This year's Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl features two storied programs as the California Golden Bears of the Pac 12 and the Texas Longhorns of the Big 12 will square off at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
Jeff Tedford is the winningest coach in Cal football history and led his squad to a 7-5 overall record in 2011. The Golden Bears had big wins over Utah and Arizona State and took Stanford to the wire in a 31-28 battle. California won three of its last to finish 4-5 in the new look Pac 12 Conference.
Tedford is 1-1 in Holiday Bowls with the Golden Bears, who are 10-9-1 all-time in postseason play. California's last bowl game appearance came in the 2009 Poinsetta Bowl, a 37-27 loss to Utah, snapping a four-game bowl win streak for the Golden Bears.
Texas had a good season by most standards, but it was a letdown due to the high expectationshas established since taking over in Austin in 1998. Texas is happy to be playing a postseason game after last year snapped an 18-year streak of being invited to the bowl season. During his tenure, the Longhorns set a record with nine straight seasons of 10 wins or more, including winning the 2005 BCS National Championship.
This marks the fifth all-time meeting between these two teams on the gridiron. Texas has won all four previous matchups, with the last one coming way back in 1970.
This will not be the first Holiday Bowl appearance for Brown and Texas, as his team played in the postseason matchup in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2007. Brown is 2-2 in Holiday Bowls. Texas is 25-22-2 in bowl games overall, with its last one being a 37-21 loss to Alabama for the 2010 BCS Championship.
California's late season burst can be attributed to the development of its offensive stars Zach Maynard and Isi Sofele. Tedford commented on Maynard's progression
Maynard threw for 763 yards and five touchdowns with just one interception in his last four games. He did throw three or more interceptions in two games this season, but seems to have grasped the offense better with experience. Maynard's top target this year was his brother Keenan Allen. The sophomore wideout finished the regular season with 1,261 yards and six receiving touchdowns. Allen's 7.4 catches per game ties for 12th in the nation. The duo will have his its work cut out as it faces the Big 12's top passing defense.
For more on the California Golden Bears visit SB Nation's Cal blog California Golden Blogs. For more on the Texas Longhorns visit SB Nation's Texas blog Burnt Orange Nation. Also stay tuned to SB Nation's 2011 college football bowl game coverage.