Home » CFF Features » Huskers/Buffs Head for Greener Pastures

Posted by on August 11th, 2011 in CFF Features, Craig Blaser | 13 Comments

Before the University of Nebraska and the University of Colorado look to put the Big12/each other in their proverbial rearview mirrors, let’s take a look back at their storied past together.



A matchup that traces all the way back to 1898 has come to a close. Despite what many Nebraskans may tell you, the Big Red and the Buffs carried on a rather interesting rivalry. Being a Husker fan from the Denver area, and the fact that NU is 48-19-2 against the Buffs all time, I would not call it a rivalry either… at least on paper.


Perhaps the “rivalry” was initiated/manufactured by Colorado Coach Bill McCartney back in 1982, when he declared the Huskers as a foe in an attempt to rev up his team. The battle between the bordering states became an annual affair in 1948, and the schools developed a hatred for one another over the years. With cheese ball jokes like “The ‘N’ on Nebraska’s helmet stands for knowledge,” completely fabricated stories of Husker fans chanting “Sal is dead, Go Big Red,” in reference to Colorado quarterback Sal Aunese, who died of stomach cancer, to Tom Osborne casting his 1990 National Championship vote for Georgia Tech rather than CU who had beat his Huskers that year, it sure seemed like a rivalry. Even in the dark days of sex recruiting scandals, alleged (but most likely true) domestic violence, and the Callahan project, the day after Thanksgiving games usually seemed to be entertaining. 


So what does the breakup mean to each side? Well, the folks in Lincoln will miss the annual matchup against the black and gold… at least until this November when they start a new border rivalry against the black and gold of the BigTen, Iowa. Yeah, Husker fans are really going to miss loading up their Big Red bumper-stickered pick-ups every other year to drive 8 hours to the beautiful city of Boulder, Colorado… to nearly out-number the home crowd, get their license plates ripped off in the parking lot, have battery filled marshmallows thrown at them, and get a serious contact high from the second-hand chiba smoke sitting down wind from the student section.


As for the Colorado fans, It is a sad thing; well at least for the folks in Boulder. Let’s face it, Colorado is a pro sport state and the Buffs will always be, at best, a 5th priority behind the Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, and Avalanche (Colorado State, and Air Force if you swing that way). In Lincoln, what else is there to cheer for or do? On the flip side, college football has never been the biggest thing in Boulder; probably because there are so many things to do like Biking, hiking, running, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, protesting, door-buster sales at Whole Foods, selecting which Northface jacket coordinates best with which hacky sack, and driving Range Rovers to ‘Go Green Rallies’. The Buffs will fit in just fine in the PAC12, plus they’ll get to keep their day after Thanksgiving hatred for the color red when they face new conference foe Utah.


The Big8 and the Big12 days are in the past for Nebraska and Colorado, perhaps they will meet again in a bowl game some day; one can only hope. 



13 Comments for this entry

  1. Craig Blaser says:

    Please don’t thank me JJK, I would like to thank you for offering your genuine, original, and well thought out take on the matter. Was it the northface line that struck a nerve? Sorry if I offended you. This is what is so great about this site, it’s an open forum for fans of any team to have their say and have their voices heard. I honestly thank you for reading and contributing. Please feel free to challenge my articles and poke holes in them as you wish, I am certainly one who can take criticism and will use it to make myself a better writer. Thanks

  2. JJK says:

    Typical rantings of another Nebraska fan. I was referred to this site by someone who thought I would appreciate the article. Same ole, same ole. Come on guys, be original. Thanks for wasting my time!

  3. Bobby says:

    Got a question.

    Wern’t the Buffs 1-0 against the SEC last year?

    Thanks Coach Richt!

  4. hsker kessie says:

    Nice article….so very true. NU has long viewed this game as a last stop before another 10 win season and guaranteed high ranking bowl game. This was a one sided started rivalry and hatred only grew because Nebraska fans were tired of renting cars vs. Taking there own because they had NE plates and didn’t want there cars keyed and destroyed. Classy fans don’t want to be around unclassy fans anymore than classy people want to be around trailerpark trash. We all make choices and NU always won with class and covered there heads leaving Boulder every year. What kind of ppl claim to be fans of a game and act like thugs. No love lost here this game was a year highlight for one team if they won it, it defined there season…..but for NU it was a game we hated to play. I do agree however, that Buff U will fit in great with Pac 12…every conference needs an easy W.

  5. jt Thunder says:

    My best experience with Nebraska had to have been in 2002 when CU put the beat down of all beat downs on the fuskers… 62-36 yeah that’s right… Chris Brown made the Nebraska “poor shirt” defense look like 11 high school girls running around in high heels after scoring 6 times on the poor saps. That severe beating led to the down fall of the mighty red and it hasn’t been the same in Lincoln ever since!!! Oh the simple things in life…
    Better yet… I was at that game in Folsom that year and got to experience it firsthand. One thing that sticks out in my mind and really just brings overwhelming joy to my heart is when during a break in the action they would play scenes up on the jumbo-tron of Colorado skiers, mountain bikers and kayakers tearing up the rocky mountains jamin’ out to heavy metal tunes… then it would show a corn field with a tractor with crickets chirping in the brackground…. Haha shear genius…. and that pretty much sums it up! Suck it easy big red!

  6. mandy Roberts says:

    Very Entertaining article, Craig, and very well-written. I see you haven’t given up your Boulder bashing ways! I love your humor and the interesting details you include!

  7. truth sayer says:

    SI article about the truth of the sal is dead issue, classless big red fans


    • Andy says:

      so if buff’s fans are so classy who should i mail my reciept for the $750 worth of damage dont to my truck last time we were in boulder for a game? i have been to husker games all over the country and never had to deal with a police report for vandalism after a game. and you wonder why the entire state of nebraska assumes people from colorado are asshats who dont bathe or wear shoes. the series (not a rivalry, too one sided, you have to be able to admit that to yourself if you are going to move on) is over and the day after thanksgiving battle will be missed but we are both moving on, just in time to see bebe lose his job when a&m splits later today. maybe we meet in a bowl game maybe not, it will be interesting to see how husker/buff fans react to each other after a few years of not playing and meeting on a neutral field (FYI nebraska doesnt play on neutral fields we bring 40k people along for the fun). enjoy the pac 12 and dont let lane griffin near your children i hear he’s a child molester

  8. MJB says:

    A lot of bias in this article from a self proclaimed husker fan. I have a picture of fans holding a “sal is dead, go big red” sign.

  9. JK says:

    Great article Craig. Although a loyal CU alum, I’ll resist the temptation to refute your hate filled rant on the Buffs and simple say the days of grazing on left-over turkey and stuffing while watching CU and NU clash will be missed. Here’s hoping both schools return to the dominance they showed in the 80’s, and make college football in the Mountain Time zone relevant again.

  10. McIntyre says:

    Very well written Blaser. It was very informative. Everyone should read this. The Huskers had a century of beating up on the Buffs, now it is Nebraska’s turn to get beat down every November 26th by the Hawkeyes!

  11. DP says:

    Interesting point about the Buffs always being 5th as far as rooting interest goes. That does seem to hamper them a bit in terms of fan support and notoriety, and playing in the shadow of one of the proudest (despite their recent struggles) NFL franchises in the country certainly does CU no favors. However, they better toss that excuse out the window now that they’re in the 12-Pac…. All the major teams (besides the Oregon duo and Utah) in the league have a big brother in the NFL within an Uncle Rico football-toss (I’m still counting L.A. b\c you can count on several million members of Raider Nation still holding it down in the City of Angels).
    I think both CU and NU will be happier on the other side of the fence – both universities seem to “fit” better into the athletic and cultural landscape of their new conferences…. and if those of us who care are lucky, some day we’ll see Buffs v. Huskers in the Grandaddy of Em All.

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