Welcome back to San Diego… this game is so important that it’s got “education” as it’s middle name!
The History: From its inception in 1978 through 1990, the bowl featured the Western Athletic Conference champion and an at-large team. In 1991, the Bowl made an agreement with the Big Ten to have its third selection play the WAC champion. In 1997, after the break up of the WAC, the Holiday Bowl signed agreements with the Pac-10 (now the Pac-12) & Big 12 conferences. Today, the bowl features the third selection from the Pac-12 and the fifth selection from the Big 12.
Baylor Scouting Report: Baylor finished the regular season 7-5 including wins over Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech and losses to Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia (remember the 70-63 loss they had against the Mountaineers?). The Bears lead the nation in total offense at 578.8 yards per game and rank fifth in scoring (44.1). Quarterback Nick Florence had big shoes to fill, replacing Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. He was up to the task. He led the nation in total offense at 387.7 yards per game. Look for him to target senior receiver Terrance Williams a lot, who set a school-record with 1,764 receiving yards. The Bears’ defense struggled this season, however, allowing on average 38.2 points per game and 513.9 yards per game. Read More
The “traditional” Pac-10/Big 12 matchup turns into the now Pac-12/Big ## matchup. At least they got a couple of traditional teams…
History: As with many of the other bowl games, we have covered this one a couple of times over the last few years. While this is a Pac 12/Big 12 matchup these days, it originally started out as the destination of the WAC champion. It sure has come a long way from those humble roots.
California: The Golden Bears are the jack-of-all-trades this year. Good at everything, master at nothing, their per-game averages rank in the 40′s in many of the major categories. It’s enough to beat you, but not by a lot. For Buckeye fan’s reference, the Cal Bears only managed to beat the Colorado Buffaloes 36-33 in OT. They did almost catch Stanford closer to the end of the year, and definitely improved over the last few games.
Texas: The Longhorns have simply not been the same since losing to Alabama in the National Championship. They did manage to improve this season, and with Colt McCoy’s brother, Case McCoy, slinging the football they should be good going forward. This year, however, they’ll be depending on their 19th ranked running game far more than the passing game.
Who we got?
This year’s sponsor is Bridgeport Education, a start diversion from the Pacific Life legacy that we’ve grown used to. As a partner in the higher educational process, it’s interesting to see that this bowl game (a tax free educational endeavor) has picked up money from another (presumably) tax free educational provider. Wonder what we’ll learn?
Since this match up is a repeat of a game from earlier this season, here’s a repeat of part of my preview from last year:
I’ll be honest- of all the “pre-CS” games, the Holiday Bowl has always been one of my favorites. Sure, the Buckeyes have defeated anything Mormon that they faced in the game, but my formative memories of this clash are as follows:
This bowl has been to BYU what the Humanitarian Bowl is to Boise State- a rite of passage and a part of the traditions and holiday plans for the folks from Provo. Begun as a way to get the WAC some love by pitting their teams against national powers, the Holiday Bowl has been a part of the San Diego seasonal festival since 1978, with the WAC serving as host until 1994. In 1997 the ties switched to the Big 12, and the game currently sees the #3 PAC10 program against the #5 Big 12 team. This year, the Holiday Bowl is somewhat of a consolation game- for Nebraska, who’d rather (for the second straight year) be in a BCS game as the Big 12 championship; for Washington, who are the #3 team by default, since Stanford and Oregon received BCS nods, and Southern Cal gets to stay at home and watch the games over at Kiffykins’ house. Read More