|Sat, Aug 30||at Northwestern|
|Sat, Sept 6||Sacramento State|
|Sat, Sept 13||BYE|
|Sat, Sept 20||at Arizona|
|Sat, Sept 27||Colorado|
|Sat, Oct 4||at Washington State|
|Sat, Oct 11||Washington|
|Sat, Oct 18||UCLA|
|Fri, Oct 24||Oregon (at Levi's Stadium)|
|Sat, Nov 1||Oregon State|
|Sat, Nov 8||BYE|
|Thurs, Nov 13||at USC|
|Sat, Nov 22||THE BIG GAME vs. Stanfurd|
|Sat, Nov 29||BYU|
TwistNHook: So, let's see here. A few things jump out:
1. Thursday night game at USC. That is after the bye, so we'll avoid a short week. Plus, it gives us a long week for Big Game. Solid. Not sure we'll win there, but at least it is scheduled well.
2. Most of our difficulty is backloaded. Northwestern, SacSt, Arizona, Colorado, and WSU are the first several games. 3 out of those 5 are road games, so that makes it slightly tougher. And yes, we suck, 1-11, bla bla bla bla bla, but there's a chance in there we could start 5-0. We might stumble against the Oregon and USCs of the world later on, but after a 1-11 season, starting 5-0 would be amazing.
We'll also know early on just how good this team is. If things fall apart against the weaker part of the schedule, well, RUH ROH!
3. Big home lay off between October 18 and UCLA and Big Game on November 22. That's like a full month with no home games. Yes, we have the game against Oregon at Levi's Stadium but for many, many, many reasons I'm not calling that a home game. So, there is that. We have a very balanced home schedule with 2 home games in each month. This past season, we had 3 home games in 3 weeks (which is easier to do when you have 7 games as compared to 6).
Berkelium97: I like that the schedule is backloaded, in contrast to last year's frontloaded schedule. Coming off a 1-11 season, we'll need all the momentum and confidence we can get early in the season. What better way to bounce back from last year's disaster than a road trip to face a Northwestern team that lost 7 of its final 8 games, followed by a visit from Sacramento State? The Arizona game will be a challenge, but the Colorado game is certainly winnable. If Cal pulls the upset at Northwestern, we could be 3-1 at the end of the month.
On the other hand, if we struggle out of the gate and only win one game in September, we could be on our way to another 1-11 finish. At least we'll know by the end of the month whether the season is a total loss...that's a positive, right?
Overall, I'm just glad we have two bye weeks this year. (And no, bye weeks at the end of the year don't count)
Vincent S: An actual schedule with functional byes! After a few years of finding things to pick at with regards to scheduling, this is one I'm very happy with. The only thing that would make me happier is flipping the first two games. A manageable start to stretch our legs, before going into the meat. Byes ideally placed before conference play, and before a finishing push at the end of the season. The second bye also gives us essentially a week-and-a-half each between @Oregon State, @USC (Thursday night), and Big Game.
I only wish that I were still in Berkeley to watch.
Leland Wong: Two functional bye weeks and the Big Game is in late November, but not the week of Thanksgiving? No complaints here.
Ruey Yen: I don't really like that we have a game after the Big Game, but I guess that's the price to pay for having useful bye weeks. On those bye weeks, having one before conference play is useful and the other one does give us more time to prep for the Thursday game. Since the days of Pete Carroll and his perfect November record are pretty much just history, playing USC in November rather than earlier probably doesn't change anything.
TwistNHook: I'd rather we have an away game after Thanksgiving, because the home games after Thanksgiving are not quite as well traveled. People being oot and aboot and all. Hopefully, in future years, Sandy and Co. can swing an away game, so I don't have to waste a valuable home game 2 days after TG.
Sam Fielder: I'm with Berkellium here on the backloaded advantage. Since we're breaking in so many new and young players, it definitely isn't a bad thing at all and I love the two bye weeks in season. Gives us a chance to catch our breath, heal up a little, regroup, and refocus, things that haven't been able to happen late in the season in the last 2 tailspins we've been in.
If we can get out of September with a 2-2 or 3-1 record, I think we'll be well on our way to a bounce back season. Should things fall apart early (like the past couple of years), then we might be in for another long year. I think we'll know early on how things will shape up, but hopefully we'll be hitting our stride when we hit the Washington/UCLA/Oregon stretch instead of breaking in a bunch of new players.
TwistNHook: Hey I was the first to note the backloaded advantage! Don't credit berkelium!
Sam Fielder: I'd much rather be associated with him than you.
TwistNHook: How much is it gonna cost to be associated with me????
Nick Kranz: I've always been skeptical of the actual value of bye-weeks in terms of how it impacts wins and losses, but for the sake of providing more frequent breaks from the rigors of the season for the team, I'm glad.
What this schedule says to me is 'no excuses.' One can make the argument that each of Cal's first six games are winnable games, at least relative to teams like Oregon, Stanford and UCLA. It's not like last year when the season felt over before it began. If Cal can't make tangible progress against the early slate an already fragile team and fanbase will go to a very dark place.
Vlad Belo: Interesting that we have three straight home games, though we give one of those away by playing Oregon at Levi's Stadium.
I like having two bye weeks and I also think it's a plus for Cal to have extra time to prepare for the Big Game following the Thursday nighter at USC. I don't mind the Thanksgiving weekend game against BYU, but I would also prefer that it be a road game for the Bears. Then again, BYU has many fans and followers in the Bay Area, so perhaps that will quell any attendance difficulties (at the expense, though, of having more visiting fans).
Avinash Kunnath: It's a really good schedule for a team coming off a 1-11 season. Northwestern, Colorado, WSU, Arizona (not sure about these two) and Sac State are games we should have a decent chance winning. We win four games to start the season, and all we need to do is score two upsets at Memorial against the UCLA/Furd/BYU triumvirate and we're in a bowl game. After last year's disaster, that should be enough to quiet people down and give Sonny room to breathe for next year. It also doesn't put the team in the hole early and make the players give up, because the prospect of a winning season or a bowl will keep them motivated.
Cal fans, what do you think about our upcoming schedule? Share your thoughts down below!