If the Pac-10 Conference invites Colorado to join its ranks later this year, a move that would take effect in 2012, the Buffs might be without a true conference rival, assuming Nebraska didn’t leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10 along with CU.
If the Buffs no longer play the Cornhuskers every year, Colorado State would probably become the big rivalry game each year. After a few years of Pac-12 play, that could change, especially if Colorado competed annually for a division title with a team such as USC, Oregon or Washington.
But there are other possibilities for rivalries to develop, or return, as the case may be.
The most logical scenario involving Pac-10 expansion would have CU and Utah joining the league together. It’s been a long time, but the Buffs and Utes have been conference rivals before.
The football programs competed almost every year between 1910 and 1947 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference or the Mountain States Conference. CU moved east in 1948 joining the Big Seven Conference, which included more than half of the current Big 12 and nearly all the former Big Eight Conference teams.
It probably wouldn’t take much for the CU-Utah rivalry to be rekindled. Playing in the same league has a way of doing that, especially when the programs are on similar footing. There is no denying Utah has been much more successful over the past few years than the Buffs.
Colorado and Utah haven’t met on the football field since 1962, and the Buffs lead the series 30-24-3, but have a two-game losing streak against the Utes.