BOULDER — The Pac-12 Conference released its 2012 conference game schedule Wednesday, thus allowing member schools to formally make public their full season schedules.
For the University of Colorado, five Pac-12 schools will visit Boulder, with one game set to be nationally televised on Thursday, Oct. 11, when Arizona State makes its first appearance at Folsom Field since 2006.
The season opens Sept. 1 in Denver with the annual Cinch Jeans Rocky Mountain Showdown against Colorado State at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The home opener in Boulder follows a week later (Sept. 8) versus Sacramento State; the FCS Hornets were 4-7 this past year, but opened the season with a 29-28 win at Oregon State.
CU completes non-league play on Sept. 15 with a game at Fresno State, a series which the Buffs lead by a 4-1 count but will mark the first game between the two in Fresno. The last meeting was the 2001 season opener in Boulder that was also the Jim Thorpe Classic, with Fresno State winning 24-22. Colorado rebounded to win 10 of its next 11 games, including the Big 12 Championship game over Texas.
Colorado opens Pac-12 league play on the road at Washington State on Sept. 22, and then returns home to face UCLA on Sept. 29, the centerpiece of CU’s annual Parent’s Weekend. After a bye the next Saturday, ASU comes to town for an ESPN Thursday night affair. That is the Buffs’ only October home game, as they finish off the month with road games at Southern California (Oct. 20) and Oregon (Oct. 27).
The Buffs close the final third of the season with three of the last four games at home. Stanford will travel to Boulder for the first time since 1990 on Nov. 3, which will also serve as Homecoming. On Nov. 10, Colorado will visit Tucson for the first time since the 1999 Insight.com Bowl to square off against Arizona (the two last played each other there in 1985). And on Nov. 17, Washington returns to Folsom, as the Huskies last visited here in 2000.
The regular season concludes on the Friday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 23), as Utah will make its first appearance in Boulder since 1961. Colorado’s original out-of-state rival the first six decades of the last century, the Utes derailed the Buffs undefeated season and national championship hopes with a 21-12 win in that ’61 game. It took 50 years, but the Buffs finally gained a measure of revenge for that loss by closing the 2011 season with a 17-14 win over the Utes in Salt Lake City, a victory which prevented Utah from winning the Pac-12’s South Division.
The second annual Pac-12 Championship Game is set for Friday night, Nov. 30, at the campus site of the division winner with the best record or highest ranking in the BCS Standings. The conference did not release anything past the 2012 season at this time.