"I really feel sorry for Cal, Mack Brown said on ABC's Selection Show. "Cal's a great football team. The system doesn't work... We'll keep working at this system where teams like Cal will be playing in the BCS, but I'm so happy for the kids at Texas because they deserve to be there."
Golden Bears' fans, Orangebloods feel your pain. Texas twice in recent seasons harbored BCS dreams only to be denied on the final weekend of the season, landing in San Diego for the Holiday Bowl in a no-win situation vs. a lower-ranked team instead of in Pasadena (or Tempe or New Orleans) playing vs. the big boys. A BCS-worthy, No. 4-ranked (in the human polls) Cal will head to the Holiday Bowl to take on 7-4 Texas Tech (according to news reports). With Texas in the Rose, Texas A&M (7-4) will get Tennessee (9-3) in the Cotton Bowl.
Along with the Horns, No. 6 Utah (11-0) snagged the other at-large berth. The other six spots in the system are filled by BCS conference champions USC (12-0), Oklahoma (12-0), Auburn (12-0), Michigan (9-2), Virginia Tech (10-2) and Pittsburgh (8-3).
The Trojans and the Sooners will square off in the Orange Bowl for the national championship on Jan. 4. Auburn gets Virginia Tech in the Jan. 3 Sugar Bowl and the Jan. 1 Fiesta pits Utah vs. Pittsburgh.
No. 13/12 Michigan (9-2) comes into the Rose Bowl matchup with the Horns following a regular season-ending 37-21 loss to Ohio State. With the loss, the Wolverines tied No. 11/13 Iowa at 7-1 in the Big Ten standings but earned the Rose Bowl bid due to a 30-17 head-to-head win over the Hawkeyes in late September. The win over Iowa is Michigan's only victory over a ranked team. Aside from the loss to the Buckeyes on Nov. 20, the Wolverines' only other loss came at Notre Dame on Sept. 11 when the Golden Domers pulled the upset, 28-20.
"It's so special because Texas has never been (to the BCS and the Rose), Texas has never played Michigan and it's two of storied programs in football history," Brown said. "Anybody who loves college football loves the story of Bo Schembechler and Darrell Royal and what a neat thing for those two men to be at this game, and Lloyd Carr and I are just kind of in their spots right now, .but those two guys are Texas and Michigan. Lloyd's one of the great coaches, Michigan is one of the great teams, what a fun matchup..."