9-3 (5-3), 3rd Big 12 - South Division
9-3 (7-2), 1st Tied Pacific-10
The Holiday Bowl is the first bowl game this season that will match-up two ranked teams. First we have the California Bears who finished tied for the Pac-10 Title but did not get the BCS bid because they lost to USC. The Golden Bears started off the season with a lot of hype but it all popped like a balloon as they lost their opener to Tennessee. The flew under the radar for awhile and rattled off 8 consecutive victories. They ended the season losing two of their last 3 to USC and Arizona. Cal leads the Pac-10 with 31.8 points a game and ranks second with 411.7 yards per contest.
Cal is led by their superstar running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch was an early season favorite for the Heisman and ended up the year with 1245 yards and 9 touchdowns. Lynch will be without his blocking fullback as Byron Storer broke his arm and will not play in the bowl game. The Holiday Bowl could be Lynch's last game in a Golden Bears' uniform because there is much speculation that Lynch will turn pro after this season. Their QB Nate Longshore has had a good season throwing for 2700 yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His favorite target is ITB All American DeSean Jackson. Jackson had over 900 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns, but it is in the return game where he will hurt you the most. He averages over 17 yards a punt return with 4 touchdowns on the season.
There were many questions before the season about the job security of Dennis Franchione, but after this 9 win season and more importantly a late season win over their rival Texas, Franchione's job is secure. The Aggies offense is spearheaded by one my favorite college QB's Stephen McGee. McGee burst ed onto the scene last season against Texas and put a scare into the Longhorns' bid for a National Title.
The Aggies also average over 400 yards of offense a game and 210 of those yards come on the ground. McGee had 2118 yards passing (11 TDs & 2 Ints) and also had another 635 yards on the ground. He is a dual threat QB. Also in the backfield is Mike Goodson and the guy who seems to be the touchdown machine Jorvorskie Lane with his 19 rushing touchdowns.
Looking at these two teams, this Holiday Bowl has the potential to be a high scoring affair. Watching Cal this year I still think they lack getting over the hump against a good team. They do have a nice win against Oregon but right now that isn't looking as impressive as it was thought to be. Texas A&M however came within a point of beating Big 12 champion Oklahoma and Nebraska and finished the year upsetting the Longhorns in Austin. I would be that the Aggies will kick away from Jackson, that is if they have to punt. I like Stephen McGee and the Aggies in a high scoring Holiday Bowl. Texas A&M 45-31
- Texas A&M
- Texas A&M
Brian from CFR
- Texas A&M