College Football: Cal and Texas Collide in Holiday Bowl (VIDEO)

Al Dannity | Updated Dec 28, 2011

Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty type? Al Dannity says that counts for a lot when evaluating the battle of Cal and Texas in the Holiday Bowl.

This will do The Bears have been through the ringer the past few seasons. Having come so close to finally ending their Rose Bowl drought a few years back, a mixture of injuries and bad play has resulted in the program regressing. With Oregon and Stanford overtaking Cal, it’s been tough for Jeff Tedford’s team. A brutal three-game at the start of conference play saw the Bears fall to Washington, Oregon, and USC in consecutive games.

Cal rallied however and the final month of the season was a huge boost to confidence in the program. Three wins and a narrow loss to Stanford saw the Bears finish 7-5. Much of this rally has come on the back of strong showings by quarterback Zach Maynard but the player College Football betting fans should watch out for is Isi Sofele. The tail back is not a burner but every time he gets the rock he goes out looking to hit somebody. Check out his highlights from the Bears’ win over Oregon State. [youtube][/youtube]

This is progress? Well this hasn’t been fun to watch. A 1-3 run through the final four games of the season left Texas fans with a lot to ponder. The Longhorns finally found their passing game in the final game of the season at Baylor. Unfortunately for Texas, while Case McCoy passed for 356 yards he also tossed 4 interceptions against a less than stellar defense. The Longhorns are going to rely on the run and that could be a problem against this Cal defense.

The Texas defense looks a tad over-rated. Having feasted on the early part of the schedule, the Longhorns suffered some horrific beatings in the meat of their season. Oklahoma scored 55 points, Baylor had 48, and Oklahoma State scored 38. All three of those offenses are a lot scarier than Cal’s but they proved the Longhorns are not an intimidating force on D.

The verdict These are not the Longhorns that played for the BCS title two seasons ago. They’re not quite the team that failed to make a bowl in 2010 either but they haven’t taken much of a step forward. For all the recruiting success of the Mack Brown era, the current crop of Longhorns simply can’t cut it with the big boys. They are going up against a Cal team that appears to be further along the rebuilding trail. Texas can aim higher than the Bears down the road but right now they are playing catch-up. The Longhorns could desperately do with another win to put a gloss on the season. I don’t see it happening. I like Cal to win as +3.0 underdogs with Sports Interaction.