We have a full slate of Holiday Bowl predictions today. While everyone picks Texas to win, they tend to focus on explaining how Cal will struggle against the Texas D. Very little attention is paid to the matchup between the solid Cal defense and the one-dimensional Texas offense. I would have liked to see some justification for how Texas would score 24 or 31 on Cal...
Texas 24, California 21: Cal finished strong, Texas did not, but we still worry about the Bears. You want to believe. This feels like a defensive struggle, but Texas should have enough offense to win this in the fourth quarter.
No. 24 Texas 20, California 17: The Longhorns suffocate another offense in this one, quieting Keenan Allen and Zach Maynard. Texas has seen better offenses and played well. They take care of business out in San Diego to notch a Holiday Bowl win. A healthy backfield of Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron get back down to business and build toward a big sophomore year.
- Jon Wilner picks Texas to cover the spread.
CAL (plus-3) vs. TEXAS (Holiday, Dec. 28): Nothing on UT’s ledger suggests the Bears are out of their league against the talented but underachieving Longhorns. But to win, Cal will have to run the ball consistently against one of the nation’s best run defenses. Pick: Texas.
As far as playing a side, stick with Texas to win and cover the three points as it is still the better all-around team and far more battle-tested than the Golden Bears.
The Pick: Texas 31, California 27
- ESPN's simulations have Texas outscoring Cal 28.4 to 24.1, on average. Cal won 40.5% of the time while Texas won 59.5% of the time. While we hold the Texas running game in check (~150 yards), McCoy averaged 210 yards. Meanwhile, Maynard averaged 179.6 while the Cal running game produced about 125 yards.
- 5 of 6 of CBS' experts pick Texas to win.
After the jump the Bears visit the San Diego Zoo and Sea World as part of their Holiday Bowl festivities.
- CalBears.com has articles on the Bears' visit to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. CalBears.com has some great photos from Sea World (especially the group photos with Clyde the sea lion) and photos from the San Diego Zoo.
- All Access has videos galore from the bowl festivities: Sea World tour, Mustafa Jalil talks about coming home (San Diego) for the holidays, Giorgio takes us through Day 2 in San Diego, Bud "Dog" Turner, catching up with the younger players on the team.
- ESPN says Texas is the team most in need of a win this bowl season.
- Zach Maynard, along with Tedford and Marcus Arroyo, talks about his development and notable improvement over the season.
- CCTimes has a good read on Kendricks' career at Cal.