Feb. 17, 2006
BERKELEY -- A challenging seven-game home slate, road trips to Tennessee and Southern California, and contests against five teams coming off of bowl appearances highlight California's 2006 football schedule, announced Friday. The season will include 12 games and will stretch from Labor Day Weekend into December.
Cal is currently working to fulfill a home opening on Sept. 16, with that opponent to be announced later. That date became open when Louisiana Tech requested its game scheduled for Berkeley be played in 2007 instead of 2006.
The Golden Bears will open the season Sept. 2 in Knoxville against the University of Tennessee. It will mark the first meeting between the schools since 1987 and just the third all time between the Bears and the Volunteers. California has not faced any Southeastern Conference opponent since its last meeting against the Vols. The two teams have split their two previous games.
Tennessee will return the game in 2007 when the Bears and Vols once again open the season against each other. That game will mark the Volunteers' first visit to Berkeley. The 2006 opener will mark the third time in four years that Cal has opened on the road. The Bears lost at Kansas State in 2003, but knocked off Air Force, 56-14, to start the 2004 season.
Cal's 2006 home opener is set for Sept. 9 when the University of Minnesota visits Berkeley. Once again Cal will be facing an opponent for the first time since the 1987 season. The all-time series between the two schools is even at 2-2, but Minnesota has not visited Memorial Stadium since 1964. The Golden Gophers are coming off of an appearance in the Music City Bowl, marking their school-record fourth consecutive bowl appearance. Under head coach Jeff Tedford, Cal is 3-0 against Big Ten opponents and also has a 4-0 record in home openers.
After meeting a to-be-determined opponent on Sept. 16, Cal completes a three-game home stand on Sept. 23 when Arizona State comes to town to open Pac-10 play. The Bears and Sun Devils did not play in 2005, but both teams made bowl appearances. While Cal was winning the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl, Arizona State was winning the Insight Bowl in Phoenix. Cal currently enjoys a three-game winning streak in the series.
On Sept. 30, Cal visits Corvallis to face the Oregon State Beavers. Cal was a 49-7 winner the last time it played at Oregon State. The Beavers were winners in 2005 in Berkeley. Following the Oregon State contest, the Bears return home for 2006 Homecoming festivities against Oregon on Oct. 7. The last three games between the Ducks and Bears have been decided by a total of 12 points, including the 2005 overtime game in Eugene. California was a 28-27 winner the last time the game was played in Berkeley.
The Bears visit Washington State on Oct. 14. Cal came from behind to win the 2005 contest but hasn't won in Pullman since 1979. Due to the former Pac-10 schedule rotation, Cal has never played in Pullman under Tedford.
Cal hosts Washington on Oct. 21 as the Bears try to win their fifth in a row over the Huskies after dropping 19 straight in the series. The first open date of the season will be Oct. 28, before Cal hosts UCLA on Nov. 4. The two UC schools have split their last six meetings, including a 47-40 UCLA win in 2005 in what was one of the Pac-10 season's most entertaining games.
The Bears return to the road on Nov. 11 to face Arizona. Cal has posted shutout wins over the Wildcats in each of the last two seasons. The following week, the Bears play their final road game when they travel to Los Angeles to face Southern California on Nov. 18. USC knocked off Cal by a 23-17 count the last time the two teams met in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Following an open date on Thanksgiving weekend, Cal hosts Stanford in the 109th renewal of the Big Game on Dec. 2. The Bears have won the last four meetings, marking their longest winning streak in the series since 1936 through 1939.
Television plans and kickoff times will be announced at a later date.
California is coming off of an 8-4 season and finished the 2005 campaign on a two-game winning streak and ranked No. 25 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' polls. The Bears have made three straight postseason appearances and posted a winning record in all four of its seasons under Tedford.
DATE OPPONENT SITE KICKOFF Sept. 2 at Tennessee Knoxville TBA Sept. 9 Minnesota Berkeley TBA Sept. 16 TO BE ANNOUNCED Sept. 23 Arizona St* Berkeley TBA Sept. 30 at Oregon St* Corvallis TBA Oct. 7 Oregon* (HC) Berkeley TBA Oct. 14 at WashingtonSt* Pullman TBA Oct. 21 Washington* Berkeley TBA Oct. 28 Open Nov. 4 UCLA* Berkeley TBA Nov 11 at Arizona* Tucson TBA Nov. 18 at USC* Los Angeles TBA Nov. 25 Open Dec. 2 Stanford* Berkeley TBA *Pac-10 Game (HC) - Homecoming