After four of their first five games were relegated to Pac-12 Network viewing, it's time for the California Golden Bears to enter the spectrum of Pac-12 After Dark.
Cal will get a national telecast against the undefeated Utah Utes on ESPN, kicking off at 8:15 PM local time in Salt Lake City, 7:15 P.M. Pacific. The Bears could be undefeated and stay a top 25 team if they beat Washington State. Utah will be undefeated, sitting at 4-0 and currently hovering near the top 10; they'll have a bye week before playing Cal.
Utah arguably has the best resume of any major college football team and could very well be the best team in the Pac-12 when all is said and done. They started their season with an impressive win over a Michigan team that is starting to look like it'll win eight or nine games minimum. They struggled with Fresno State and Utah State with a banged up Travis Wilson, but then responded with by far the best performance of the year by pummeling Oregon to smithereens in Autzen.
It will definitely be the toughest game on Cal's pre-bye week schedule, bar none.
Let's talk briefly about College Gameday--yes, it's possible that if Cal beats Washington State, the Bears and Utes will be the College Gameday showcase. I still believe Miami-Florida State is the likelier candidate if both the Hurricanes and Seminoles are undefeated next week. Michigan-Northwestern is also a possiblity, but I'm guessing they'll head up to Ann Arbor the next week for Michigan State-Michigan. It also could be the week Gameday decides to pick some random FCS or Division III school if they're not feeling enough hype for any of these sites.
I'd say there's a 20% shot at it. Because of course...
Describe your feelings on Cal & Washington State in one photo. Here's ours. pic.twitter.com/dlxgeVOGUo— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) September 28, 2015
What are your early, early thoughts on Cal-Utah? Let us know in the comments!
Official release from Cal Athletics:
The Pac-12 announced Monday that Cal's next road contest at Utah on Saturday, Oct. 10 will be televised live by ESPN and kick off from Rice-Eccles Stadium at 8:15 pm MT/7:15 pm PT.
Cal and Utah are two of the Pac-12's three remaining unbeaten teams along with UCLA with 4-0 records. Utah is ranked No. 10 in the AP Top 25 and No. 12 in the Amway Coaches Poll, while Cal is No. 24 by AP and tied for No. 24 in the coaches poll. Cal is nationally ranked for the first time since checking in at No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches Poll during week three of the 2010 season after a 2-0 start, while the Golden Bears were last in the AP Top 25 in Week 14 of the 2009 season after going 8-3 before dropping their final two contests.
Cal leads the all-time series over Utah, 5-4, while the Utes have won three of the last four and four of the last six including. Utah won the last meeting between the teams three seasons ago in Salt Lake City with a 49-27 victory on Oct., 27, 2012. Sonny Dykes has never faced the Utes as Cal's head coach.