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Cal football schedule: Ranking opponents from easiest to hardest

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We continue our series of ranking opponents on the schedule for each Pac-12 team. We've gone through Arizona and Arizona State, and now it's time for the California Golden Bears.

12. Grambling State (September 5):
A battle of the bands is coming opening week!

11. San Diego State (September 12):
The San Diego State game could tell us a lot about the trajectory of the Sonny Dykes program. Can they roll over the Aztecs?

10. Washington State (October 3)
: Cal vs. Washington State was one of the most exciting games last season. You can expect a lot of fireworks next year, but the Bears should be the clear favorites next year.

9. Oregon State (November 14):
One of Cal's most decisive victories last season came against the Beavers. They should have the upper hand next season while Oregon State rebuilds.

8. at Washington (September 26)
: Washington is taking steps back next season, so Cal should be able to take this one on the road in Seattle. It could also help break a long streak of futility against the Huskies.

7. at Texas (September 19): Texas has a really great defensive front and Austin is going to be a stiff environment to win next season. Huge huge game to keep the Bears on the path to their first bowl game in four years.

6. Arizona State (November 28):
ASU to end the season could be a really good high scoring matchup with bowl eligiblity on the line. Expect something close and contested.

5. at Utah (October 10): Utah has the defense to slow down this excellent offense, which could put all the onus on the Cal defense to stop the Utah offense.

4. at Stanford (November 21):
Last Big Game win was in 2009, and this defensive front will still be very good. Considering how dominant David Shaw has been against Sonny Dykes, this is going to be a tough win.

3. at UCLA (October 22
): Cal will have a good shot this season, but the UCLA defense is going to be very formidable. The Bruins do have a quarterback issue, but the Golden Bears have to contend with a pretty experienced team.

2. USC (October 31): I
t's been over a decade since Cal has beaten USC (hell it's been a half-decade since Cal has played WELL against USC), and at this point it has to be in their heads.

1. at Oregon (November 7): Autzen Stadium with a flimsy defense will always be number one on any list.