Jan. 27, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis football team enters into a new era in 2012, beginning play in the Big Sky Conference, a recognized power in the Football Championship Subdivision. The 2012 schedule features an 11-game slate, complete with five home games, one Football Bowl Subdivision opponent and eight league contests.
The Aggies have just three nonconference games for the first time as a member of Division I after competing in the Great West Conference from 2004-11. UC Davis begins the 2012 season by hosting Azusa Pacific on Aug. 30 followed by challenges at FBS member San Jose State (Sept. 8) and FCS foe South Dakota State (Sept. 15).
The home schedule also features meetings with Weber State (Sept. 29), Montana State (Oct. 6), Portland State (Oct. 27) and Sacramento State (Nov. 17). After starting the Big Sky portion of the season at Cal Poly on Sept. 22 the Aggies travel to Idaho State (Oct. 13), Northern Arizona (Oct. 20) and Eastern Washington (Nov. 10).
"We are excited to play our first year in the Big Sky Conference," said Bob Biggs who will be on the sidelines for his 20th and final season as head coach. "Playing eight teams in the conference including Cal Poly and Sacramento State will enhance the rivalries for those schools as well as create new rivalries with other members."
UC Davis opens up the 2012 season at home for the first time since 2007, when the Aggies faced Western Washington in the debut of Aggie Stadium. UC Davis and Azusa Pacific meet for the first time as the Cougars begin their inaugural season affiliated with NCAA Division II.
The Aggies will bid for a second upset over San Jose State in three years following a 14-13 victory in 2010. The Sept. 8 meeting is the only FBS opponent on the 2012 slate after facing two FBS teams in each of the last three seasons. The Spartans finished with a 5-7 record in 2011, including a 3-4 mark in Western Athletic Conference contests.
The Sept. 15 matchup at South Dakota State is the first meeting with the Jackrabbits since 2007. South Dakota State holds a 4-2 edge in the all-time series record with UC Davis taking wins in 1998 and 2004.
The start of the Big Sky schedule will be a challenging third straight road game at rival Cal Poly on Sept. 22. UC Davis looks to send its senior class out with four consecutive victories in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe.
UC Davis returns to Aggie Stadium for back-to-back home games against Weber State and Montana State on Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, respectively. The Third Annual Octoberfest activities will highlight a Sept. 29 meeting with the Wildcats and Oct. 6 against the Bobcats will serve as the annual Homecoming game along side a Block CA student-athlete reunion. Weber State managed a 5-3 mark in league games last season while Montana State captured a co-regular season championship and represented the Big Sky as an automatic qualifier in the FCS playoffs.
Remaining road games at include Idaho State (Oct. 13), Northern Arizona (Oct. 20) and perennial Big Sky contender Eastern Washington (Nov. 10). Both Idaho State and Northern Arizona defended their home fields last season with two and three wins despite overall records of 2-9 and 4-7, respectively. Eastern Washington expects to be in the hunt for a Big Sky title in 2012, having recently won the FCS national championship in 2010.
Parents and Family Weekend will be celebrated on Oct. 27 when The Aggies host Portland State in the 12th meeting between the two schools. The Vikings spoiled the home opener for UC Davis in 2010, taking a 41-33 victory. Last season Portland State finished with a 7-4 overall record and 5-3 mark in league play.
The season finale is highlighted by the 59th annual Causeway Classic against Sacramento State. The Aggies will host the 2012 edition of the crosstown rivalry on Nov. 17. UC Davis has defeated the Hornets in each of the last two seasons, giving the Aggies a 41-18 advantage in the all-time series, dating back to 1954.
"Each week it will be fun for our fans to not only follow the results of our games but also the results for the rest of the Big Sky Conference as each will have meaning in conference standings and playoff implications," added coach Biggs. "We have missed being in a strong conference affiliation with recognized opponents for decades and this opportunity will just add to the excitement of Aggie Football."
While the Big Sky provides a new beginning, 2012 will also mark the end of a 20-year chapter with the retirement of head coach Bob Biggs. Coach Biggs has been a staple on the Aggie sidelines for 35 years, serving as an assistant coach, offensive coordinator and assistant head coach before taking the reigns in 1993. Biggs' UC Davis legacy began as standout quarterback for the Aggies from 1969-72 before returning to his alma mater as a coach in 1978. UC Davis looks to make its mark on the new-look Big Sky, while sending out an Aggie coaching legend in style during the 2012 season.
Game times for this season's contests will be announced at a later date while season-ticket information will be available in late February.
2012 UC Davis Football Schedule
Sept. 1: Azusa Pacific
Sept. 8: at San Jose State
Sept. 15: at South Dakota State
Sept. 22: at Cal Poly *
Sept. 29: Weber State * (Third Annual Octoberfest)
Oct. 6: Montana State * (Homecoming and Block CA student-athlete reunion)
Oct. 13: at Idaho State *
Oct. 20: at Northern Arizona *
Oct. 27: Portland State * (Parents and Family Weekend)
Nov. 10: at Eastern Washington *
Nov. 17: Sacramento State * (59th Annual Causeway Classic)
* Big Sky Conference Game
Home games in bold
All times TBA