Colorado–Nebraska football rivalry

The Colorado–Nebraska football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Colorado Buffaloes and Nebraska Cornhuskers. The teams first played in 1898, and began competing annually as conference opponents in 1948. The rivalry intensified in the 1980s as Colorado improved under head coach Bill McCartney, reaching its peak in the 1990s with several top-ten meetings. Conference realignment placed the teams in the same division, where they continued to meet annually through 2010, after which Colorado moved to the Pac-10 and Nebraska moved to the Big Ten.[2][3]

Colorado–Nebraska football rivalry
First meetingNovember 17, 1898
Nebraska, 23–10
Latest meetingSeptember 7, 2019
Colorado, 34–31OT
Next meetingSeptember 9, 2023 in Boulder, CO
Statistics
Meetings total71
All-time seriesNebraska leads, 49–20–2[1]
Largest victoryNebraska, 59–0 (1981)
Longest win streakNebraska, 18 (1968–1985)
Current win streakColorado, 2 (2018–present)
Locations of Colorado and Nebraska

The rivalry's intensity was often disputed; while Colorado generally viewed Nebraska as its biggest rival, Nebraska historically viewed Oklahoma as its most 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 Eight, this timeslot was typically used for Nebraska's games against Oklahoma.

Series historyEdit

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 to 1961, 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).

After seven straight losing seasons, Nebraska hired Bob Devaney in 1962; they quickly returned to national prominence, winning national championships in 1970 and 1971. Devaney went 10–1 against Colorado; his successor Tom Osborne won his first thirteen games against Colorado, and went 21–3–1 (.860) against the Buffaloes.

When Colorado hired Bill McCartney in 1982, he emphatically designated Nebraska as their primary rival in an attempt to motivate his team and fanbase.[4] At the time, Nebraska was an established national powerhouse and had defeated Colorado fourteen consecutive times; McCartney wanted to use an eventual defeat of Nebraska as a measure of Colorado's success.[5] Four years later, in 1986, CU got their first win over the Cornhuskers in nineteen years, upsetting No. 3 Nebraska 20–10.[6] It was also CU's first win over Nebraska in Boulder since 1960.[5]

Colorado's success under McCartney led to the peak of the rivalry's national prominence. After their 1986 victory, CU repeatedly threatened Nebraska in the late 1980s, culminating in 1989, when No. 3 Nebraska met No. 2 Colorado at Folsom Field in a de facto Big Eight title game. Colorado won 27–21, giving them their first conference title since they shared it with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in 1976.[7][8][9] The following year, No. 9 Colorado defeated No. 3 Nebraska 27–12 in Lincoln en route to a share of the national championship.[10][11] Historically, the series was often one-sided, with Nebraska winning 32 of the first 44 matchups. However, the series became far more competitive after McCartney became CU's head coach in 1982. Both teams were ranked in each game from 1988 to 1996, and both were in the top ten in five of those meetings. In 1989 and 1994, Colorado and Nebraska met ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, and split those games. McCartney retired in 1994, but the series remained close; Nebraska won all five games from 1996 to 2000 by just 15 points combined. Since McCartney's first game in 1982, Nebraska is 21–9–1 against Colorado; however, since Nebraska's nine-game winning streak against Colorado from 1992 to 2000, the last 12 games in the series have been an even 6–6 split.

One of the rivalry's most memorable games occurred in 2001, when No. 2 Nebraska visited No. 14 Colorado to decide the Big 12 North championship. Colorado won 62–36, and won the Big 12 Championship Game the following week. Nebraska controversially edged Colorado and Oregon to play #1 Miami in the national championship game.

The annual series ended in 2011 when Nebraska joined the Big Ten (Colorado moved to the Pac-12 shortly after). Nebraska has since been scheduled to face both Iowa and Minnesota 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 play a four-game series in 2018, 2019, 2023, and 2024.[12][13][14] The rivalry was renewed on September 8, 2018, in Lincoln; Colorado won 33–28 on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Steven Montez to Laviska Shenault with 1:06 left to spoil Scott Frost's debut as Nebraska head coach. The September 7, 2019 game at Folsom Field in Boulder saw CU rally from a 17–0 halftime deficit to upset No. 25 Nebraska 34–31 in the first overtime game in the series since 1999.

Bison head trophyEdit

From 1951 to 1961, Nebraska's Innocents Society and Colorado's Heart and Dagger Society exchanged a mounted buffalo head, nicknamed Mr. Chip. This exchange was similar to the Missouri–Nebraska 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 it for exchange when Nebraska won in 1962.[15]

Game resultsEdit

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[1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Winsipedia - Colorado Buffaloes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers football series history". Winsipedia.
  2. ^ "ESPN.com - Page2 - Ohio State/Michigan vs. Colorado/Nebraska". go.com.
  3. ^ "CU-Nebraska: Rivalry that just is". Colorado Springs Gazette.
  4. ^ "Nebraska vs. Colorado 1982 -- HuskerMax". huskermax.com.
  5. ^ a b "Buffs upset Nebraska, 20-10". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. Associated Press. October 26, 1986. p. 3B.
  6. ^ "Nebraska vs. Colorado 1986 -- HuskerMax". huskermax.com.
  7. ^ "Nebraska vs. Colorado 1989 -- HuskerMax". huskermax.com.
  8. ^ "Inspired Colorado Keeps Vow". articles.chicagotribune.com.
  9. ^ Moran, Malcolm (5 November 1989). "Colorado Edges Nebraska to Reach 9-0 Mark". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "Nebraska vs. Colorado 1990 -- HuskerMax". huskermax.com.
  11. ^ Rhoden, William C. (4 November 1990). "Buffaloes Slam Door On Huskers". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "Colorado Buffaloes renew football rivalry with Nebraska Cornhuskers". denverpost.com. 7 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Nebraska Cornhuskers, Colorado Buffaloes to renew rivalry in 2018". ESPN.com. 7 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Rivalry reborn: CU Buffs, Nebraska to play 4 times between 2018 and 2024". Daily Camera. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "History - Innocents Society - Nebraska". innocents.unl.edu. University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Web Developer Network.