SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- After getting edged for its first Rose Bowl berth in 46 years, fourth-ranked California hopes to end its season on a high note when it faces No. 21 Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl.
Despite being ranked fourth in both human polls, Cal (10-1) was passed by Texas in the final BCS poll for a spot in the Rose Bowl, due in part to the lobbying efforts of Longhorns coach Mack Brown, who helped sway some coaches to drop the Golden Bears in their rankings after a 26-16 victory at Southern Mississippi on December 4.
Moments after finding out his team had been relegated to the Holiday Bowl, Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers criticized Brown for lobbying on his team's behalf.
Thought the Bears will earn more than $10 less than they would have had they earned a Rose Bowl berth, they did sign coach Jeff Tedford to a five-year extension.
Led by Rodgers, who is seventh in the nation in passing efficiency (161.2) and J.J. Arrington, who is second in rushing average (167.73), the Bears won their final seven games since a heartbreaking 23-17 loss at top-ranked Southern California on October 9.
Texas Tech (7-4) won three of its final four regular-season games to finish in a tie for third in the brutal Big 12 South.
In a 31-15 victory over Oklahoma State on November 27, Sonny Cumbie passed for 281 yards and three touchdowns.
Cumbie led the nation in passing with 4,222 yards but was held to a season low in the win over the Cowboys. He also tossed 29 touchdowns on the season.