After the Cal Bears lost their first three conference games, fans started looking at their remaining six games on the schedule, trying to find three wins that would make the team bowl eligible.
Jeff Tedford and the Bears did them one better. They found four wins.
A change in game plan, from a pass-first offense to a run-first offense, has the Bears waiting on invitations from several bowls.
Cal could head to either the Alamo Bowl (San Antonio) or the Holiday Bowl (San Diego). The Alamo Bowl gets second choice of Pac-12 teams after the Rose Bowl, which takes the conference winner. Stanford is likely to receive an at-large spot a BCS game, leaving Washington and Cal as the best available choices.
ESPN college football experts Brad Edwards and Mark Schlabach predict that the Holiday Bowl will invite Cal to face a Big 12 opponent, likely either Texas or Baylor.
Both matchups come with much intrigue.
Texas is in the process of rebuilding, but they have Case McCoy, a talented quarterback, coming off a confidence-building win over arch rival Texas A&M. They also have a highly-touted core of running backs, led by Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron and Foswhitt Whittaker, though all have struggled during the last few games. In September, the Longhorns destroyed UCLA, 49-20 in Pasadena, so clearly Mack Brown’s boys can play well away from Austin.
Baylor is led by everybody’s sexy Heisman underdog Robert Griffin III, better known as “RG3.” Griffin is a one-man wrecking crew, throwing for 3,678 yards, 34 TDs, 5 INTs, and running for 612 yards and 7 TDs. RG3 would really test the Cal defense.
If you ask the Bears, they’ll say they don’t care about who they play, that they are just happy to be going to a bowl game, but as crazy as it might sounds, they should hope they get the Longhorns.