Cal Bears: Breaking Down Their 2013 Schedule


November 10, 2012; Berkeley, CA, USA; A general view as players for the California Golden Bears and Oregon Ducks warm up on the field before the game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Cal will have as hard of a schedule as any other team this year, having six matches against ranked opponents, according to ESPN’s projected top 25.

The Bears will start their season against Northwestern, who is coming off a 10-3 record last year and is currently ranked 24th. The nation will get a first glimpse of the “Bear Raid” offense and will see whether or not the Bears have made significant progress from last year.

The next game is against Portland State, a team that didn’t do too well last season with a 3-8 record. This would be an opportune time for the Bears to iron out any kinks from the previous game; their next match will be a tough one.

After Portland State, Cal will play against top-ranked Ohio State who is coming off of an undefeated 2012 season. Ohio State was the only team in the top 25 that didn’t suffer a loss last season, but Cal almost came away with a win last year when they played the Buckeyes. A bright spot for Cal in this game will be Brandon Bigelow. He ran for 160 yards and two scores in the game last year and he will be returning this year to have another great game.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Cal with a game against Oregon the following week. Oregon is ranked third with a lot of key returners that are hungry for a national title. This will be tough game for the Bears.

The Bears will then play a must-win game against Washington State to have any chance of getting into a bowl game. Cal won 31-14 last year and is more than capable of winning again this year.

Then Cal will face the No.19 UCLA.This is another team that might be too much for Cal to handle this year, but we will have to wait and find out how the team has progressed since their first game. You never want to count out a team, but the odds are against Cal on this game.

The following game is against Oregon State, a team that destroyed Cal last year 62-14. This game will be intense, and it will be interesting to see how Cal will respond to the beating they took last year. Even though Oregon State is not currently ranked, they were ranked at the end of the season last year.

The Washington Huskies are next for the Bears. The Huskies ended last season with a 7-5 record, and they will be returning a lot of key players, especially on defense. This game should be a more even-level challenge for the Bears. If all the gears are turning for Cal, then look for them to leave Washington with a victory.

Arizona is also another team that should be around the same level as Cal. Arizona finished last season with an 8-5 record and a victory in the New Mexico Bowl game. The Wildcats will be playing at Memorial Stadium, which should give Cal a slight end to come away with another win.

Cal will welcome ranked No. 23 USC to Berkeley the following week as well. USC is coming off a disappointing season, but this year is different and the Trojans still have all the talent they need. This will be another tough game for Cal against another ranked opponent.

The Bears will have an easy game the following week against Colorado, who won just one game last season. This will give the Bears time to recover for their big game (literally) the following week.

October 20, 2012; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears surround Stanford Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor (33) during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium. The Stanford Cardinal defeated the California Golden Bears 21-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Cal will end their regular season with the Big Game. Stanford is currently ranked No. 5 and will have a lot of momentum coming into this game. However, numbers and rankings will mean nothing to the Bears for this game because this is their rivalry game. Stanford has won the last three meetings. This is no easy task for the Bears, but this can potentially be an upset just waiting to happen.

Cal will have a long and tough schedule for 2013, but having seven of its first ten games should give them more support from the fans. Sonny Dykes will definitely have his plate full in his first year at Cal.