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Cal football will open the 2016 season against Hawaii in Australia

After months of rumors and hearsay, it's finally officially official—finally!

Cole Bennetts/Getty Images

The California Golden Bears made just a tiny little scheduling change. The 2016 season will start with a history-making game in Sydney, Australia against the Hawaii Warriors! Good thing it's in Sydney and not out in the middle of Western Australia—like, I dunno... I'll choose some place random like Karratha. Kudos to the Fedora Who Never Sleeps—Ryan Gorcey—for breaking the news.

Cal is bumping FCS's South Dakota from the schedule to make room for this game, which will be followed by a bye week to let the Bears re-acclimate to the time zone. The last time the Golden Bears played an international game was 1987—a great year for the world—against the Washington State Cougars.

Coach Sonny Dykes and Director of Athletics Mike Williams had the following to say:

Dykes: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience for our student-athletes and an excellent opportunity to see and learn about another culture. We are proud to represent the University of California at this historic event. A great deal of hard work by many people has gone into making this a reality, and everyone associated with Cal Athletics is excited to take part in it. It is a great day for college football and all the fans of our sport. It shows the popularity college football is gaining, and we're ready to help further introduce the sport to many more fans."

Williams: "We are thrilled to open our 2016 football season in Sydney. This will be a tremendous cultural and educational experience for our student-athletes, our football program, our university, and our fan base around the world. We are a global university with global alumni and fans, and we are excited to be bringing college football to the great country of Australia."

This makes the start of our 2016 schedule:

  • August 27: Hawaii in Australia
  • September 3: Bye
  • September 10: at San Diego State
  • September 17: vs. Texas