CU’s Rick George: Buffs “very open” to renewing Nebraska series

If the Cornhuskers want another piece of Boulder after 2024, CU Buffs athletic director Rick George is game for a rematch.

“I would be very open to having a home-and-home (series) with Nebraska in the future,” George told The Denver Post recently when asked about future matchups with the Cornhuskers after the current four-game contract expires next fall.

CU is 2-0 over the first half of the series, winning 33-28 at Lincoln in September 2018 and rallying for a 34-31 victory in overtime at Folsom Field a year later. The Buffs host Nebraska at 10 a.m. Saturday and visit Memorial Stadium to complete the contract on Sept. 7, 2024.

Assuming CU’s previously-scheduled games with future Big 12 opponents are vacated, it would give the Buffs and Huskers matching open dates several times over the next 10 seasons.

Potential fits from 2025-2033 include the weekend of Sept. 17-18 2027; the weekend of Sept. 21-22, 2029; the weekend of Sept. 12-13, 2031; the second and third weekends of September 2032; and the weekend of Sept. 23-24, 2033.

While George said he hadn’t spoken with Nebraska AD Trev Alberts about an extension yet, if corresponding dates line up and the Huskers are interested, “we’d be happy to do that,” the administrator added.

The Buffs currently have six non-conference games contracted from 2025-2037 with Big 12 programs who will be league brethren after next summer: Houston (road, Sept. 6, 2025; home, Sept. 12, 2026); Kansas State (home, Sept. 18, 2027; road, Sept. 16, 2028); and Oklahoma State (road, Sept. 13, 2036; home, Sept. 12, 2037).

“We’ve been looking at that,” George said, “(and) really, we’re working with the Big 12 conference on (the question of), do we move that game to the last nine weeks of the season, playing a nine-game conference schedule, or do we leave it where it’s at?”

If the dates become open, the CU administrator reiterated that his preference would be to fill the slot with a “buy” game at Folsom Field against what would most likely be an FCS opponent.

“And once we determine that, we’re already looking at potential opponents that we would get in those,” George continued. “Because I think if you look at our schedule, we play a lot of Power 5 (opponents), usually two in a year. So we may go to an FCS (foe) or another option when we move forward on our football schedule.”

The former option would be an interesting one, given coach Deion Sanders’ public stance against “buy” games. After Jackson State was reportedly paid $350,000 for a September 2021 game at Louisiana-Monroe, Coach Prime decried the concept as an HBCU coach.

“Normally you just get paid to go to get beat, right?” Sanders said in a 2021 interview published by USA Today. “That’s really the goal, right? Somebody pays you, your program makes more money than they normally will to go get your butt kicked. I don’t believe in that.

“Normally when you play against a powerhouse like I see some of the HBCU schools have taken, it helps the budget, but it kills the morale. How can getting your butt kicked — I mean, really kicked — help you as a team? Financially, cool. All money ain’t good money.”

Jackson State two years ago lost at UL-Monroe, 12-7, in quarterback Shedeur Sanders’ third collegiate game — the true freshman threw for 259 yards with a touchdown and an interception. It was the younger Sanders’ first game against an FBS defense until this past Saturday, when he threw for a school-record 510 yards in a 45-42 win at then-No. 17 TCU.

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