Cal running back Marshawn Lynch ran past Gophers defenders Dominic Jones (2) and Mike Sherels in 2006. (Star Tribune file photo)

Gopher Football Adds Home-and-Home Series with Cal Golden Bears for 2028-2029

362 0

Get your calendars out Gopher Football fans! Three Rose Bowls and 4 National Championships from now, the Gophers will play two non-conference games vs the California Golden Bears.

This will be the seventh all-time meeting between the two schools, with Cal holding a 4-2 advantage in the series. The teams last met in 2009 at TCF Bank Stadium and Minnesota’s last win in the series was a 32-23 home triumph in 1987.

Before the national dominance shown by Gopher football in the late-1930’s and 40’s under Bernie Bearman, the Cal Golden Bears were running the college scene in the early 20’s under Andy Smith.

From 1920 to 1958, Cal played in 8 Rose Bowls but while the Gophers were dominating the Early Big Ten, the Rose Bowl didn’t include a team from our historic conference.

The Pac-12, or PCC (Pacific Coast Conference) back then, has always been a part of the Rose Bowl festivities but the Big Ten didn’t become a regular participant until 1947, when Illinois introduced the two new rival conferences by embarrassing UCLA, 45-14.

Anyway, the Bears have never won the PAC-12, were co-champions of the PAC-10 once back in 2006, and co-champions of the PAC-8 once in 1975. They haven’t won the conference outright since 1958, when they were PCC Champions.

The Golden Bears haven’t won 10 games since that co-PAC-12 championship in 2006 but they’ve been trending gradually up since hiring Justin Wilcox back in 2017.

They finished 5-7 in year 1, before flipping the script to 7-6 in year 2, and then improving to 8-5 in year 3. If Wilcox continues on this path, Cal and the Gophers might be meeting in the Rose Bowl before these non-conference regular season matchups are set to take place in 2028-29.


Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

Eric Strack

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan Founder (The George Washington of this website)

Leave a comment