California Golden Bears Football: 3 Games I Want to See Right Now

David HedlindAnalyst IIAugust 6, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 02:  John Simon #54 of Ohio State Buckeyes is seen on the field during the Gator Bowl against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field on January 2, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Earlier I posted a breakdown of the California Golden Bears for the upcoming season.  Here are three games from their schedule I am ready to see today.


Ohio State

So this one falls under the “Let’s see what happens” category.  Like I said in my team breakdown, I never know what Cal is going to do.  After they got beat at Tennessee in 2006, I don’t think many people thought they would be able to keep up with them in 2007. 

They ended up winning that game.

They did the same thing in 2008 and 2009 with Maryland, losing the first but winning the second. 

The thing is, they lost on the road and won at home—and this game is in Columbus. 

Ohio State has a new coach in Urban Meyer, who runs a spread offense.  It is not something Cal has never seen before.  Oregon has been running their version for a few years now, and Cal has had a little bit of success slowing it down. 

Both teams will have two games to get ready, so it may come down to who adjusts and comes together first.  I know big things are expected of Ohio State despite their postseason ban and being ineligible for the conference title, but coming off a 6-7 season with a new coach I am not ready to buy in. 

I’m not betting on Cal to win this one, but I am not ready to count them out either. 



I am not sure why this game—the Big Game—is being played in October this year.  Usually, this rivalry is played at the end of the season with the rest of them. 

This will be the 115th meeting.  Stanford leads the all time series 57-46-11.  Stanford has won the last two meetings, while Cal took the two before. 

Stanford has been a top 10 team the last couple years.  However, Cal did beat them in 2009 when they were ranked 14. 

Like any good rivalry, throw the records out the window when this one is played.  I know they did last year.  Cal was just bowl eligible last season when they met, while Stanford was still holding on for a shot at the National Championship.  Despite the seemingly large gap, Stanford only won by 3. 

Cal made a last-second push and scored a touchdown with 14 seconds left in the game.  The on-side kick was recovered by Stanford, finishing off any last second hope for the comeback upset. 

People are expecting a little bit of a drop off for Stanford since they lost their star Andrew Luck.  I think they still have too much for Cal, but like I said before: Throw out the records.  Expectations in games like this mean nothing. 



Oregon has won the conference the last three years.  One team that has been a thorn in their side, though, has been Cal.  Although they haven’t beat the Ducks, they have given them scares. 

In 2010, Oregon was undefeated and on track for their first appearance in the National Championship Game.  Cal, in the meantime, had upset on their minds.  The Bears held Oregon to their lowest point total of the season, and the margin of victory was only two points.

Some people try to sell that game saying Cal was just a missed kick away from beating Oregon, but if you hear that don’t believe it.  The missed kick happened right at the start of the fourth quarter.  Had Cal made that, they would have been up by one.  Oregon ran off the last nine and a half minutes and ended at that 15. 

They let up instead of going for the score.  The missed Cal kick wasn’t some last second game changer.   

Last year, the game wasn’t as close, but the game was at Autzen.  Oregon has more issues when they travel to Cal.  Last year's scare came in a different way.  Oregon’s star running back LaMichael James suffered a horrifying injury that ended up not being as bad as it first appeared but still held him out for a few games.  But Oregon fans didn’t know that right away, and there were plenty of fans thinking worst case scenarios. 

Oregon is favored to win the North this season, and Cal is picked in the middle.  With the game being at revamped Memorial Stadium, I would say expect the unexpected.