Prime’s path to CFP revealed: CU’s first set of Big 12 matchups drop

Nov 1, 2023, 12:41 PM

The Big 12 released the Colorado Buffaloes in-conference matchups for the next four seasons on Wednesday.

With the conference set to expand to 16 teams ahead of next fall’s football season, the Buffs return to the conference they called home for decades. They’ll face some familiar foes from their last time in the conference, some friends who joined as well from the Pac-12, and some new matchups too.

It was already known that the Buffs will begin their 2024 slate with a trio of non-conference games, hosting North Dakota State and then traveling to Nebraska and Colorado State. The tough schedule continues into conference play with trips to Arizona, UCF, Kansas and Texas Tech while Baylor, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Utah will visit Boulder.

Here’s a look at what the conference slate will look like on paper, thanks to the Buffs Twitter account.

A look into the future reveals Colorado has no protected rivals and will not play Utah in 2027 for the first time since 2010 when the Buffs left the Big 12 for the Pac-12. The Utes have a protected rival in BYU, as do fellow about-to-be former Pac-12 schools in Arizona and Arizona State, who have each other. The regionally close schools to Colorado in Kansas and Kansas State have each other, TCU has Baylor—leaving the Buffs with maybe future rivals in Texas Tech or Iowa State, albeit the Red Raiders may be more likely to develop that with Houston.

2024 will also be the Buffs first time not facing Arizona State in a season since 2010 (besides 2020’s COVID season.)

Here’s a look at the entire conference’s matrix for the coming four seasons.

The Buffs now have one non-conference game slot free in 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 after Houston was wiped away given the schools’ home and home will now be conference games. The same is true of Kansas State, who was slated for a home and home non-conference matchup with the Buffs in those later two years.

Colorado will host Georgia Tech and Wyoming in Boulder in 2025, travel to the Yellow Jackets and Northwestern in 2026 and host those Wildcats and Colgate in 2027.

Colorado’s head coach Deion Sanders will be ultra-focused on that 2024 slate, given he has said multiple times that the Buffaloes are targeting an expanded College Football Playoff bid in that season. The team will likely still have his son Shedeur Sanders as the quarterback and Travis Hunter starring on each side of the ball. Among early games to circle are those two rivalry non-conference affairs, the trips to Orlando and Lubbock and Cincinnati and Oklahoma State coming through Boulder.



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