Conflicting signals back in July cast doubt on whether Cal and Baylor would open the 2016 in Australia. While that specific game may not be going off Down Under, another involving the Pac-12 school could.
Citing sources with knowledge of the situation, Jeff Faraudo of the Bay Area News Group is reporting that there is a “strong likelihood” Cal and Hawaii will schedule a game to be played in Australia to open the 2016 season. Faraudo writes that “[b]oth schools have had conversations with an Australian promoter and plans could be finalized within the next few weeks.”
Additionally, Hawaii News Now reported earlier this month that a Hawaii-Cal game in Australia was a distinct possibility. UH athletic director David Matlin confirmed only that they’ve “been approached about a potential game in Australia.”
According to Faraudo, the Bears and Rainbow Warriors would likely meet in late August at a venue in Sydney.
As it stands now, Cal is scheduled to open the 2016 season against FCS South Dakota State. The thinking goes, if a game in Australia is inked, that game would be cancelled to allow the Bears to “return from Down Under and have a bye week to rest and recover from travel before playing again.”
Hawaii, meanwhile, is scheduled to play at Michigan to open the 2016 season Sept. 3. The distance from Hawaii to Sydney is roughly 5,000 miles; Hawaii traveled to Ohio State in Week 2 — 4,500 miles one-way — then played a home game the following Saturday. The distance from Berkeley to Sydney is nearly 7,500 miles.
Both teams would be required to get a waiver from the NCAA because the proposed game would be played one week before the “normal” start of the regular season.