Fall is in the air, which means, so is football.
For Colorado State University and the University of Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Showdown is perennially the biggest game at the front end of each team’s schedule, a benchmark to test their readiness for the coming season.
Each program sees the contest as a must-win and the energy of 60,000 students, alumni and fans of the schools creates great games.
With the 2012 Rocky Mountain Showdown only days away, let’s take a look at the history of the intrastate rivalry in facts and figures:
- The first ever CSU – CU football game took place on February 10, 1893 with Colorado winning 70-6 in Fort Collins.
- CU dominated the beginning of the series, winning 15 of the first 17 games.
- Colorado A&M (CSU) first won in 1912, a 21-0 blowout at Colorado Field in Fort Collins.
- From 1912-1933, the game was certainly a rivalry, as the teams traded victories and CU held a 11-10 advantage over that span.
- But from 1934-1958, the Buffaloes were dominant again, winning 19-23 games, including 12 straight.
- In 1958, the rivalry took a 25 year break as CU refused to play CSU due to Colorado State’s lack of trying to be more “big time” and the deteriorating Colorado Field they called home for 45 years.
- The game picked back up in 1983 and bounced back and forth between Boulder’s Folsom Field and Fort Collins’ Hughes Stadium until 1998 when it was moved to Denver’s Mile High Stadium.
- Since moving the game to Denver, it has become more competitive again, with CU holding a 7-4 lead at now Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.
- Since 1998, three games have been played at Folsom Field, with Colorado State winning in 2009, the first time in 26 years the Rams defeated the Buffs in Boulder.
- That 23-17 CSU win was the last time they were victorious in the series, with CU taking the last two contests 24-3 and 28-14 respectively.
- The series is set to continue through at least the 2020 season, with all games through 2019 being played in Denver and the 2020 contest coming back to Fort Collins for the first time since 1996.
- The Rocky Mountain Showdown is annually the most-attended college football game in the state of Colorado, averaging over 50,000 fans.
- Colorado holds a 61-20-2 all-time lead in the series.
For those thinking of attending the game, CSU students, faculty and staff can purchase $25 discounted tickets to the Rocky Mountain Showdown by Friday August 24.
For those that can’t attend the game, it will be televised nationally on FX and is expected to draw 100 million viewers.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist. Follow Rich on facebook, twitter or by clicking “subscribe” below.