I lived around Davis and it is fairly rural and a 3 hour drive from San Francisco the main city in California. It is a college town, but they have no solid sports program etc. I have never been to Austin, but I would think the student life would be way better in Austin than Davis. North of San Francisco it gets pretty rural and if you go north Sacramento California gets real rural even snows not in Davis though.
I also would think University of Texas is way more known nationally know than Davis.