The California Golden Bears are going to have a hard road to get back to eight wins on the season. Cal has one of the hardest draws yet again, with ESPN's Football Power Index stat ranking Cal's schedule top 5. Only USC has a tougher schedule in the Pac-12, and they have to play Alabama and Notre Dame.
For those wondering what Cal's 2016 schedule looks like, a quick review.
August 27 vs. Hawaii in Australia. Normally I'd pencil this game as a sure win. But we're breaking in a new quarterback and a lot of new players in a totally neutral environment 3000 miles away. I don't know what to think.
September 10 at San Diego State. Still no sign of Berkeley. The Bears will not play a home game for the first three weeks of the season, and the Aztects are the defending Mountain West champs.
September 17 vs. Texas. The rematch is at home, which is nice, but I expect Longhorn fans to travel in droves to Berkeley. Expect a 60-40 split in allegiances.
September 24 at Arizona State. Back on the road against one of the best home-field teams in the Pac-12. The Bears will have to keep their bearings.
October 1 vs. Utah. The Utes are never an easy matchup. Expect 60 minutes of physical battles in the trenches.
October 8 at Oregon State. The easiest game on our schedule, but it's not like we've ever enjoyed long-term success in Corvallis.
October 21 vs. Oregon. Oregon on a Friday night probably means Duck fans will be clear and present in Memorial as Bears struggle to make it to the game.
October 27 at USC. Six days rest to beat the Trojans in the Coliseum off a bye week. Terrific.
November 5 vs. Washington. The Huskies are only getting better every year, and Cal is definitely going to have their hands full getting this win.
November 12 at Washington State. The Cougars pass attack is only improving by the year. The Bears are going to have to be able to score with them to get a W in cold Pullman.
November 19 vs. Stanford. Another opportunity at a winnable Big Game. Can Cal finally end the streak?
November 26 vs. UCLA. Depending on how well the season for the Bruins goes, they could have a lot or a little to play for come Senior Day.
Cal fans, your thoughts on the schedule? What do you see as the path toward bowl eligibility?