Nebraska football: Conference move could extend Colorado rivalry

Nebraska football defensive lineman Khalil Davis (94) pressures Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Steven Montez (12)(Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
Nebraska football defensive lineman Khalil Davis (94) pressures Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Steven Montez (12)(Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) /

There are some indicators that Colorado’s move to the Big 12 could mean that the Buffs and Nebraska football could face off more in the future.

Nothing is set in stone and any extension of the rivalry would have to be sought after by both schools. Still, one college football analyst pointed out that the Buffaloes have quite a few non-conference games on their future schedules involving Big 12 teams. Not that CU is going to be a member of that conference, they need to find new opponents to take those slots.

Buffzone beat writer Brian Powell pointed out that Colorado had the Houton Cougars on top for 2025 and 2026, the Kansas Jayhawks in 2027 and 2028 and the Oklahoma State Cowboys scheduled for 2036 and 2037.

Nebraska football doesn’t have room for all of those slots, but there is a bit of an opening. The Huskers already have the 2025 and 2026 non-conference slates filled up. But there’s still an opening in 2027.

Nebraska football plays Northern Illinois and travels to Tennessee. It’s assumed that the third non-conference game will go to a Group of 5 also-ran or an FCS program, but… maybe?

The situation is complicated by the fact that the 2028 schedule also looks full up. But what about a home-and-home with a year in between? Both schools still have openings for the 2029 schedule.

Would Nebraska football even want more games against Colorado?

There are some rather obvious pros and cons to trying to find ways to extend the rivalry with Colorado. While some in Husker Nation still won’t admit this is a rivalry, it’s clear there’s no lost love between the two fanbases.

It’s always fun to play games against teams where there’s a genuine dislike. It’s hard to argue that the annual contest against Iowa hasn’t become one of the biggest games on the Nebraska football schedule every year. Even last year, when the Huskers were 3-8 entering the game, there was still excitement over the opportunity to ruin the Hawkeyes’ season.

On the flipside, the Nebraska football program has not been shy about its desire to have a slightly easier non-conference schedule once the Big Ten expands to 16 teams in 2024.

One look no farther than next season’s schedule as evidence of that. Outside of Colorado (who is not exactly a powerhouse until proven otherwise), the Cornhuskers play FCS school Northern Iowa and perennial doormat UTEP.

Still, considering that the two schools have a long history and are border rivals, it feels like extending the series as often as possible suits both programs well. Trev Alberts and the other bigwigs in the Nebraska football infrastructure should consider it.