Florida schedules third Pac-12 home-and-home series by adding Cal to the calendar

Florida rarely plays nonconference road games outside of its own state, but that scheduling philosophy has changed under athletic director Scott Stricklin. The Gators announced Friday that they will play a home-and-home series with Cal. The two teams will square off in Gainesville, Florida, on Sept. 19, 2026 and in Berkley, California, on Sept. 4, 2027.

Florida holds a 2-0 all-time series lead over Cal. The Gators topped the Bears 21-17 to open the 1974 season and 41-13 to open the 1980 season.

It’s the latest scheduling announcement for a Florida program that has shifted its philosophy to become a more national brand. The Gators have future home-and-home series’ set up with Utah, Arizona State, Texas and Colorado. The Utah series, which starts in 2022, will be the first time they will play a team from the current Pac-12 since 1989 and first time in the regular season since 1983.

The Gators also have the annual out-of-conference rivalry with Florida State and an in-state home-and-home series with Miami (FL) on the books.

As for Cal, it’s another deal with an SEC team that can expand the presence of the program. The Bears wrapped up a home-and-home with Ole Miss in 2019 and begin a series with Auburn in 2023.

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