What are your feelings on Texas football and the University of Texas? Great hate? Significant loathing? Indifference? Or do you actually like them?
They were the only school ranked in the nation's top six both in scoring offense and scoring defense. Their average margin of victory was 23.9 points, yet their fortunes swung when a they only won 26-16 at Southern Mississippi in the season finale.
That Cal coach Jeff Tedford opted not to run up the score didn't matter. That Texas was shutout 12-0 against rival Oklahoma on a neutral field didn't matter. That Southern Miss had beaten Nebraska and went on to win a bowl game and finish 7-5 didn't matter. That Texas beat 4-7 Kansas in its second to last game by four points didn't matter. That Texas beat 5-6 Missouri by eight didn't matter.
LeonPowe: My perspective will be different than most Cal fans as I spent four years living in Houston, Texas. During those four years, the majority of my friends were UT grads - and often times in conversation and visits to Austin, it really did feel like Berkeley - South. I really liked the fans and I was indifferent to their football team. I did prefer them to the Aggies.
So when 2004 happened and I was up in arms, it was really odd because it wasn't really a big deal in Texas. The attitude I encountered was much more of a "welcome to big time college football" than a taunting of Cal. Much more of a shrug. No one had anything against Cal, they were just kind of excited to play in the Rose Bowl.
So while I understand the enmity and anger Cal fans hold towards Texas and Mack Brown specifically, i don't join in. I'd like to beat Texas just because they're a national program and this is a big cross sectional football game.
Nik Jam: I became a Cal football a little bit after the Rose Bowl snub, so I didnt feel the heartbreak. But it still stings, especially since the Rose Bowl drought keeps getting larger while we've seen Furd get in. Nonetheless I dont hate Texas a whole lot for it.
I LOVE AUSTIN. I went there almost two years ago to see the Austin City Limits festival (three of my all time favorite bands were there - Depeche Mode, The Cure, and Muse) and I had a great time. I knew that weekend that I was gonna go back when Cal visited no matter what. So I can never hate the University of Texas that much. Still bitter we didnt get the Rose Bowl though.
Ruey Yen: While this Friday will be my true first visit to Austin (I have had a two hour layover in Austin airport once which I usually wouldn't count as having visited a place except there was 3 live music acts during that time and I did get to try the airport version of the Salt Lick BBQ), the people that I have met who are from or have lived there have compared it favorably to Berkeley. However, the main difference that I can see is that Texas has achieved what we Cal fans want our football program to achieve, to be the clear flagship college football team of the state. I am jealous of how they have enough fans and power to have a Longhorn Network deal with ESPN and how much control they have had in the Big 12 or that potential merge of the Surf-n-Turf conference between the Pac and the Texas schools.
I do think favorably of the school and the city, but just not the football program and its many supporters from the extended Texas state who probably does not have any direct ties with the University. Yes, you folks treat football as a religion, but we have knowledgable and passionate football fans in the state of California as well.
Prior to last year, my last Cal home football game was the 2004 Big Game when many Cal fans and alum (I had just graduated and was back in the area for my Thanksgiving break from grad school) were shouting Rose Bowl after that win (and that infamous Aaron Rodgers with a rose photo). At the time, I was telling people how I felt the celebration was premature (particularly since there was that hurricane delayed Southern Miss game to be played). But while I did not experience the feeling of having the Rose Bowl snatched from us (because as a true Cal fan, I am conditioned to not believe that we will get to go to the Rose Bowl until it actually happens), I was super bitter with how it all went down. It also doesn't help that I was living on the East Coast for the first time and had more exposure to the whole East Coast bias thing, which favors Texas more than Cal, of course. The whole Mack Brown lobbying and that weird voting by him and his brother in the final coaches' poll where Cal was artificially lowly ranked was just despicable (even if that wasn't the difference maker).
Outside the football team and Mack Brown, I also despise the fact that the Texas men's swimming and diving team have such an edge on us on the diving side of things. Although part of this annoyance is perhaps more toward how diving, a complete different sport, is also included in the team title competition. Maybe my attitude on this will change once Cal diving program become much stronger when the new aquatic center is finished.
One final note on the rest of the Texas non-rev sports, should Mack Brown be named the athletic director, my bitterness toward him will probably transfer to all the other Longhorn sports.
KWBears: When I think about Texas football, I think of Mack Brown being the usual sleaze bag that he always was and Tedford choosing not to go as low - then we lost our chance to go to the Rose Bowl. Other than that, I think of a crazy fanbase with delusional expectations.
Let's look ahead to Texas. Based on what you've seen, what are your predictions for that game?
KWBears: I predict Goff and Lasco having great games for Cal. Godd will spread the ball nicely across his receivers and keep the Longhorns D guessing all game long. I expect our defense to play decently - not as good as they've been against lower tier competition, but respectably. I predict a W for us - a really hard-fought W.
Nik Jam: Cal's offense should have a lot of success. We'll see for sure whether our defense is for real or not though. I expect Cal to win.
Keegan Dresow: I haven't watched enough Texas. It sounds as though they are struggling. But they always have talent, and are undergoing a massive culture change under a coach who preaches discipline. It is normal for such a program to take a season or two to get back on track. It will be an interesting and telling test to see if Cal can make sure that Texas does not get back on track until after the Golden Bears leave town.
boomtho: Knocking on all the wood in my living room as I write this... I really am hopeful that Cal will be successful against Texas. The Longhorns certainly should have talent (especially defensive), but Cal's offense looks fearsome right now, and the defense is doing enough (if not more) to keep us in the game. Of course, Texas is shaking up their offensive playcalling staff, and they're coming off a win, and they have us at home.. all potential red flags. Still, I'm going for it - Cal wins by 10+ points, say 38-24. LET'S GET IT DONE, BEARS!