SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Cal Poly will play a 12-game regular-season football schedule for the first time in 2013.
The Mustangs' second season in the Big Sky Conference features six home games for the first time since 2008 along with six road contests, including two matchups against Football Bowl Subdivision teams, and, for the second straight year, no Division II foes.
Cal Poly opens the 2013 slate against San Diego at home for the second straight year, visits Fresno State and Colorado State for its FBS matchups, kicks off defense of its Big Sky championship at Portland State and will host Yale on Youth Day in a rare Big Sky vs. Ivy League matchup.
"It should be interesting," fifth-year Mustang head coach Tim Walsh said of Cal Poly's first 12-game schedule. "To play two FBS schools is challenging enough, but that's what we want to do. We went to Division I so that we can play Division I schools.
"And I think it's a tremendous compliment to our university that Yale wants to come here to play us," Walsh added, "and it's also awesome to play another in-state game against San Diego. In addition, our Big Sky schedule will be tougher with Eastern Washington and Montana, who obviously are among the better teams in the nation."
Cal Poly was to play a 12-game regular-season schedule in 2002, but during the offseason Alcorn State backed out of its trip to San Luis Obispo as part of a home-and-home series. The Mustangs played the Braves in Mississippi in 2001, a 21-12 Cal Poly victory.
"That's a lot of games to play," Walsh said of the 12-game schedule. "We we will have to stay healthy and it will be crucial for us to stay physically and mentally fresh throughout the year."
Cal Poly's four-game non-conference schedule includes the season opener against San Diego on Aug. 31 at home, trips to Fresno State on Sept. 7 and Colorado State on Sept. 14, and the matchup against Yale in Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Oct. 5, the first between Big Sky and Ivy schools.
The Mustangs also will be playing Colorado State for the first time and San Diego for just the third time. Cal Poly beat the Toreros 41-14 last Sept. 1 and their only other meeting was in 1959, also won by the Mustangs 36-14.
With the matchups against two FBS schools in 2013, Cal Poly will have played at least one FBS school every season since 2006, including two games against FBS members in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
The Mustangs' four Big Sky games at home will be Oct. 12 against Weber State (Hall of Fame Game), Oct. 26 against Northern Arizona (Parent and Family Weekend), Nov. 9 against Sacramento State (Heroes Day) and Nov. 16 against Eastern Washington (Homecoming Game/Honored Alumni).
In addition to its Big Sky opener at Portland State on Sept. 28, Cal Poly also visits Montana on Oct. 19, UC Davis on Nov. 2 and Northern Colorado on Nov. 23 for its four Big Sky road contests.
Cal Poly's future games against FBS schools include New Mexico State at Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces on Aug. 30, 2014, Arizona State at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe on Sept. 19, 2015, and Nevada at Mackay Stadium in Reno on Sept. 10, 2016.
The Mustangs' lone FBS foe on the 2012 schedule was Wyoming and Cal Poly earned a 24-22 victory in Laramie, Wyoming, en route to a 9-3 overall record, a share of the Big Sky title with Eastern Washington and Montana State, all 7-1, and a second-round berth in the FCS playoffs.
Kickoff times for all games on the 2013 schedule will be announced at a later date.
FCS football teams also will be allowed to schedule 12 games in 2014.
Cal Poly football is presented by French Hospital Medical Center.