Well, when I heard that Cal was taking on Texas in the 2011 Holiday Bowl, I contacted my resident historians, CalBear81 and OhioBear (in that order). I asked them if they knew anything about prior Cal-Texas games. I was hoping that we'd have a vibrant history full of wins, losses, and general nincompoopery.
Sadly, the response I got reminded me of what Texas' history is compared to Cal's history. Texas is a college football blue blood. Texas is the Homecoming King. We're nerds. Texas gets all the girls. We get stuffed in the garbage cans (mostly by Texas).
The history of Cal and Texas is a sad, pathetic one. Solely four games, none more recent than 1970. The last time Cal played Texas we were embroiled in unending foreign wars, smelly hippies were getting tear gassed by the police, and all of our parents were walking uphill both ways to school. In looking at our first Cal-Texas matchup since Justin Beiber's grandparents first met each other, I also saw that Cal has never won.
As in never. Since Cal lost it's last Rose Bowl in 1959, we've:
a)never been back
b)never beat Texas
But it can't hurt to at least look at the games, right? There are only 4. Let's take a look at the first two. CalBear81 and OhioBear thought it'd just be depressing to read about them. But hey, if you know anything at all about me, you'll know most people are depressed after they read one of my posts. May this be the least depressing post I've ever written. GO BEARS!
FIRST CAL LOSS. Texas 33 Cal 0 Austin, TX October 3, 1959
So, not starting off on the right foot here. But pobody's nerfect, right? This game jumps out at me, because Cal was one year removed from its Rose Bowl loss (i.e. our last Rose Bowl ever). Yet we were not ranked and Texas was ranked #10. In 1959, our post-Rose Bowl year, Cal went 2-8. Ruh roh! We fell of the cliff there. We lost 8 in a row that season! I'm getting this from page 267 of Ron Fimrite's book "Golden Bears."
1958 was Joe Kapp's last year at Cal. In 1959, the new QB was Wayne Crow, previously a halfback. Call him the Steve Levy of his time (but with presumably fewer bar brawls). This gentleman played football the Tim Tebow way, completing only 26 passes all season for 379 yards. He was called a "triple threat" split-T quarterback. I don't even know what that means!
This season sucked with many big losses. The oddest thing was that after USC beat Cal 14-7, Chancellor Glenn Seaborg complained about USC's dirty play. USC actually apologized! Its head coach resigned at the end of the season and some 30 year old assistant coach named Al Davis fled to the NFL.
But, let's return to this football game, played in Austin. Looking at the football game here, I can see Cal sucked. A lot. You don't fall ass backwards into losing 33-0. Cal only got 8 non-penalty first downs the entire game. Only 5 complete passes (out of 19 attempts) for 51 yards. Oddly, we attempted more passes than Texas. Texas only attempted 15 passes, completing 6 (with 3 ints!). They even had 6 separate players attempt passes.
So, if you like running, you'll LOVE this game! Look at these numbers for Texas:
Rushing No Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg ------------------------------------------------- Ramirez, Rene 8 95 0 95 1 0 11.9 Collins, Jack 4 73 0 73 1 0 18.2 Saxton, James 5 53 0 53 0 0 10.6 Morris, Drew 8 50 0 50 0 0 6.2 Dowdle, Mike 2 41 0 41 1 0 20.5 Blanch, George 2 23 0 23 0 0 11.5 Branch, Clair 4 15 1 14 0 0 3.5 Shirley, Bart 3 14 0 14 0 0 4.7 Allen, Don 3 12 0 12 0 0 4.0 Russell, David 1 7 0 7 0 7 7.0 Gurwitz, Bobby 1 5 0 5 0 5 5.0 Lackey, Bobby 2 4 0 4 0 0 2.0 Matocha, Bobby 1 3 0 3 0 3 3.0 Newman, Tommy 1 1 0 1 0 1 1.0 Cotten, Mike 2 2 2 0 0 0 0.0 Totals... 47 398 3 395 3 7 8.4
They rushed 47 times for 400 yards. It's the Utah game here! This must have been one BORING game!
Even when we failed we sucked. Cal punted 11 times, but only netted 23 yards per punt. Texas, by comparison, netted over 40 yards per punt.
Sadly, the Texas box score here (the only online resource I can find) doesn't have any individual info for Cal. Just general team info.
SECOND CAL LOSS: Texas 28 Cal 3 Berkeley, CA. September 23, 1961
So, so far in two games (home and home), Cal has scored 3 total points. Oh joy!
1961 was year two of the Marv Levy experiment. You want an easy way to prove that a God exists and (s)he hates Cal? In the early 1960s, Cal had future Hall Of Fame Coaches Marv Levy and Bill Walsh (Yes, Bill Walsh!) on staff. With Levy as a head coach and Walsh as an assistant, you'd think Cal would make some hay. Between the two of them, they went to 7 SuperBowls. That's an insane pedigree right there. Yet we sucked. A lot.
Chancellor Seaborg had just named Cal legend Pete Newell as Athletic Director. He needed to make money as funds were low. Easiest way to make money? Fill Memorial on Saturdays. Yet the team wasn't helping. This game against Texas only drew 31,500, according to the link. All this info comes from pages 279-280 of Fimrite's book. Cal went 1-8-1 that season. The sole win was against UW. Cal had losses (besides the Texas one) to 28-7 (Iowa), 53-7 (Kansas), and (20-7) Stanford.
So, again, Cal sucked. But let's stop talking about our general suctitude and look closer at the specific sucking that occurred on what I presume was a gorgeous September day. This was an even MORE pathetic offensive day for the Golden Bears. While Texas put up over 400 total yards, Cal had 80. 55 rushing (ON 38 ATTEMPTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). 25 passing (4 completions, 9 attempts). Cal only had 5 first downs on the day and Texas had more rushing yards than Cal had yards.
Wow, that has to be the most pathetic rushing line I've ever seen. 1.8 average. 38 attempts for 55 yards. Maybe we should have stopped rushing at a point there. We have some of the greatest offensive minds of modern football (albeit in their larval forms) and we couldn't get more than 1.7 yards per play! 1.7 yards per play! Triple le sigh.
Now, to be fair, Texas was ranked 4th in the nation (they were 10th in the nation the previous time Cal played them). So, they were certainly a good team. BUT STILL.
Again, the Texas box score doesn't have specific information on Cal players. So, I don't know who it was that shamed their ancestors that day. Perhaps for the better? Let their names be forgotten from the mists of time itself.
So, basically, in looking at this home and home for Cal-Texas in 1959 and 1961, we can see how stacked the deck used to be. It used to be there were two types of college football teams. The 1%ers and 99%ers. Cal was VERY MUCH a 99%er. In two games, we barely moved the ball with our patented "All We Do Is Lose" Reverse Tebow gameplan.
Next time, I'll look at the next two (last two) games between Cal and Texas. Did we do any better? Hey, we couldn't do any worse, right?
Which soul-crushing defeat to Texas is better?
1959 (5 total completed passes) (39 votes)
1961 (1.7 yards per play) (49 votes)
88 total votes