Colorado Buffaloes Football
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Colorado Buffaloes Football
Colorado Buffaloes football
Colorado Buffaloes wordmark.svg
First season1890
Athletic directorRick George
Head coachKarl Dorrell
1st season, 4-2 (.667)
StadiumFolsom Field
(capacity: 50,183[1])
Year built1924[1]
Field surfaceNatural Grass
LocationBoulder, Colorado
NCAA divisionDivision I FBS
ConferencePac-12 (2011-present)
DivisionSouth (2011-present)
Past conferencesIndependent (1890-1892)
CFA (1893-1904)
Independent (1905)
CFA (1906-1908)
RMAC (1909-1937)
Skyline (1938-1947)
Big Eight (1948-1995)
Big 12 (1996-2010)
All-time record
Bowl record12–17 (.414)
Claimed national titles1 (1990)
Conference titles27
Division titles5 (4 Big 12 North)
(1 Pac-12 South)
RivalriesNebraska (rivalry)
Colorado State (rivalry)
Utah (rivalry)
Consensus All-Americans30 (5 unanimous)[2]
Current uniform
Colorado buffaloes football unif.png
ColorsSilver, black, and gold[3]
Fight songFight CU
Marching bandGolden Buffalo Marching Band

The Colorado Buffaloes football program represents the University of Colorado Boulder in college football at the NCAA Division I FBS level. The team is a member of the Pac-12 Conference, having previously been a charter member of the Big 12 Conference. Before joining the Big 12, they were members of the Big Eight Conference. The CU football team has played at Folsom Field since 1924.[1] The Buffs all-time record is 714-517-36 (.578 winning percentage) as of the end of the 2020 season. Colorado won a National Championship in 1990. The football program is 26th on the all-time win list and 37th in all-time winning percentage.


Colorado's first Football Team in 1890.

Beginning in 1890, Colorado football has enjoyed much success throughout its more than 135 years of competitive play.

The Buffaloes have appeared in numerous bowl games (28 appearances in bowl games (12-16), 36th all-time), and won 27 conference championships, 5 division championships and a national championship.[]

Folsom Field was built in 1924, and since then, Colorado has a 308-169-14 record at home through the 2016 season. The road game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 24, 2006 was Colorado's 1,100th football game. The game on September 12, 2015 against Massachusetts was the school's 1,200th football game.

Conference affiliations


National championships

Colorado has won one national championship in program history.[4] This consensus national championship is claimed by the school.[4][5]

Season Coach Selectors Record Bowl Result Final AP Final Coaches
1990 AP, Berryman, Billingsley, DeVold, FACT, FB News, Football Research, FW, Matthews, NCF, NFF, Sporting News, USA/CNN 11-1-1 Orange No. 1 No. 2
1990 season

Colorado won the national championship in 1990 under the direction of head coach Bill McCartney, who helmed the team from 1982 to 1994. The national title was split with Georgia Tech who won the United Press International Coaches Poll, whereas Colorado won the Associated Press and Football Writers Association of America polls. The largest arguments against Colorado were that they had a loss and a tie, whereas Georgia Tech had a tie and no losses, and Colorado's "unfair" win in the Fifth Down Game against Missouri. Another major controversy was a Colorado's Orange Bowl win over Notre Dame, which Colorado won in part because of a controversial clipping call that brought back a Notre Dame touchdown. The major argument for Colorado was that they played a more difficult schedule than Georgia Tech.[6] Colorado capped the season with a 10-9 win over Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl, a rematch of the 1989 season Orange Bowl Game which Notre Dame won 21-6. Colorado's tie came against Tennessee, who was ranked No. 8, the first week of the season when Colorado was ranked No. 5. The second week gave the Buffs a scare, scoring with 12 seconds left in the game on a 4th and Goal attempt. The next week gave Colorado its only loss of the season, losing 23-22 to Illinois and dropping Colorado to No. 20 in the polls. Colorado then went on to beat teams ranked (at the time) No. 22 Texas, No. 12 Washington, No. 22 Oklahoma, and No. 3 Nebraska. They ended the season 7-0 in the Big Eight Conference for the second straight season. They then capped the season with a win over Notre Dame who were number 1 until a loss in their second to last game of the regular season.[7]

Conference championships

Colorado has won 27 conference championships in over a century of college play, spanning through five conferences.

Year Conference Coach Overall record Conference record
1894 Colorado Football Association Harry Heller 8-1 5-0
1895 Colorado Football Association Fred Folsom 5-1 3-0
1896 Colorado Football Association Fred Folsom 5-0 2-0
1897 Colorado Football Association Fred Folsom 7-1 2-0
1901 Colorado Football Association Fred Folsom 5-1-1 2-0
1902 Colorado Football Association Fred Folsom 5-1 4-0
1903 Colorado Football Association Dave Cropp 8-2 4-0
1908+ Colorado Football Association Fred Folsom 5-2 3-1
1909 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Fred Folsom 6-0 3-0
1910 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Fred Folsom 6-0 3-0
1911 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Fred Folsom 6-0 4-0
1913 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Fred Folsom 5-1-1 3-0-1
1923 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Myron E. Witham 9-0 7-0
1924 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Myron E. Witham 8-1-1 5-0-1
1934 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Bill Saunders 6-1-2 6-1
1935 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Bunny Oakes 5-4 5-1
1937 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Bunny Oakes 8-1 7-0
1939 Mountain States Conference Bunny Oakes 5-3 5-1
1942 Mountain States Conference James J. Yeager 7-2 5-1
1943 Mountain States Conference James J. Yeager 5-2 2-0
1944 Mountain States Conference Frank Potts 6-2 2-0
1961 Big Eight Conference Sonny Grandelius 9-2 7-0
1976+ Big Eight Conference Bill Mallory 8-4 5-2
1989 Big Eight Conference Bill McCartney 11-1 7-0
1990 Big Eight Conference Bill McCartney 11-1-1 7-0
1991+ Big Eight Conference Bill McCartney 8-3-1 6-0-1
2001 Big 12 Conference Gary Barnett 10-3 7-1

+ Co-champions

Division championships

Year Division Coach Opponent CG result
2001+ Big 12 North Gary Barnett Texas W 39-37
2002 Big 12 North Gary Barnett Oklahoma L 7-29
2004+ Big 12 North Gary Barnett Oklahoma L 3-42
2005 Big 12 North Gary Barnett Texas L 3-70
2016 Pac-12 South Mike MacIntyre Washington L 10-41

+ Co-champions

Head coaches

The Buffaloes have played in 1,109 games during their 125 seasons, through 2014. In those seasons, 11 coaches have led Colorado to postseason bowl games: Bunny Oakes, Dallas Ward, Bud Davis, Eddie Crowder, Bill Mallory, Bill McCartney, Rick Neuheisel, Gary Barnett, Dan Hawkins, Mike MacIntyre and Karl Dorrell.[8] Ten coaches have won conference championships with the Buffaloes: Fred Folsom, Myron Witham, William Saunders, Oakes, Jim Yeager, Sonny Grandelius, Mallory, McCartney and Barnett. The Buffaloes won the national championship in 1990, and have won a total of 28 conference championships.

McCartney is the all-time leader in games coached with 153, total wins with 93, and conference wins with 58.[9] Folsom had the longest tenure as head coach, remaining in the position for 15 seasons. Harry Heller and Willis Keinholtz are tied for the highest overall winning percentage. Each served a single season and won eight of his nine games for a winning percentage of .889. Of coaches who served more than one season, Folsom leads with a .765 winning percentage. Davis, in terms of overall winning percentage, is the worst coach the Buffaloes have had with a .200 winning percentage. No Colorado coach has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, although McCartney was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame in 1996.

Mike MacIntyre had brief success with the program. Hired on Dec. 10, 2012,[10] MacIntyre compiled a 30-44 record over five-plus seasons at Colorado. In 2016, MacIntyre lead Colorado to a 10-2 regular season and a trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game. It was the first winning season for Colorado since 2005, ending a 10-year streak of finishing below .500. 2016 was also the best season for the Buffaloes since 2001. As well, it marked their first time playing in a conference championship game since the 2005 Big 12 Championship Game. The team also went 8-2 in the Pac-12 after having five conference wins in the previous five seasons. Mike MacIntyre was named the Walter Camp 2016 Coach of the Year by the Walter Camp Foundation, the second Colorado football coach to earn the honor (Bill McCartney in 1989). MacIntyre was also awarded the 2016 Pac-12 Coach of the Year, American Football Coaches Association's coach of the year and comeback coach of the year awards, the Associated Press coach of the year, and the Eddie Robinson coach of the year by the Football Writers Association of America. In 2018, the Buffaloes started out the season 5-0 with wins against rivals Colorado State, Nebraska, Arizona State, and UCLA - however, MacIntyre was fired as the head coach on November 18, 2018 after a six-game losing streak.[11]

Karl Dorrell was hired as head coach on February 23, 2020[12] following Mel Tucker's departure for Michigan State. Previously the Miami Dolphins' assistant head coach, Dorrell signed a five-year, $18 million deal with the Buffs. Dorrell has deep ties to the University of Colorado - he coached receivers from 1992 to 1993 and was the offensive coordinator from 1995 to 1998. Dorrell finished 4-2 in his first pandemic-shortened season to put Colorado in a bowl game for the first time since 2016.[8]




A traditional college football rivalry with the Nebraska Cornhuskers restarted in the 1980s (many historical documents show the importance of this game going back to 1898) when Bill McCartney declared the conference opponent to be their rival. His theory was since Nebraska was such a powerhouse team, if Colorado was able to beat them then they would be a good team. Colorado began to repeatedly threaten Nebraska in the late 1980s, following their win over the Huskers in 1986, and then surpassed the Huskers for the Big 8 crown in 1989.

In 1990, Colorado beat Nebraska 27-12 in Lincoln for the first time since 1967, en route to their first national title. From 1996 to 2000, the series was extremely competitive, with the margin of victory by NU in those five years being only 15 points combined. The rivalry was further buoyed by the introduction of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, which moved Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the southern division with the four new schools from Texas, formerly in the Southwest Conference. Nebraska had traditionally finished the Big 8 conference schedule with a rivalry game with Oklahoma, but the two were now in different divisions, which meant they met every other year in the regular season. Colorado replaced Oklahoma as Nebraska's final conference game of the regular season, which further intensified the rivalry. In 2001 No. 1 Nebraska came to Folsom Field undefeated and left at the short end of a nationally televised 62-36 blowout. Both teams departed the Big 12 in 2011, as NU headed east to join the Big Ten and the future of the rivalry was in doubt. On February 7, 2013, Colorado and Nebraska agreed to renew the rivalry.[13][14][15][16][17][18] Colorado traveled to Lincoln in 2018 and won 33-28 (winning against Nebraska for the first time since 2007 and the first time in Lincoln since 2004). On September 7, 2019, Colorado mounted an improbable comeback after being down 17-0 at half, to win the game in overtime, 34-31. After a 3-year break, Nebraska will go to Boulder in 2023 and then host CU again the next year to finish the series. Nebraska leads the series 49-20-2 through the 2019 season.[19]

Colorado State

Colorado's in-state rival is the Colorado State Rams of the Mountain West Conference, located north of Boulder in Fort Collins. The two schools are separated by 45 miles (72 km) and both consider it important and noteworthy to beat the other for bragging rights for the next year. The two football teams annually compete in the Rocky Mountain Showdown for the Centennial Cup, played in Denver, Fort Collins, and Boulder. The trophy takes its name from the state of Colorado's nickname of "The Centennial State". Colorado leads the series 67-22-2 through the 2019 season.[20]


The rivalry with Utah ran from 1903 to 1962, in which Utah and Colorado played each other nearly every year; through 1962 they had met 57 times.[21] At the time, it was the second-most played rivalry for both teams (Utah had played Utah State 62 times;[22] Colorado had played Colorado State 61 times[23]). The rivalry was dormant until 2011, when both teams joined the Pac-12, renewing the rivalry on an annual basis. The Colorado-Utah rivalry remains the fifth-most played rivalry in Utah's history, and eighth-most in Colorado's history.[24][25] Colorado leads the series 32-31-3 through the 2019 season.[26]

Bowl games

Colorado has participated in 29 bowl games, with a record of 12-17 (.414).

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result Attendance Network
1937 Bunny Oakes Cotton Rice L 14-28 35,000 --
1956 Dallas Ward Orange Clemson W 27-21 72,552 CBS
1961 Sonny Grandelius Orange LSU L 7-25 62,391 ABC
1967 Eddie Crowder Bluebonnet Miami (FL) W 31-21 30,156 ABC
1969 Liberty Alabama W 47-33 50,144 ABC
1970 Liberty Tulane L 3-17 44,500 ABC
1971 Astro-Bluebonnet Houston W 29-17 54,720 ABC
1972 Gator Auburn L 3-24 71,114 ABC
1975 Bill Mallory Astro-Bluebonnet Texas L 21-38 52,728 ABC
1976 Orange Ohio State L 10-27 65,537 NBC
1985 Bill McCartney Freedom Washington L 17-20 30,961 Lorimar
1986 Bluebonnet Baylor L 9-21 40,470 Raycom
1988 Freedom Brigham Young L 17-20 35,941 Raycom
1989 Orange Notre Dame L 6-21 81,191 NBC
1990 Orange Notre Dame W 10-9 77,062 NBC
1991 Blockbuster Alabama L 25-30 52,644 CBS
1992 Fiesta Syracuse L 22-26 70,224 NBC
1993 Aloha Fresno State W 41-30 44,009 ABC
1994 Fiesta Notre Dame W 41-24 73,968 NBC
1995 Rick Neuheisel Cotton Oregon W 38-6 58,214 CBS
1996 Holiday Washington W 33-21 54,749 ESPN
1998 Aloha Oregon W 51-43 34,803 ABC
1999 Gary Barnett Boston College W 62-28 35,762 ESPN
2001 Fiesta Oregon L 16-38 74,118 ABC
2002 Alamo Wisconsin L 28-31OT 50,690 ESPN
2004 Houston UTEP W 33-28 27,235 ESPN
2005 Mike Hankwitz Champs Sports Clemson L 10-19 31,470 ESPN
2007 Dan Hawkins Independence Alabama L 24-30 47,043 ESPN
2016 Mike MacIntyre Alamo Oklahoma State L 8-38 59,815 ESPN
2020 Karl Dorrell Alamo Texas L 23-55 10,822 ESPN

Notable players


Heisman Trophy:[]

Year Name Position Rank in Heisman voting Points
1937 Byron White HB 2nd 264
1961 Joe Romig OG/LB 6th 279
1969 Bobby Anderson TB 11th 100
1971 Charlie Davis TB 16th 28
1989 Darian Hagan QB 5th 242
1990 Eric Bieniemy TB 3rd 798
Darian Hagan QB 17th 17
Mike Pritchard WR 50th 2
1991 Darian Hagan QB 20th 12
1992 Ronnie Blackmon CB 30th 4
1993 Charles Johnson WR 15th 24
Michael Westbrook WR 61st 1
1994 Rashaan Salaam TB 1st 743
Kordell Stewart QB 13th 16
2002 Chris Brown TB 8th 48

Other award winners



1989 Bill McCartney
2016 Mike MacIntyre
2016 Mike MacIntyre
2016 Mike MacIntyre
2016 Mike MacIntyre
2016 Mike MacIntyre
2016 Mike MacIntyre

College Football Hall of Fame


The following is a list of Consensus All-Americans from CU as listed[when?] in NCAA record books.[2]

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of June 2, 2021.[38]

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Sept. 4
Northern Colorado
Sept. 3
Sept. 2
at TCU
Aug. 31
North Dakota State
Aug. 30
Georgia Tech
Sept. 5
at Georgia Tech
Sept. 4
Sept. 2
Sept. 1
Aug. 31
Sept. 11
Texas A&M
Sept. 10
at Air Force
Sept. 9
Sept. 7
at Nebraska
Sept. 6
at Houston
Sept. 12
Sept. 11
Sept. 9
at Florida
Sept. 8
Sept. 7
at Missouri
Sept. 18
Sept. 17
at Minnesota
Sept. 16
Colorado State
Sept. 14
at Colorado State
Sept. 20
Sept. 19
at Northwestern
Sept. 18
Kansas State
Sept. 16
at Kansas State
Sept. 15
at Colorado State
Sept. 14
Colorado State

Other's past 2030: vs. Missouri, Aug. 30, 2031; vs. Colorado State, Sept. 17, 2033; at Colorado State, Sept. 16, 2034; vs. Colorado State, Sept. 19, 2037; at Colorado State, Sept. 18, 2038.


  1. ^ a b c "Folsom Field Home". Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). NCAA Football Records. NCAA. 2009. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-11. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Color | Brand and Messaging | University of Colorado at Boulder". Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ a b 2018 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "1990 National Champions". Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-29. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "The McMNC for 1990: Georgia Institute of Technology - | Google Groups". Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b "CU Buffs become bowl eligible with win over San Diego State". The Denver Post. 2020-11-29. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-05-21. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "All-Time Record" (PDF). 2014-06-28. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-05-21. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "MacIntyre Named Head Football Coach At Colorado". 2012-12-10. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Colorado fires football coach Mike MacIntyre after six-game losing streak". The Denver Post. 2018-11-18. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Colorado hires Dolphins' Dorrell as next coach". 2020-02-22. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Colorado Buffaloes renew football rivalry with Nebraska Cornhuskers".
  14. ^ "Colorado and Nebraska schedule 4-Game Football Series".
  15. ^ "Nebraska Cornhuskers, Colorado Buffaloes to renew rivalry in 2018". ESPN.
  16. ^ "Colorado & Nebraska To Renew Football Rivalry".
  17. ^ "Huskers and Colorado Agree to Four-Game Series".
  18. ^ "Agreement reached on resuming Colorado-Nebraska rivalry".
  19. ^ "Winsipedia - Colorado Buffaloes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers football series history". Winsipedia.
  20. ^ "Winsipedia - Colorado Buffaloes vs. Colorado State Rams football series history". Winsipedia.
  21. ^ "Colorado vs Utah". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2004-05-20. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Utah vs Utah St". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2011-05-25. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "Colorado vs Colorado St". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2010-06-10. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Utah Opponents". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2010-09-14. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "Colorado Opponents". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "Winsipedia - Colorado Buffaloes vs. Utah Utes football series history". Winsipedia.
  27. ^ "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). NCAA Football Records. NCAA. 2009. p. 19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-11. Retrieved .
  28. ^ a b c "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). NCAA Football Records. NCAA. 2009. p. 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-11. Retrieved .
  29. ^ a b "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). NCAA Football Records. NCAA. 2009. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-11. Retrieved .
  30. ^ Byron White at the College Football Hall of Fame
  31. ^ Joe Romig at the College Football Hall of Fame
  32. ^ Dick Anderson at the College Football Hall of Fame
  33. ^ "Throwin' You A Bohn - | University of Colorado Buffaloes Athletics". Retrieved .
  34. ^ "Alfred Williams Elected To College Football Hall Of Fame - | University of Colorado Buffaloes Athletics". Retrieved .[permanent dead link]
  35. ^ "John Wooten Named To College Football Hall Of Fame - | University of Colorado Buffaloes Athletics". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved .
  36. ^ "Bill McCartney To Enter College Football Hall of Fame - | University of Colorado Buffaloes Athletics". Retrieved .[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ "Herb Orvis, former CU Buffs pass rusher, named to College Football Hall of Fame". MediaNews Group, Inc. January 8, 2016. Retrieved 2020.
  38. ^ "Colorado Buffaloes Future Football Schedules". Retrieved 2021.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes