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Cal athletic director Mike Williams reportedly didn’t fight the unusual USC scheduling

This seems unwise.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-California vs Hawaii Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

One little tidbit regarding the poor Cal-USC scheduling by the Pac-12. Athletic director Michael Williams appeared to sign off on it pretty quickly. Jon Wilner has more.

The Bears have known this was coming since late last year, when the conference presented a master 2016 schedule to the schools for approval.

In response to a request for comment, Cal athletic director Mike Williams noted the “unusual circumstances” of the schedule but said the Bears wanted to “respect the will of the majority of our conference colleagues once the vote is conducted.”

This is a bit disconcerting that an athletic director didn’t think twice about allowing the Cal-USC scheduling to occur the way it did. There should have been way more that went into the process rather than simply bending to the will of the Pac-12.

First of all, it is the closest thing to a decided advantage you can possibly get—a home team on a bye week facing a road team on a short week of rest. Any seasoned athletic director would fight hard against these type of contests. It gives a football squad a disadvantage they don’t need to inherit.

Again, the easy solution would’ve been the following.

  • Cal-USC and Cal-Oregon should have been flipped.
  • Cal plays on the road at USC on a Thursday night after a bye week.
  • Cal then hosts Oregon at home on a slightly longer week on a Friday night.
  • That way Cal gets an extra day of rest each day on its bye week, plays USC on an equal playing field, and then plays a rested Oregon team with an extra amount of time to practice.
  • The Pac-12 gets their Thursday night and Friday night ESPN games, and no one is disadvantaged in the slightest.

This compromise could have happened in a dozen different permutations too. Move the Friday night game around. Make the Cal-UCLA game the Friday night game instead. There were a billion different permutations that could’ve been used to fix this.

Instead, no real resistance from the athletic department, and the Cal players had to endure a football week from hell.

Let’s be clear. Cal did not lose to USC because Cal did not have enough rest to play USC. But the Golden Bear players were not provided any favors from their athletic department. Logistically, academically, and athletically, this should all have been avoided.