Big Game set for big move in 2012

One of college football’s longest-running rivalries is in for a big change in 2012, and neither of the participants are thrilled with the end result.

The Pac-12 Conference unveiled its football schedule for next season on Wednesday, and Cal and Stanford will meet on Oct. 20 in Berkeley. Traditionally, the Big Game has always been held in mid- to late November, toward the end of both teams’ schedules.

“The Oct. 20 date for [the] Big Game in 2012 is certainly not our first choice, but the conference is governed by the will of the majority and we have a duty to respect the outcome of the vote,” Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby said in a released statement. “We will work with California and the Pac-12 office to advocate for the Big Game and all rivalry games to be scheduled toward the end of the season in future years.”

The conference schedule, which became more difficult to keep traditional when Utah and Colorado joined in 2011, is voted on by all the athletic directors. Both Cal and Stanford voted on a model which had the Big Game slated for Nov. 17, but were outmanned.

“I am very disappointed that these challenges have resulted in the moving of our rivalry game with Stanford — one of the longest-standing traditions in all of college football — away from its proper place and time in the rhythm of the football season,” Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour said in a released statement.

Both Stanford and Cal will kick off their seasons Sept. 1 at home.

The Bears face a tough schedule in 2012. Cal’s slate features seven home games in the newly remodeled Memorial Stadium, but back-to-back road trips to Ohio State and USC could prove to be daunting.

Stanford, coming off back-to-back trips to BCS bowl games, opens with three straight home games, but closes with five of its final seven on the road, including a trip to Notre Dame on Oct. 13.

dkruse@sfexaminer.com

2012 schedules

CAL
Sept. 1    vs. Nevada
Sept. 8    vs. Southern Utah
Sept. 15    at Ohio State
Sept. 22    at Southern Cal
Sept. 29    vs. Arizona State
Oct. 6    vs. UCLA
Oct. 13    at Washington State
Oct. 20    vs. Stanford
Oct. 27    at Utah
Nov. 2    vs. Washington
Nov. 10    vs. Oregon
Nov. 17     at Oregon State

STANFORD
Sept. 1    vs. San Jose State
Sept. 8    vs. Duke
Sept. 15    vs. USC
Sept. 27    at Washington
Oct. 6    vs. Arizona
Oct. 13    at Notre Dame
Oct. 20    at Cal
Oct. 27    vs. Washington State
Nov. 3    at Colorado
Nov. 10    vs. Oregon State
Nov. 17    at Oregon

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