears faces Drake in Anaheim opener

The Cal basketball team will face Drake on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 22, in the opening round of the Anaheim Basketball Classic. Tipoff is 8:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.

Drake was 18-16 last season, including 9-9 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Bears would face either Rice, coached by Ben Braun, or Georgia Tech in their second-round game on Saturday, Nov.24. The tournament concludes on Sunday, Nov. 25.

The opposite bracket in the eight-team event includes Saint Mary’s, Drexel, Pacific and Xavier. The Gaels, featuring Australian Olympian Matthew Dellavedova, open against Drexel on Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m.


Football: Big Game on . . . Oct. 20!

The Pac-12 Conference release the 2012 football schedule today and nothing jumps off the Cal calendar as much as an Oct. 20 date for the Big Game at refurbished Memorial Stadium.

The game will be the eighth on Cal’s 12-game slate — the first time the Big Game ever has been played before November.

“I am very disappointed that these challenges have resulted in the moving of our rivalry game with Stanford – one of the longest standing traditions in all of college football – away from its proper place and time in the rhythm of the football season,” Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour said in a statement.

“I believe that college football is unique, in large part, because of traditions like the Big Game, and we believe that those traditions should be carefully protected.”

Barbour added that both Cal and Stanford opposed the scheduling model that placed the Big Game so early. They favored a schedule that had the game set for Nov. 17. But the league’s 12 athletic directors approved one of the other proposed plans.

All four of the other traditional old Pac-10 rivalries — USC-UCLA, Arizona-Arizona State, Oregon-Oregon State and Washington-Washington State — are scheduled for Nov. 17 or later.

The Bears will open the new Memorial Stadium on Sept. 1 against Nevada, then will play at home Sept. 8 against Southern Utah.

Cal visits Ohio State on Sept. 15 before kicking off its Pac-12 schedule Sept. 22 at USC — a killer back-to-back road assignment.

The Bears play Sept. 29 at home against Arizona State, then Oct. 6 at home vs. UCLA before trekking to Washngton State on Oct. 13.

Following the Big Game, Cal plays Oct. 27 at Utah, then Friday, Nov. 2 at home vs. Washington and on Nov. 10 at home vs. Oregon.

The regular season ends Nov. 17 at Oregon State.

Here is Cal’s news release on the schedule including a Q&A with Sandy Barbour and the Pac-12 release with the full conference schedule.


Basketball: Does schedule give Bears an edge?

The Pac-12 has posted its basketball pre-season prospectus and one of the tidbits included is a chart showing which opponents each school will “miss” during the conference schedule.

With two extra teams in the league this season, playing an 18-game conference schedule will require each school to miss two opponents at home and two on the road.

Looks to me like the schedule is favorable to the Bears.

Here’s why: Cal will miss playing the Arizona schools on the road and the Washington schools at home. If you consider Arizona, Washington and UCLA the three chief threats to Cal for the Pac-12 title, the schedule allows the Bears to miss playing two of the six matchups against those teams.

None of the other three schools misses more than one of the lead contenders.

The Pac-12 prospectus tells that us Cal returns 76.5 percent of its scoring from a year ago, tops in the conference.

There are no 1,000-point career scorers returning, but Cal senior Jorge Gutierrez ranks No. 2 among returnees in scoring (803 points), assists (287) and steals (109) while teammate Harper Kamp is fourth in scoring (740) and second in rebounds (373).



Basketball: Cal-Austin Peay on Nov. 15 part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon

Cal’s opener at home against Austin Peay in the CBE Classic will be folded into ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, a 25-hour basketball extravaganza on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Cal and Austin Peay will play at 7 p.m. and the game will be carried on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.

The 19-game schedule — 17 men’s games and two women’s contests — begins at 9 p.m. Monday night (technically Tuesday at midnight ET), with Washington State visiting Gonzaga.

Saint Mary’s goes next at 11 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14 (Tuesday at 2 a.m.) with a home game against Northern Iowa.

Stanford will face an opponent to be determined at 8 p.m. as part of the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off. That game will be shown on ESPNU.