Sports Illustrated Rates Cal Schedule 5th Toughest in Nation
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/21/1999

August 28, 1998

BERKELEY, Calif. - With only one week to the opener, the Cal Football team is gearing up for one of the most attractive home schedules in the nation. While only eight days remain, the Bears probably can use every hour of that time to get as many players healthy and ready to go. Cal lost a defensive lineman earlier this week when noseguard Kasey Jackson informed head coach Tom Holmoe that he was withdrawing from school to go on a Morman mission. Jackson was slated to be a back-up behind Jacob Waasdorp this fall. However, line coach Bill Dutton said today his group was coming together. "The good news is that Nate Geldermann is playing extremely well at the noseguard position. He's pushing for starting duties."

Dutton also said that defensive end John McLaughlin had his best two practices of the year, including spring drills on Wednesday and Thursday. "John has always been a speed guy, a finesse guy, but he's now showing that he can play as a physical player and that's a big step."

In other news, Holmoe announced that offensive guard Kevin Swillis was moving back to defensive tackle where he originally began his college career. Swillis failed to nail down a starting spot on a Cal offensive line that has been beset by injuries this fall and the coaching staff thought that he might be able to make more of a contribution on the defensive side of the football.

Defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich reported today that freshman linebacker Jamaal Cherry has inserted himself into the playing rotation and that he may be pushing for a starting position before long. The 6-3, 257-pounder is already one of Cal's most physical players on the defensive side of the football. Outside linebacker Josh Trowbridge is spending time as a defensive end. He may move back when Mawuko Tugbenyoh's eligibility is cleared up. Tugbenyoh is hoping to be back early next week, but his situation is not yet resolved.

Cal will need as many of its guns ready to go for a 1998 home schedule is shaping up to be perhaps the best home slate at the school in at least three decades. Besides the Houston opener on Labor Day Weekend, Cal also hosts defending national champion Nebraska, which has gone 60-3 over the last five seasons; defending Pacific-10 champion Washington State and it's high powered offense that averaged 502.2 ypg last season' pre-season Pac-10 favorite UCLA with Heisman Trophy candidate Cade McNown; 1997 bowl-team Arizona, which always features a dramatic finish in its series with Cal, including multiple overtime games in '96 and '97; and finally the 101st Big Game with Stanford. Overall, Cal's entire 11-game schedule was judged the fifth toughest in the country (and tops in the Pac-10) by Sports Illustrated.

Best Cal Home Schedules in Recent History Year Home Schedule 1990 Defending national champ Miami, Stanford, an Oregon team coming off an 8-4 record, UCLA, San Jose State 1979 Defending Big Ten champion Michigan coming off a 10-2 record, a San Jose State team coming off a 7-5 record, defending national champ USC coming off a 12-1 record, Washington coming off a 7-4 mark, and Oregon State 1968 Colorado, San Jose State, UCLA coming off a 7-2-1 record, Syracuse, Oregon and Stanford 1965 Notre Dame, which had finished No. 3 nationally with a 7-2-1 record, Penn State, Washington, USC, which finished 10th nationally with 7-3 record, and Kansas. 1962 Missouri, which finished No. 11 nationally with a 8-1-2 record, Pittsburgh, San Jose State, defending Pac-8 champion UCLA and Stanford