Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Contra Costa Times: Bears get byes added to their 2007 schedule, but it also means switching their game in Seattle to mid-November

Cal will take the rain with the rest

By Jay Heater


Talking by telephone from Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Monday, Cal football coach Jeff Tedford should have stepped outside to take note of the nasty, cold weather.  It probably will be close to what he will see next Nov. 17 when his Golden Bears travel to Washington's Husky Stadium.  Originally scheduled for Oct. 6, the Cal-Washington game was moved because the two universities had concerns about playing 12 consecutive games without a bye week, as had been scheduled for both.  "This will give us a little break," said Tedford, speaking by telephone. "We're going to roll the dice as far as the weather. I don't think you are guaranteed good weather (in Seattle) at any time. It can be really nasty there.  "But 12 straight games is no picnic."

The NCAA's move to a 12-game regular-season schedule for the 2006 season led to scheduling problems for many schools. Cal's original 2007 schedule had the Bears opening the season on Sept. 1 against Tennessee and playing straight through until a Nov. 17 date against Stanford.  "You get worn down playing 12 straight games," Tedford said. "Look what happened to Washington State (which lost its last three games to finish 6-6). They played 12 straight."  Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour and associate athletic director Steve Holton decided to look into moving some games in 2007.  "I think we all had concerns about the 12 straight games, knowing the physical nature of the game," Holton said. "Washington had concerns as well. I think (Washington) actually approached Sandy first about moving the game."  At the same time that Cal negotiated with Washington to move that game, Holton and Barbour worked out a deal with Stanford to move the Big Game to Dec. 1. That gives Cal two byes during the regular season, on Oct. 6 and Nov. 24.  Holton said playing the Big Game on Nov. 24 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) wasn't an option.  "The students are gone," Holton said. "And at Stanford, they give the students the whole week off. In reality, the future of all of our programs depends on our students being involved. To take the Big Game away from the students would not be a good situation."  Tedford said the first bye comes at a perfect time. The Bears will have played five games, including their first two Pac-10 contests against Arizona and Oregon.  Then will come a six-game stretch before the second bye.  Cal hosts Tennessee (Sept. 1) and Louisiana Tech (Sept. 15) and travels to Colorado State (Sept. 8) in the nonconference portion of the schedule.  Holton currently is working to secure one more nonconference game for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.  He said the Big Game is likely to be held the first Saturday of December for the next few years.


2007 Cal football schedule

Sept. 1 Tennessee

Sept. 8 at Colorado State

Sept. 15 Louisiana Tech

Sept. 22 Arizona

Sept. 29 at Oregon

Oct. 6 Bye

Oct. 13 Oregon State

Oct. 20 at UCLA

Oct. 27 at Arizona State

Nov. 3 Washington State

Nov. 10 USC

Nov. 17 at Washington

Nov. 24 Bye

Dec. 1 at Stanford

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