Colorado-Nebraska Football Rivalry
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Colorado%E2%80%93Nebraska Football Rivalry
Colorado-Nebraska football rivalry
First meetingNovember 17, 1898
Nebraska, 23-10
Latest meetingSeptember 7, 2019
Colorado, 34-31OT
Next meetingSeptember 9, 2023
Statistics
Meetings total71
All-time seriesNebraska leads, 49-20-2
Largest victoryNebraska, 59-0 (1981)
Longest win streakNebraska, 18 (1968-85)
Current win streakColorado, 2 (2018-)
Locations of Colorado and Nebraska

The Colorado-Nebraska football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Colorado Buffaloes and Nebraska Cornhuskers. They first played in 1898, but the rivalry intensified in the 1980s as Colorado improved under head coach Bill McCartney. It was somewhat consolidated with the formation of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, which placed the two universities in the same six-team division and ended Nebraska's annual game with Oklahoma.[1][2]

The rivalry's intensity was often disputed; while Colorado generally viewed Nebraska as its biggest rival, Nebraska still saw Oklahoma as their historically significant rival. After the formation of the Big 12, the game was traditionally played on the Friday afternoon following Thanksgiving, nationally televised on ABC. In the Big 8, this timeslot was often used for the Nebraska-Oklahoma game. (Oklahoma now plays in-state rival Oklahoma State at the end of the regular season in the Bedlam Series.)

Series history

Colorado and Nebraska met six times from 1898 to 1907, then didn't meet again until Colorado joined the Big Seven Conference in 1948. From 1948-61, Colorado went 9-4-1 against Nebraska. After their 7-0 victory in Lincoln in 1961, Colorado gained their only series lead (10-9-1).

With Bob Devaney's arrival in 1962, Nebraska rose from nearly two decades of mediocrity (and seven straight losing seasons) and returned as a national power in the mid-1960s, followed by national titles in 1970 and 1971. He won his first 5 against Colorado and was 10-1; successor Tom Osborne won his first 13, and went 21-3-1.

When Colorado hired Bill McCartney in 1982, he almost immediately designated Nebraska as their primary rival, in an attempt to motivate his team.[3] Nebraska was a perennial powerhouse at the time and had beaten the Buffs 14 straight times; McCartney wanted to use the eventual defeat of Nebraska as a measure of Colorado's success. Four years later in 1986, CU got their first win over the Cornhuskers since 1967, upsetting No. 3 Nebraska 20-10.[4] It was also the first win over Nebraska at Folsom Field in Boulder since 1960.

Colorado started to repeatedly threaten Nebraska in the late '80s afterwards. In 1989, No. 3 Nebraska met No. 2 Colorado at Folsom Field tied atop the Big 8. Colorado won 27-21 on their way to winning their first Big 8 Championship since 1976.[5][6][7] No. 9 Colorado went to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln to play No. 3 Nebraska for the Big 8 title yet again in 1990.[8][9] The Buffaloes won 27-12 en route to their first national title. McCartney went 3-9-1 against Nebraska; Rick Neuheisel 0-4, Gary Barnett 3-4, and Dan Hawkins 1-4.

Historically, the series was mostly one-sided, with Nebraska winning nearly three out of every four match-ups. However, the last two decades had been very competitive with many match-ups decided by a touchdown or less. From 1988 to 1996, both teams were ranked going into the match-up, and in 5 of those meetings both teams were in the top 10 (the 19-19 tie in 1991 was the last recorded by Nebraska). In 1989 and 1994, Colorado and Nebraska met ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, and split those games. From 1996 to 2000, Nebraska won all five games by 15 points combined (17-12, 27-24, 16-14, 33-30, 34-32). The 1999 game was decided in overtime, the only such time that happened until 2019.

More fire fueled the rivalry in 2001 when No. 2 Nebraska went into Boulder undefeated. No. 14 Colorado had one conference loss (41-7 in Austin to then No. 9 Texas; they went from No. 14 to No. 25 afterwards), making this the Big 12 North championship. Colorado shocked the nation by drubbing Nebraska 62-36 and won the Big 12 Championship over No. 3 Texas the week after, 39-37. Nebraska eventually went to the BCS title game despite the loss, but Colorado was only a point behind Nebraska in the BCS poll.

The decade started with Colorado winning 3 of 4, and ended with Nebraska taking 5 of 6. Starting with Bill McCartney's first game in 1982 through 2019, Nebraska is 21-9-1 against Colorado.

The series was disrupted by the 2010-2014 NCAA conference realignment, when both teams left the Big 12 before the 2011 season. Colorado joined the Pac-12 Conference; Nebraska went to the Big Ten Conference. Both now meet division and border rivals in opposite directions. Nebraska now faces Iowa on the Friday after Thanksgiving; Colorado played Utah the same day in 2011 and 2012, but in 2013 the game moved to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

On February 7, 2013, Colorado and Nebraska announced that they agreed to renew the rivalry.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16] The rivalry was renewed on September 8th, 2018 in Lincoln; Colorado won 33-28 on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Steven Montez to Laviska Shenault with 1:06 left. The September 7th, 2019 game at Folsom Field in Boulder saw Colorado come back from a 17-0 halftime deficit to win 34-31 in overtime. Since Nebraska won nine straight from 1992 to 2000, the last 12 games in the series have been an even 6-6 split.

Bison head trophy

From 1951 to 1961, Nebraska's Innocents Society and Colorado's Heart and Dagger Society exchanged a mounted buffalo head, nicknamed Mr. Chip. This occurred similar to the Victory Bell exchanged between the Innocents Society and Missouri's QEBH Society. Colorado lost the trophy after winning it in 1961 and were not able to present for exchange when Nebraska won in 1962.[17]

Game results

Colorado victoriesNebraska victoriesTie games
No.DateLocationWinning teamLosing team
1 November 17, 1898 Boulder Nebraska 23 Colorado 10
2 October 4, 1902 Boulder Nebraska 10 Colorado 0
3 October 24, 1903 Lincoln Nebraska 31 Colorado 0
4 October 8, 1904 Boulder Colorado 6 Nebraska 0
5 November 11, 1905 Lincoln Nebraska 18 Colorado 0
6 October 26, 1907 Lincoln Nebraska 22 Colorado 8
7 October 9, 1948 Boulder Colorado 16 Nebraska 9
8 November 19, 1949 Lincoln Nebraska 25 Colorado 14
9 October 14, 1950 Boulder Colorado 28 Nebraska 19
10 November 17, 1951 Lincoln Colorado 36 Nebraska 14
11 October 25, 1952 Boulder Tie16Tie16
12 November 14, 1953 Lincoln Colorado 14 Nebraska 10
13 October 23, 1954 Boulder Nebraska 20 No. 11 Colorado 6
14 November 12, 1955 Lincoln Nebraska 37 Colorado 20
15 October 27, 1956 Boulder Colorado 16 Nebraska 0
16 November 16, 1957 Lincoln Colorado 27 Nebraska 0
17 October 25, 1958 Boulder No. 12 Colorado 27 Nebraska 16
18 November 14, 1959 Lincoln Nebraska 14 Colorado 12
19 October 22, 1960 Boulder Colorado 19 Nebraska 6
20 November 18, 1961 Lincoln No. 8 Colorado 7 Nebraska 0
21 October 27, 1962 Boulder Nebraska 31 Colorado 6
22 October 26, 1963 Lincoln Nebraska 41 Colorado 6
23 October 24, 1964 Boulder No. 5 Nebraska 21 Colorado 3
24 October 23, 1965 Lincoln No. 3 Nebraska 38 Colorado 13
25 October 22, 1966 Boulder No. 7 Nebraska 21 Colorado 19
26 October 21, 1967 Lincoln No. 4 Colorado 21 No. 13 Nebraska 16
27 November 16, 1968 Boulder Nebraska 22 Colorado 6
28 November 1, 1969 Lincoln Nebraska 20 No. 18 Colorado 7
29 October 31, 1970 Boulder No. 4 Nebraska 29 Colorado 13
30 October 30, 1971 Lincoln No. 1 Nebraska 31 No. 9 Colorado 7
31 November 4, 1972 Boulder No. 3 Nebraska 33 No. 15 Colorado 10
32 October 3, 1973 Lincoln No. 13 Nebraska 28 No. 17 Colorado 16
33 November 2, 1974 Boulder No. 9 Nebraska 31 Colorado 15
34 October 25, 1975 Lincoln No. 4 Nebraska 63 Colorado 21
35 October 9, 1976 Boulder No. 6 Nebraska 24 Colorado 12
36 October 22, 1977 Lincoln No. 18 Nebraska 33 No. 7 Colorado 15
No.DateLocationWinning teamLosing team
37 October 21, 1978 Boulder No. 5 Nebraska 52 Colorado 14
38 October 27, 1979 Lincoln No. 2 Nebraska 38 Colorado 10
39 October 25, 1980 Boulder No. 9 Nebraska 45 Colorado 7
40 October 10, 1981 Lincoln Nebraska 59 Colorado 0
41 October 9, 1982 Boulder No. 7 Nebraska 40 Colorado 14
42 October 22, 1983 Lincoln No. 1 Nebraska 69 Colorado 19
43 October 20, 1984 Boulder No. 5 Nebraska 24 Colorado 7
44 October 26, 1985 Lincoln No. 5 Nebraska 17 Colorado 7
45 October 25, 1986 Boulder Colorado 20 No. 3 Nebraska 10
46 November 28, 1987 Boulder No. 5 Nebraska 24 Colorado 7
47 November 12, 1988 Lincoln No. 7 Nebraska 7 No. 19 Colorado 0
48 November 4, 1989 Boulder No. 3 Colorado 27 No. 2 Nebraska 21
49 November 3, 1990 Lincoln No. 9 Colorado 27 No. 3 Nebraska 12
50 November 2, 1991 Boulder Tie19Tie19
51 October 31, 1992 Lincoln No. 8 Nebraska 52 No. 8 Colorado 7
52 October 30, 1993 Boulder No. 6 Nebraska 21 No. 20 Colorado 17
53 October 29, 1994 Lincoln No. 2 Nebraska 24 No. 3 Colorado 7
54 October 28, 1995 Boulder No. 2 Nebraska 44 No. 7 Colorado 21
55 November 29, 1996 Lincoln No. 4 Nebraska 17 No. 5 Colorado 12
56 November 28, 1997 Boulder No. 2 Nebraska 27 Colorado 24
57 November 27, 1998 Lincoln No. 14 Nebraska 16 Colorado 14
58 November 26, 1999 Boulder No. 3 Nebraska 33 Colorado 30OT
59 November 24, 2000 Lincoln No. 10 Nebraska 34 Colorado 32
60 November 23, 2001 Boulder No. 14 Colorado 62 No. 2 Nebraska 36
61 November 29, 2002 Lincoln No. 13 Colorado 28 Nebraska 13
62 November 28, 2003 Boulder No. 25 Nebraska 31 Colorado 22
63 November 26, 2004 Lincoln Colorado 26 Nebraska 20
64 November 25, 2005 Boulder Nebraska 30 Colorado 3
65 November 24, 2006 Lincoln No. 23 Nebraska 37 Colorado 14
66 November 23, 2007 Boulder Colorado 65 Nebraska 51
67 November 28, 2008 Lincoln Nebraska 40 Colorado 31
68 November 27, 2009 Boulder Nebraska 28 Colorado 20
69 November 26, 2010 Lincoln No. 16 Nebraska 45 Colorado 17
70 September 8, 2018 Lincoln Colorado 33 Nebraska 28
71 September 7, 2019 Boulder Colorado 34 No. 25 Nebraska 31OT
Series: Nebraska leads 49-20-2

See also

References

  1. ^ "ESPN.com - Page2 - Ohio State/Michigan vs. Colorado/Nebraska". go.com.
  2. ^ "CU-Nebraska: Rivalry that just is". Colorado Springs Gazette.
  3. ^ "Nebraska vs. Colorado 1982 -- HuskerMax". huskermax.com.
  4. ^ "Nebraska vs. Colorado 1986 -- HuskerMax". huskermax.com.
  5. ^ "Nebraska vs. Colorado 1989 -- HuskerMax". huskermax.com.
  6. ^ "Inspired Colorado Keeps Vow". articles.chicagotribune.com.
  7. ^ "Colorado Edges Nebraska to Reach 9-0 Mark". nytimes.com.
  8. ^ "Nebraska vs. Colorado 1990 -- HuskerMax". huskermax.com.
  9. ^ "Buffaloes Slam Door On Huskers". nytimes.com.
  10. ^ "Colorado Buffaloes renew football rivalry with Nebraska Cornhuskers". denverpost.com.
  11. ^ "Colorado and Nebraska schedule 4-Game Football Series". FBSchedules.com.
  12. ^ "Nebraska Cornhuskers, Colorado Buffaloes to renew rivalry in 2018". ESPN.com.
  13. ^ "Colorado & Nebraska To Renew Football Rivalry". CUBuffs.com.
  14. ^ "Huskers and Colorado Agree to Four-Game Series". Huskers.com.
  15. ^ "Agreement reached on resuming Colorado-Nebraska rivalry". nbcsports.com.
  16. ^ "Rivalry reborn: CU Buffs, Nebraska to play 4 times between 2018 and 2024". Daily Camera. February 7, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ "History - Innocents Society - Nebraska". innocents.unl.edu. University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Web Developer Network.

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