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.