What are your thoughts on the schedule this year? What do you think we're capable of in 2017?
- Sat., Sept. 2 – at North Carolina
- Sat., Sept. 9 – Weber State
- Sat., Sept. 16 – Ole Miss
- Sat., Sept. 23 – USC
- Sat., Sept. 30 – at Oregon
- Sat., Oct. 7 – at Washington
- Fri., Oct. 13 – Washington State
- Sat., Oct. 21 – Arizona
- Sat., Oct. 28 – at Colorado
- Sat., Nov. 4 – Oregon State
- Sat., Nov. 18 – at Stanford
- Fri., Nov. 24 – at UCLA
TwistNHook: Well, we have three home games in a row in the early part of the year. That is both good and bad. It is good, because later in the year games are more likely to rain during the tailgate. This depresses attendance. Having three games in a row may depress attendance to the extent that people get bored by the third, except that the three games are set up well. Weber State is the first game of the year so it should be well attended. Then, you have a big home game in Ole Miss. Those guys'll be coming from the Grove and you know they will want to see the Cal tailgate hospitality! Then, you have USC, which is a big game, of course. So, although 3 games in a row is unorthodox, I think it could end well for tailgates.
In regards to the WSU game, it is a Friday night game. That actually worked out reasonably well last year (about as well as can be done under the circumstances). I wish they would not have it, but Cal actually got the whole parking situation to work out well. We can only have 2 hours instead of 4 hours tailgate, but that is OK, I guess.
What is really great about this schedule is no post-Thanksgiving game. Those tailgates are always so poorly attended. UC Los Angeles has to bear the brunt of that one. Last year, our home games were more back-heavy and the team was terrible by then, so people were less likely to come to the tailgate. Our team may be terrible this year, but we may not find out until half of the tailgates are already done. Plus, we avoid potential rain issues.
Vincent S: During the Tedford years, we would hope to get USC early, but that never seemed to happen (2009 excepted). Well, it'll be this year. Just in time for us to be breaking in a new QB, learning a new offense/defense, etc. So that's not ideal. On the other hand, given that depth will almost certainly be a real issue for us (especially defensively), we should be fresher in October than we'd be in November.
I've also wondered (for a decade) why we don't schedule all of our "A" nonconference games on odd years, to balance out the home schedule. In previous odd years, when the only marquee home conference game is USC, I'm sure 2015: Texas/USC v. 2016: Stanford/UCLA/Oregon/Washington would have looked a lot better than 2015: USC v. 2016: Texas/Stanford/UCLA/Oregon/Washington. I realize Sandy tried to solve this problem with the one-off neutral site Big Game; scheduling the Ole Miss game as a home game this year is another way of supporting the lackluster home slate.
No other pressing issues--nice to have our trips up north in September/October (when it won't be too cold), and the bye week before Big Game is great! For once, I like this schedule.
boomtho: I have to say, I think this is a pretty good schedule, especially given the gauntlet Cal has had the last two years (some just through really tough teams, some through the Pac-12 hurting us). It seems like a pretty balanced scheduled in terms of opponent difficulty, which is nice.
However, it really hurts not having a bye until Nov 11th, with only two games left to go in the season. It's kind of nice to get a bye before Stanford... but I'm worried the team will be super banged up at that point.
I know Friday games are tough, but I personally am OK with them in Berkeley. It's easy to get there from where I work (downtown SF) and it clears a whole Saturday for other fun activities!
Nik Jam: While there are a lot of tough opponents early on, that is going to happen anyway because of how good the Pac-12 is. Plus, a "tough schedule" is only a problem if you aren't good.
The three home games in a row isn't much of a problem for me, but I can see people who live far away not wanting to make three trips in three weeks.
USC tends to start slow and end elite so hopefully we find them at the right time. The opposite is true for UCLA, as we saw last year, and think playing there for the season finale is a huge break and I hope we're relevant in the Bowl picture when that game comes around.
Ohio Bear: I like the non-conference matchups with UNC and Ole Miss because they are new and intriguing. As for the rest of the schedule, I think I would have preferred us to have our bye week earlier in the season. On the other hand, we have the bye week before the Big Game, so if that's an advantage to beat those guys, so be it.
The UC Los Angeles game being on Thanksgiving weekend again is also interesting. With Thanksgiving weekend games here to stay, I like the idea of having a "rivalry" type of a game in that spot.
Ruey Yen: I have had the UNC game mentally circled in my head for the two years or so since that was announced. I am excited to see the Golden Bears on the East Coast (though hopefully we don't pull a Maryland and not travel East until late). That should be a fun trip.
Playing a SEC opponent in Ole Miss is also always fun. Can't complain too much about the out of conference schedule.
Although Pete Carroll is no longer the coach at USC, the Trojans are more vulnerable before October. Maybe this is the year that we snap that streak.
Overall, the Pac-12 schedule is (based on 2016 performances) more evenly balanced than last year. Should it takes a while for the Bears to find themselves in the new regime, there should be both winnable games and tests toward the end of the season.