July 28, 2000
Berkeley - Clearly, Cal feels much better about its 2000 schedule than the murderous slate the Bears faced a year ago which saw them on the road against ranked opponents Nebraska and BYU, in addition to the always difficult Pac-10 schedule.
Still, many consider Cal's task this season anything but a cakewalk as the Bears are again on the road for two of its three non-conference games. The Bears will open the season at home against a Utah team coming off a 9-3 campaign and ranked in the pre-season Top 25 by many publications. However, Cal will then play six of its next 10 games away from home, including three of four on the road from Sept. 16 through Oct. 7.
InsidePlayers' College Football magazine rates the Bears slate the third toughest in college football. The magazine, which uses a pre-season analysis of an opponent's capabilities rather than solely last year's record, ranked Cal third behind No. 1 Michigan and No. 2 Michigan State. Others ranked in their Top 10 are Washington at No. 4, followed by Clemson, Purdue, Iowa, Arizona State, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Other Pac-10 teams were Stanford at No. 13, Oregon at 16, UCLA at 19, Oregon State at 23, USC at 25, Arizona at 36 and Washington State at 52.
Cal's other non-conference opponents are Illinois, which is rated No. 20 in the pre-season by Lindy's magazine and Fresno State, which is ranked 40th nationally by The Sporting News.