In an unusual twist, Pac-12 member California's 2014 football schedule includes BYU, but not Utah.
Much more will be known about the Bears by Nov. 29, when they close the regular season against BYU in Berkeley, Calif.
For now, it's clear that Cal will be improved in coach Sonny Dykes' second season. The question is, how much so? Cal went 1-11 overall and 0-9 in the Pac-12 in 2013, amid a staggering number of injuries.
So any review of the Bears' spring practice starts with the news that no significant injuries occurred, and that many players returned to the field after missing parts of last season. "The biggest thing was just having a bunch of healthy bodies back," Dykes said last week, during the Pac-12's post-spring media teleconference.
The coaching staff took advantage of those players' availability by conducting eight scrimmages, maximizing every day of hitting allowed during the spring. The lack of injuries is a sign that the Bears are "tougher and better conditioned and in a much better place than we were last year," Dykes said.
Cal still lacks adequate depth, Dykes said, but he expects the Bears to be much more competitive in the Pac-12.
The Bears open the season Aug. 30 at Northwestern. They host Sacramento State before launching conference play. Cal's November date with BYU follows the Big Game vs. Stanford.
- Kurt Kragthorpe
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