Athlon analyzed each Pac-12 school's 2013 schedule. Here's what the Bears have to look forward to this fall.
Aug. 31 Northwestern
Sept. 7 Portland State
Sept. 14 Ohio State
Sept. 21 Bye Week
Sept. 28 at Oregon
Oct. 5 Washington State
Oct. 12 at UCLA
Oct. 19 Oregon State
Oct. 26 at Washington
Nov. 2 Arizona
Nov. 9 USC
Nov. 16 at Colorado
Nov. 23 at Stanford
Nov. 30 Bye Week
* Welcoming two Big Ten teams to town in the first three weeks wouldn’t normally instill fear in the Golden Bears. However, those two programs combined for 22 wins a season ago. And both expect to compete for a Big Ten title this year as well. This is an extremely difficult way to start a coaching tenure for Sonny Dykes.
* The first bye week is perfectly positioned, but the second is completed wasted. The first off week is positioned between two preseason top-five national title contenders (Ohio State and Oregon) and should give Cal time to lick its wounds and prepare for the Pac-12 opener. The second off weekend comes in the season finale, and unless Dykes miraculously leads his team to a North Division title, it will go to waste.
* The Bears will play all nine Pac-12 games on consecutive weekends with no rest. And other than possibly Washington State at home and a road trip to Colorado, it will face seven bowl teams from a year ago. With a tough non-conference slate, Dykes will need to pull a few stunners in league play, most likely at home, to reach the postseason. More on that…
* Cal will play five road conference games and four home tilts. And needless to say, it gets no favors on the road. Oregon, UCLA, Washington and Stanford all come away from home as well as Colorado. It puts more importance on home wins in swing games against Washington State, Oregon State, Arizona and USC. Having guaranteed losses on the road isn’t always a bad thing if it means a few upsets at home.
Piece of cake, right?
- Aaron Rodgers is on the brink of signing a huge contract extension, rumored to be worth about $25 million per season. That'll bring up the Cal alumni average salary.
- Cal teased the new uniforms, which will be revealed on April 10th. Jason Kidd approves.
- Athlon ranks Aaron Rodgers at no. 34 in its list of the top-50 BCS-era QBs.
- Lindsay Gottlieb and the Bears are preparing to take on former UCLA head coach Nikki Caldwell and the LSU Tigers. While Gottlieb admits Caldwell will win the fashion battle, LSU's slew of injuries may create depth issues against the Bears.
- Crabbe earned National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District honors.
- Layshia Clarendon was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic second team and Talia Caldwell, Eliza Pierre, and Mikayla Lyles were honorable mentions.
- David Kravish earned Pac-12 All-Academic recognition.
- The Bears can secure the PAC title with a win over Utah on Saturday. Cal leads Utah by one game in the conference standings thanks to Utah's 50-32 loss at UCLA (Cal defeated the Bruins 75-22 on the road in February).
- The Bears won 6-1. Unfortunately, the wrong Bears won as Baylor defeated Cal.
- Anett Schutting was named Pac-12 Player of the Week.
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