UNC Football Schedules Series with California


A little fallout from scheduling has reached the ACC. The Big Ten opted for a nine game conference football schedule, which led to the breaking up of a previously scheduled home-and-away series between Ohio State and North Carolina. As a result the Tar Heels went hunting for a big conference foe to play in 2017 and 2018 and agreed to a series with the California-Berkeley Golden Bears (otherwise just known as California) to replace it.

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Despite being the flagship state institutions of their respective states, the Tar Heels have never played the Bears in football.

Nov 23, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Oski the Bear, the California Golden Bears mascot, on the side lines during the second half against the Stanford Cardinalat Stanford Stadium. Stanford won 63-13. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

California fired coach Jeff Tedford two years ago, and hired former Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes to reinvigorate the passing game of the Golden Bears. Last year, the Golden Bears experienced growing pains as they were pretty much the whipping boy of the Pacific 12 Conference. They failed to win an FBS game, with their only victory coming against the mammoth power of Portland State of the FCS.

By 2017, Cal will likely look much different. If they are patient with Dykes, he will install a system similar to what exists at Washington State or East Carolina. That would be a variant of the Air Raid. Dykes’ first task will be to recruit the string of quarterbacks he will need to make that system work. Receivers should be easier to come by. Dykes will have to watch out though, you don’t want to spend too long in the cellar of a major conference or you may never leave it.

North Carolina probably regrets losing Ohio State from the schedule. If the Tar Heels are actually living up to their potentials, then Ohio State would have been a good resume game for the playoff committee. Cal has far less credibility right now, though anything could happen in four years.

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