One of the coolest things about Cal's new scheduling matchups with TCU, North Carolina, Ole Miss and Auburn is that we've never played any of these teams! They're not only strong opponents, there's novelty in some of this battles.
Of the teams we've NEVER played, who would you want to play the most and why? (Short list: Florida State, LSU, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Vanderbilt)
Nik Jam: Of all the teams we've never played, or haven't played in a long time, I have to go with both history (how good has the opponent been lately?) and the location. So from a historical standpoint: LSU, Florida St and Oklahoma State would be big first time meetings. From a location standpoint: Vanderbilt, because Nashville (I hear) is awesome.
Nam Le: The guys at ATVS know that I'm begging for a night game at Death Valley, and out of the other options, none are nearly as appealing as that prospect (sorry, FSU).
Vincent S: I personally like games with schools that have strong academic focuses. My dad would always tell me that Cal had no chance at national titles in football or basketball because (e.g. in basketball) we'd be going up against the Kentuckys of the world, where student-athletes seemed to be more athlete than student. While that isn't an overarching principle, to me, playing schools like Vanderbilt, Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Michigan feel different than playing some of the other teams who you've only heard of due to football and basketball success.
Avinash Kunnath: That Cal vs. MIT battle is going to be one for the ages. We might #drop500.
Vincent: MIT did go undefeated in conference last year, and 10-1 overall! I haven't actually heard of any of the schools they played, though.
LeonPowe: CalTech is more local, and we could get that Pasadena game.
Avinash Kunnath: Didn't CalTech disband their football program?
LeonPowe: Even more reason to play them.
Sam Fielder: I'd love to see Vandy, not only because it's pretty close to me, but also because they are a strong academic school that is also competitive in sports. Same with Virginia, would be cool to be matched up against a school that shares a similar profile. And then of course LSU just for the pageantry and blue-bloodedness of it. And I have a ton of LSU fan friends, so it'd be fun to talk crap to them if we won.
TwistNHook: Have we taken on USC? I'd love to play USC. Obviously, that area is a really fertile recruiting ground and it could help Cal make further inroads into that region. I'm a huge fan of using taking on major schools from major conference and USC fits that bill. I am curious about all the hoopla surrounding USC, like what is the nature of their band? How are their fans? I see absolutely no downside!
Plus, it'd be nice to actually have a chance to beat a school named USC every now and then.
LeonPowe: We could play Louisville in the Chang Lin Tien memorial game, but I think Virginia really makes a lot of sense (and it could be the Vlad Belo bowl, or the OhioBear Memorial Bowl). In the tradition of wanting to play really good academic public schools, Virginia fits the bill. Playing LSU home and home would be an amazing cultural experience for everyone. (Hippies in Death Valley under the lights? Also, eating. All the crawfish, etouffie, gumbo - it would be amazing. I might even fly back for that.