The Pac-12 Conference released its schedule for league games this fall, thus completing the University of Colorado’s schedule for the 2013 football season.
Arizona, California, Oregon and Southern California will visit Boulder for conference games, while the Buffaloes will travel to Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah and Washington. CU will not play Pac-12 champion Stanford or Washington State this fall or in 2014 as the schedule rotates the next two seasons.
Colorado opens its third year of Pac-12 league competition on Sept. 28 at Oregon State, the only Pac-12 opponent the Buffaloes have not played since joining the conference on July 1, 2011. The Buffs and Beavers last faced each other in 1988, with CU winning 28-21 in Boulder. OSU was ranked No. 19 in the final season poll, dropping five spots after losing in the final minutes to Texas, 31-27, in the Alamo Bowl.
The annual Family Weekend game will be CU’s first Pac-12 home conference game on Oct. 5, with Oregon set as the opponent. The Ducks finished No. 2 in both major polls with a 12-1 record and a big 35-17 win over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl in 2012. The Back to Boulder Homecoming weekend will follow later in the month on Oct. 26 against Arizona, which was 8-5 including a thrilling come-from-behind 49-48 win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl. In-between, the Buffs play at Arizona State on Sept. 12, with the Sun Devils coming off an 8-5 year as well with a 62-28 win over Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Colorado will play five games in November, just the fifth time in its history and the first since 1958 that many are scheduled in the “turkey month.” The Buffs have back-to-back road games for the only time during the season to open the month, visiting defending Pac-12 North Division champion UCLA (Nov. 2) and then Washington (Nov. 9). Those will be followed by two home games in a row, California (Nov. 16) and USC (Nov. 23). UCLA, Washington and USC all played in bowl games last fall, but all came up short of victory.
The season finale will be at Utah on Saturday, Nov. 30. Colorado had played the Friday after Thanksgiving for the last 17 seasons, or every year from 1996 through 2012, but this year’s rivalry game with the Utes returns to Saturday as the Pac-12’s television partners (ESPN, FOX) selected Oregon State at Oregon and Washington State at Washington as the two games they desired for the Friday slots.
In fact, CU does not have a weeknight game in 2013, the first time since 1995 that the Buffaloes will play every regular season game on a Saturday. The Pac-12 Championship game is also moving to Saturday after being played on Friday in its first two years of existence.
The Buffaloes will have two byes, which fall on Sept. 21 and Oct. 19. While CU had two Saturdays off last year, it was because of a weeknight game against Arizona State; the last time Colorado had two natural byes in the same season was in 2008. The Buffs had two bye weeks every year from 1996 through 2005, one usually after non-league play and the other prior to the regular season finale against Nebraska.
Colorado’s non-conference games were previously announced last summer; the Buffaloes will open their 124th season of intercollegiate football on Saturday, Aug. 31, in Denver against Colorado State at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The 2013 college football season begins Thursday, Aug. 29, with two Pac-12 teams in action that night, as Southern California will travel to Hawaii and Utah hosts Utah State.
CU will then play its next two games at home, on Sept. 7 against Central Arkansas (a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, or FCS) and Sept. 14 versus Fresno State. The 2013 Colorado schedule:
Date Opponent Site
Aug. 31 Colorado State Denver
SEPT. 7 CENTRAL ARKANSAS BOULDER
SEPT. 14 FRESNO STATE BOULDER
Sept. 21 bye
Sept. 28 at Oregon State Corvallis
OCT. 5 OREGON (FW) BOULDER
Oct. 12 at Arizona State Tempe
Oct. 19 bye
OCT. 26 ARIZONA (HC) BOULDER
Nov. 2 at UCLA Los Angeles
Nov. 9 at Washington Seattle
NOV. 16 CALIFORNIA BOULDER
NOV. 23 SOUTHERN CAL BOULDER
Nov. 30 at Utah Salt Lake City
(FW—Family Weekend; HC—Homecoming/Back to Boulder. CSU is the home team for the game in Denver.)