Cal was said to be interviewing Kent State coach Darrell Hazell, but Dykes is believed to be the leading candidate to replace Jeff Tedford, fired Nov. 20 after 11 seasons. Van De Velde told the AP that Dykes had interviewed for the Cal job.
After Louisiana Tech was left out of the bowl picture, former NBA star Karl Malone -- a Louisiana Tech alum -- sounded as if he might help Dykes pack his bags.
Amid reports that Louisiana Tech turned down an invitation to the Independence Bowl, Malone blasted the school and seemed to take a shot at the Bulldogs' coach.
"Wouldn't it be nice to hire a person doing it for university, and not somebody doing it for a bigger and better job in their mind?" he wrote on Twitter.
Van De Velde later said Louisiana Tech had not turned down the Independence Bowl but merely asked for more time while waiting for other potential options.
Ohio will play Louisiana-Monroe in the Dec. 28 game at Shreveport, La.
Dykes, 43, whose team was 9-3 and led the nation in scoring this season, said in a statement he didn't anticipate the Bulldogs being shut out of a bowl but offered no comment on his status with Cal.
Neither Dykes' wife nor his father responded to phone messages left Sunday by this newspaper.
Hazell, 48, who guided the Golden Flashes to their first winning season in 11 years, was the latest name to surface in the Bears' search. ESPN reported that Hazell was scheduled to interview Sunday.
Kent State is 11-2 and ranked in the AP Top 25 the past three weeks for the first time since 1973.
The Golden Flashes lost 44-37 in double-overtime to Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference title game and will play Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 6.
Named the MAC Coach of the Year, Hazell has led Kent State to victories in 15 of its past 18 games.
He is 16-9 in two seasons since arriving from a seven-year stint as an assistant coach at Ohio State.