SAN DIEGO - Even though he has won a Super Bowl, it still irks Aaron Rodgers that he and the California Golden Bears were bumped from the Rose Bowl seven years ago by Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns.
The Longhorns went on to beat Michigan in Pasadena. Relegated to the Holiday Bowl, Cal played like a jilted team and was overrun by Texas Tech in Rodgers' final game.
The Golden Bears can get a measure of revenge when they play the Longhorns tonight in a matchup of 7-5 teams in the Holiday Bowl.
Cal is on a little bit of a roll. The Bears won three of their last four games, and the Longhorns lost three of four.
Texas has had shaky quarterback play all season. Brown said he hasn't decided whether Case McCoy or David Ash will start but said both will probably play.
"Both of these teams have had good seasons, but neither one is at the standard that we're used to and the standard that both teams have set, so I think you'll see both teams excited about tomorrow night," Brown said.
Rodgers, who led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl win last year as the NFC's No. 6 seed, let out a deep sigh when asked earlier this month if he's still upset about what happened seven years ago.
"Yes. Well, we got them now in the Holiday Bowl, so, seven years later, yes, I'm still upset about it," he told San Francisco Bay Area reporters in a conference call before the Packers played host to the Oakland Raiders. "That was something that I would've really loved to have been a part of. The last Rose Bowl for Cal, I want to say, was in the 50s. Got to get back there soon."
Cal hasn't been to the Rose Bowl since Jan. 1, 1959.
Cal coach Jeff Tedford said most people have let '04 go, but understands how Rodgers feels.
"I think it was hard for that team, for that group of guys who had earned the right to, what we felt was to be in the Rose Bowl," Tedford said Tuesday.
• Who: California (7-5) vs. Texas (7-5), 6 p.m.
• Where: San Diego
• When: 6 p.m. on ESPN
• Line: Texas by 4
• Series Record: Texas leads 4-0
• Players to watch: California: LB Mychal Kendricks was the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Year. He had a career-high 96 tackles and 13 tackles for loss, as well as two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three sacks. Texas: QB Case McCoy has thrown for 1,034 yards, seven TDs, four interceptions.
• Facts and figures: The teams haven't met since 1970. … Texas will be playing in the Holiday Bowl for the fifth time; Cal is making its third visit. … Texas CB Quandre Diggs is the brother of former Longhorns star and current San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer.