BOULDER — The Pacific-12 Conference and the University of Colorado jointly announced Thursday that the season opener for the Buffaloes against Colorado State University will moved up a day to Friday, August 29, to accommodate a national television audience.
The game against CSU, also billed as the Rocky Mountain Showdown, will be televised on one of the ESPN or FOX Sports platforms and will have an evening kickoff at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. It will be the 14th time the two rivals will duel in Colorado’s capital city, all since 1998, and the 20th straight year one of the nation’s most underrated rivalries will be televised on a national or regional basis.
“This is good for our program on many fronts,” CU athletic director Rick George said. “We open the season on national television on a night where there’s very little competition, it’s a great start for our fans to the Labor Day Weekend as they can enjoy the full three days of the holiday, and the team will have an extra day of rest and preparation ahead of us making the longest road trip of the year when we travel to Foxboro the next week to play Massachusetts.”
The two neighboring universities have met on the gridiron 85 times since they first lined up in a challenge game in February 1893. CU leads the all-time series, 62-21-2, and owns a 13-6 edge since 1995 when the television streak began. The schools played almost annually through 1958, and nearly a quarter century dormancy, the series resumed in 1983 (the Buffaloes are ahead 19-7 since the renewal).
This will mark the seventh time that Colorado will play in the month of August, and the third earliest date at that: the Buffs opened on August 26 in both 1990 (a 31-31 tie with Tennessee in the Disneyland Pigskin Classic) and in 2001 (a 24-22 loss at home to Fresno State in the Jim Thorpe Classic). It will be the first time the Buffs will open the season in the modern era on a day other than Saturday, Sunday or Monday.
The road game at Massachusetts, in fact, will be the farthest the Buffaloes will ever travel from Boulder in the continental United States for a game, as 1,770 miles separate Boulder and Foxboro; CU has played several times in Miami, which is 26 miles closer to campus. Colorado has made four trips to Hawai’i, and will do so again in 2015.
There are just three other games that Friday in major college football: BYU at Connecticut, Bowling Green at Western Kentucky and UNLV at Arizona.