Longhorns and Bears Get Ready to Rumble

Feel set for tonight’s season finale with the University of California Golden Bears? The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl starts in San Diego at 7 p.m. CST and will be shown on ESPN. Here’s a mini-primer on these two teams:

  • Both teams enter the game with a season record of 7-5, but Cal took more losses early and then went 3-1 down the stretch, while Texas went 6-2 at first and then stumbled.
  • Texas is playing its first bowl game since the national championship for 2009, when the team took the hit of an early QB injury to Colt McCoy, then absorbed a heartrending loss to Alabama. The Longhorns spent the following season in psychological recovery mode, missing a bowl game for the first time in coach Mack Brown’s Texas career.
  • Cal may still have raw feelings from 2004. That year, the teams again ended the season with identical records (10-1), but it was the Longhorns who got the bid to play Michigan in the Rose Bowl after the Bears slid from fourth to fifth in the final BCS standings. Cal head coach Jeff Tedford called it “devastating.”
  • Texas has no starting quarterback yet. That is, either David Ash or Case McCoy will have to physically begin the game, but coach Mack Brown has played coy on the subject, saying he’ll need both of them.
  • College football oddsmakers had Texas as a 3.5-point favorite for this game, but the numbers have slid a bit in Cal’s favor. The bettin’ odds now have the Longhorns as three-point favorites. The local Longhorn football experts, Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden of the Austin American-Statesman, are right in line with the gambling types, with Bohls calling for Texas to win 24-20 and Golden, 27-24.

What do you think? And where are you planning to take in this year-end football bash we call the Holiday Bowl? Lots of chapters around the country (and world) are holding game watches tonight. Check on your location here.

Case McCoy’s face shows the nerves and tension of a high-wire walker. Photo by Elisabeth Dillon. Courtesy the Daily Texan.


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