California got rolled. The score was fairly indicative of what happened on the field:
Texas Tech 45
The Bears added a late touchdown to make the score more respectable. That said, this game plays well into one of my main arguments about college football, that the game is very much dictated not only by on-field talent, but coaching. As great of a coach as Jeff Tedford is, his team was not familiar with Texas Tech's offensive style. Tech runs a gimmick offense, but a gimmick offense can be very effective if an opponent has never faced it.
While Texas Tech is never going to dominate the Big 12, it certainly can take advantage of an out-of-conference opponent unfamiliar with its schemes, or an in-conference opponent with a new coach also unfamiliar with its style of play. Oklahoma in fact struggled against Texas Tech in the early Stoops years before they adjusted and were able to dominate with familiarity.
That was not the case for California. One of their players said they got used to what they saw on film, but once on the field could not handle what Tech threw at them. That's fairly predictable, even if I did not predict as much.
Unfortunately, some of the major media bigshots used the game as an opportunity to make stabs at the Pac-10, and claim it's #2 team couldn't finish in the top 5 of the Big 12. It's a pointless and inaccurate argument. The game isn't about just who has more talent and who wins head-to-head. So many other factors are involved. USC would wipe the floor with Oklahoma if they played the sooners again, for example, but a game against Utah or California would be far more difficult. Simply put, matchups matter. Unless a commentator or fan has a grasp of what teams are really doing, they're unfit to really make grand conclusions about a game's outcome or its implications elsewhere.
I'm not perfect at this, but I'm working on it and I watch games intently and ask questions of some contacts who know more than myself what is going on. I try to provide some of the reasoning and understanding on here, as you have seen as we've gone through the 2004-2005 season. We correctly pegged Louisville as a very good team, as we did California, and sniffed out Auburn as unfit for elite status. Those are looking very solid, and we were onto those teams well before the mainstream media and "expert" commentators really had an idea what was happening. This isn't to pat our backs here at Resource, but to make it clear that we as fans can do better and should strive to think about the game in terms more enlightened than pure talent matchups, or team hype. There's so much more to it than that and it can only help us understand what's happening on the field.