Cal Athletics announced that the California Golden Bears will kickoff the 2011 college football season against the Fresno St. Bulldogs in Candlestick Park. The game will be considered a neutral site game (all home games will be played at AT&T Park) , so it will not count into regular home season ticket packages. The game is scheduled for September 3rd, 2011.
Cal still has two out-of-conference games to schedule. Because Colorado is joining the Pac-12, their road game is still in danger of falling through as a non-conference game, although Jonathan Okanes mentions it as a viable possibility.
Cal has played Fresno State twice in their history. The first game was in 1995 in Memorial Stadium, with the Bulldogs triumphing 25-24. The second game was in 2000 in Fresno, with the Bulldogs winning 17-3. Cal fans have long commented about how much they deplored the road environment in Fresno, so it's good to see both athletic departments could come together and find a reasonable and alternative solution. Candlestick should see its fair share of Fresno fans, as they are a well-travelled fanbase. It'll be interesting to see how well the students travel, because the home of the San Francisco 49ers isn't easily accessible.
Football-wise, the Bulldogs finished this year 8-4, but they'll be losing starting quarterback Ryan Colburn, several offensive linemen, and four of their seven leading tacklers. Their best pass rusher Logan Harrell will be returning, as will their thousand-yard rusher Robbie Rouse and their best receiver Jamel Hamler. Cal usually fares well against non-conference competition, having lost only three games outside the Pac-10 since 2004.
It'll also be nice to see Pete Alamar again. I'm sure we all miss that man.
How excited are you for this game? Sound off in the comments.