Two teams that have historically been among the best programs in the country will try to put a good finish on disappointing seasons when the Texas Longhorns take on the California Golden Bears in the 2011 Holiday Bowl. Both teams enter 7-5, neither made a bowl last season — in Cal's case, the last bowl they made was the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl — and both are looking to bring a measure of respectability back to their fan bases.
After starting strong at 4-0 with wins against UCLA and Iowa State, the Longhorns couldn't hold up to the gauntlet that was the Big 12 this year, falling to Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas State and Baylor, sprinkling in wins against Texas Tech and Texas A&M along the way. They're a talented team, as always, but they've been wildly inconsistent this year.
Cal is entirely reliant upon star quarterback Zach Maynard, and as he has gone, so have the Golden Bears. They've gone on a nice little run at the end of the year to earn their spot in the Holiday Bowl, riding Maynard's arm to the tune of 763 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. If they can get a performance from him like that in the bowl, they're going to be tough to stop
Game date, time: 8:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Dec. 28
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Calif.
TV channel: ESPN/ESPN3
Odds: Texas favored by 3
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.