After going 4-8 on the season last year — featuring several close calls in big matchups like Notre Dame and USC — Cal football will now prepare for its 2023 season following the release of the Pac-12 football schedule Wednesday.
While fans and the team knew Cal’s nonconference matchups ahead of time, a full conference schedule gives some insight into how the team’s season might go.
The Bears will kick off their season at North Texas Sept. 2, in a nonconference game. The next two weeks are also filled with nonconference opponents, with the first home game certainly drawing attention.
Sept. 9, the blue and gold are slated to take on Auburn at home — an SEC team, and one the Bears have never seen before. In the following week, Cal will take on Idaho, also at home.
Cal doesn’t play a Pac-12 rival until week four, when it will play Washington on the Huskies’ home turf. The blue and gold’s own gridiron will not see conference play until week five, against Arizona State.
The Big Game against Stanford is, as tradition holds, set for the week before Thanksgiving; this year, the rivalry game will be on Cardinal territory Nov. 18. Before then, though, the Bears will pay a visit to the Ducks Nov. 4 and then host Washington State Nov. 11.
Contrary to its 2022 season, Cal will not be facing Arizona or Colorado. The Bears had a big 49-31 win at home against Arizona for its homecoming game in September of last year, but a startlingly poor loss to Colorado — the Buffs’ only win of the season.
Cal will also be playing Utah for the first time in four years. In their last meeting, the Utes shut out the Bears with a 35-0 win in 2019.
As UCLA and USC are preparing to move to the Big Ten in August of 2024, Cal is set to face them within the same conference for the last time. The schedule notably features a key home game for Cal against USC Oct. 28, while they take on the Bruins in Los Angeles Nov. 25, exactly a year on from their last meeting.
With a packed schedule and as training kicks off, the Bears have a lot to work towards over the coming months. As the team continues to reel in recruits, the Cal football news space will certainly be one to watch as the team and fans alike prepare for yet another season of college football.