The California Golden Bears will not be taking an extra trip overseas next season. The rumored Australia game with the Baylor Bears has been circulated, was nixed, was revived, and now appears to be dead for good.
Baylor AD Ian McCaw said potential international game in 2016 is no longer a possibility but he will continue to look overseas in future.— John Werner (@JohnWernerTrib) September 8, 2015
Although it would have provided for a cool amount of exposure, this is a trip that wouldn't have made much sense for Cal at all. They are likely to be replacing almost all their skill talent on offense and plenty on defense too. To go overseas and play a potential top ten team when they already have to host one Big 12 opponent in Texas in non-conference play (along with San Diego State and South Dakota) didn't make a whole lot of sense. Cal doesn't need a 13 game schedule that would probably require a game in mid-August that includes thousands of miles crossing the Pacific.
Oh. But that doesn't mean it's dead.
I mean. I guess?
The Hawaii game has been a dead zone for Pac-12 opponents recently, so I wouldn't be a huge fan of playing this game on the isles. As a neutral site game a long ways away, it's less of a waste and should be a chance at picking up an extra victory before ferocious Pac-12 play.
It could provide for a better barometer for Sonny Dykes as he makes the full transition to his own players in his offense. How effective will they be in what looks like a rebuilding year with new faces everywhere?
So it will be cool to kick off major college football for the rest of the country as a lone single Saturday night event on ESPN (Sunday afternoon in Australia I'd guess). Then we get an extra bye week before kicking off our season and an extra game to watch the Bears with what should be a rebuilding team gearing up for 2017-18.
(Note: If we don't get the bye week in-between opponents, I'm really against this.)
Cal basketball recently completed their own exhibition tour of Australia, going 3-1 on the trip.
After talking with my sources, and based on the level of interaction that I’ve had with this current athletic administration, the Bears will only do the game in Australia with Hawaii (or another team) if things make sense, across the board, including factors like scheduling (starting practices earlier, having a bye week in between this potential game and the second game of the season), practice times and financial incentives.
Deals like this don’t happen overnight. There are a lot of logistics that need to be ironed out with both the participating teams and the NCAA.