Maybe Mack Brown isn't such a villain, after all.
If No. 4 California was angry and frustrated after being snubbed by the BCS and denied a Rose Bowl berth, it had to have been flat out humiliated after No. 23 Texas Tech pulled a 45-31 upset in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday night.
The Golden Bears had no answer against the Red Raiders' spread offense, which uses four wide receivers most of the time.
Tech senior Sonny Cumbie threw for a career-high 520 yards and three touchdowns, including a 60-yarder to Joel Filani, and safety Vincent Meeks set up a score with a 48-yard interception return.
Cumbie was 39-of-60 and broke the Holiday Bowl attempts record of 59 set by BYU's Ty Detmer in 1989. He was short of Detmer's Holiday Bowl record of 576 yards, also set in 1989.
Cal's J.J. Arrington became just the third running back in Pac-10 history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. The senior from Nashville, North Carolina, carried 25 times for 173 yards, for 2,018 yards.
Aaron Rodgers was 24-of-42 for 246 yards, with one interception for Cal.
Cal had been in position to go to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 46 seasons, but was leapfrogged in the final Bowl Championship Series standings by Brown's Texas Longhorns, who ended up in Pasadena to face Michigan on Saturday.
Navy 34, New Mexico 19
In San Francisco, Aaron Polanco ran for three touchdowns and passed for another, and Navy capped the academy's best season in 99 years with a win over New Mexico in the Emerald Bowl.
Polanco scored on runs of 14, 1 and 27 yards and completed a 61-yard touchdown pass to Corey Dryden, the longest of the season by Polanco and the first career score by Dryden. The Midshipmen's defense was impressive, too, despite the rain-soaked field at SBC Park.
The unit forced two first-half turnovers that led to TDs and staged a goal-line stand late in the third quarter. Then Navy kept the ball for the next 14 minutes, 26 seconds, and held New Mexico to only seven plays in the fourth quarter.
The Midshipmen (10-2) tied for the most wins in school history, last accomplished when Navy went 10-1-1 in 1905. It was a fitting end for the Mids, some of whom will head off to war in the coming year. Only two months ago, Navy's players dealt with the death of former teammate JP Blecksmith in a military operation in Fallujah, Iraq.
Boston College 37,
North Carolina 24
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Kicker Ryan Ohliger ran 21 yards for a touchdown on a fake field goal one play after quarterback Paul Peterson was taken off the field on a stretcher with a broken leg to lead 25th-ranked Boston College to the win in the Continental Tire Bowl.
Before leaving, Peterson went 24-of-33 for 236 yards and two touchdowns, helping Boston College win a bowl game for the fifth straight season. But he wasn't able to return to the field to accept the game's MVP award. Instead, his wife went out to collect the trophy.
The Eagles (9-3) gave the Big East its first win in the 3-year-old bowl game. It was BC's final game in the league -- it joins the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.
Darian Durant threw three scoring passes for North Carolina (6-6), and completed 23 of 41 passes for 259 yards.
Northern Illinois 34, Troy 21
In San Jose, California, Josh Haldi passed for 146 yards and rushed for two touchdowns to lead Northern Illinois to its first bowl victory in 21 years.