Cal Football Blog lists a top 3 "games to watch this year". The games are Ohio State, USC and Washington. Does any game (or do any games) stand out to you?
I think Oregon deserves some consideration too.
Here's my top 5 most-anticipated games for the 2012 season.
1. Cal @ Ohio State - It's Pac-12 vs. Big-10(12). It's a classic match up of two venerable programs. It's one of the biggest non-conference games for Cal in at least five years. Ohio State tried to get out of this game a few years ago because they got scared of Cal but Sandy Barbour wouldn't let them wiggle their way out. It's time to put the beat down on the Buckeyes.
2. Cal @ USC - USC will probably be the highest ranked team Cal will play all season. Cal and USC typically have had pretty close games in the past. Hopefully this year won't be any different.
3. Cal vs. Oregon - Another big Pac-12 matchup. Cal has proved two years in a row that they can stop the Oregon offense. It's time to do that, AND walk away with a "W".
4. Cal vs. Washington - This game doesn't mean a lot to me, but I know it means a lot to other people, fans, and players. The atmosphere should be ... aggressive.
5. Cal vs. Stanfurd - Big Game at #5? It's lost a little bit of appeal considering that Andrew Luck isn't there any more. And while beating Furd without Luck isn't as sweet as beating them with Luck, I still want the win.
atomsareenough: Most anticipated, in order:
1. Ohio State (first major test, measuring stick game, want to see how we play in the Horseshoe)
2. Washington (bloodlust)
3. Oregon (2009 aside, these games are usually fun)
4. Nevada (OMG first game @ new Memorial!)
5. Stanford (oh yeah those guys are our rivals, huh)
6. UCLA (always eager to put them in their place)
7. USC (can we please beat these guys for a change?)
8. Utah (interested to play at Rice-Eccles)
9. Washington State (yar pirate blah blah blah)
10. Arizona State (nothing much to say here)
11. Oregon State (hate playing these guys, the games are usually less fun compared to other teams)
12. Southern Utah (anyone want my ticket to this?)
Remember, this is different than which game do you most badly want to win, right? This is which one are you most eager to see, no matter how it turns out.
1. Nevada (Opening Day!)
2. Washington (Friday afternoon atmosphere should be great)
3. Stanford (Big Game in October!)
4. Oregon (Senior day, should be a great crowd assuming we're in contention)
5. UCLA (Homecoming, California school)
6. Ohio State (First big test; novel opponent)
7. USC (California school; this is further down because it will be difficult to triumph)
8. Washington State (The pirate offense! But a road game)
9. Arizona State (Bleh. At least it's a home game. U-S-A!)
10. Utah (I don't know what to think about this)
11. Southern Utah (Backups galore, hopefully)
12. Oregon State (I pray we do not have our customary freak injury)
1. Stanford. (I want the Axe back and I dislike them greatly)
2. Wa$hington. (we all know why)
3. Oregon (this is always a good game and usually pretty close)
4. Ohio State (I really want to see how we perform on the big stage against a good team)
5. Nevada (Memorial.)
6. USC (Feels like a barometer game that'll give a good sense of what the season will end up being like)
7. UCLA (semi-rival game)
8. Washington State (I want to see what Mike Leech has done with them)
9. Oregon State (They're the most interesting of the teams left)
10. Arizona State (This is a game we will play)
11. Utah (I really have no thought here)
12. Southern Utah (Little upside other than lots of points and much cannon fire)
1. Stanford. Duh.
2. Ohio State, because I think it will be fun and unique
3. UCLA. I consider them our #2 rival, and I need something to replace my memory of last year's game.
4. USC, even though I dread these games more and more each year.
5. Oregon, because I'm fascinated to see if Pendergast can slow down the Ducks again.
6. Nevada, because footbaw is back!
7. Washington. This game is huge because they are major competition in the North pecking order, but I'm sorry, I'm over Tosh. It's hard for me to work up a lather over that any more.
8. WSU, because Leach
9. Utah. I'm excited about the two defenses both teams will bring into this game.
(Big excitement gap here)
10. Oregon State. I have nothing interesting to say here.
11. ASU. Without Burfict this feels like a pretty unremarkable team in every way.
12. Southern Utah. Duh.
1. tOSU: this game will likely define our season. We have the chance to notch a major upset, show we can hang with a historically elite program, or demonstrate continued incompetence on the road in hostile venues.
2. Nevada: New Memorial opens up. Kickoff. You just can't replicate the excitement of the season opener.
3. UW: There will be blood.
4. Stanford: I look forward to their delicious tears after we stifle their one-dimensional offense.
5. Oregon: We've had great crowds for Oregon games in recent years (even in the monsoon in 2008). This game should be no different.
6. Utah: another barometer game that gives us the opportunity to earn a quality win on the road...or continue to struggle in games where we should be competitive.
7. Southern Utah: I particularly like the second halves of these games, as we can finally see some of the younger players in a live-game situation. After Bridg was pretty disappointing in mop-up duty last year, I'm hoping to see some improvement this year.
8. Washington State: I'm excited for the Mike Leach era at WSU, but I'm not very excited to face them. This could be one of those annual faceplant games. We're better on both sides of the ball, but that hasn't kept us from embarrassing ourselves in the past.
9. UCLA: Jim Mora does not get me excited me about UCLA football. At least Neuheisel offered comic relief.
10. Oregon State: I think we should be favored to win, but I am never excited about trips to Corvalis, particularly in November.
12. USC: this is going to be a slaughter. I am not looking forward to it.
12. Arizona State: I do not care at all about college football in the state of Arizona. Cal should cruise to an easy victory over an inexperience, overmatched team.
1. Is this thing on? Arizona. I'm excited to see how Rich Rod can quickly transition to Arizona football.
2. Obviously Colorado - after Paul Richardson
torched us last year, I want to see if we can slow him down with a more experienced defensive backfield.
3. Southern Utah - I know the team has this circled on their calendars this is why we play the game!
As a Berkeley commie, I believe that all games should be viewed equally. We cannot have the 1% of games oppressing the 99%! WASHINGTON STATE PLAYERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE, BUT EVERY GAME TO CAL!