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Texas and California to meet for first time since politicking in 2004

by Berry Tramel Published: December 24, 2011

The last time the universities of Texas-Austin and Cal-Berkeley competed in football, it was for votes, not for points.

The Longhorns won. Mack Brown's politicking in the final days of the 2004 regular season allowed Texas to jump California in the BCS standings and secure a spot in the Rose Bowl.

Cal fell to the Holiday Bowl.

Those were grand Cal and Texas teams. California's quarterback was Aaron Rodgers; the Golden Bears went 10-2, including a 45-31 loss to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. Texas' quarterback was Vince Young, who helped the ‘Horns beat Michigan 38-37 in the Rose Bowl, then returned to the scene of the crime the next January and beat Southern Cal 41-38 in a national-title classic.

Now the ‘Horns and Golden Bears meet on the football field, but Young and Rodgers are nowhere near San Diego.

Both teams are 7-5, but at least Cal enters on a hot streak. The Bears have won three of four, the only loss a 31-28 squeaker at Stanford. Texas has lost three of four, the only victory an inexplicable 27-25 upset at Texas A&M.

And at least Cal has a quarterback. Junior Zach Maynard is no Aaron Rodgers, but he's no Case McCoy, either. Maynard's numbers aren't great – 57 percent completion percentage, 17 touchdowns, 11 interceptions.

But McCoy threw four interceptions in the season finale against Baylor, in what was his most extensive action of the season after finally winning the job from freshman David Ash.

Another shaky performance from McCoy will make for an even more unsettling off-season for Texas.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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