Colorado Football Rivalry: Colorado State vs. Colorado – Everything You Need To Know

College football rivalries are the lifeblood of the sport, and few matchups are as eagerly anticipated as the annual showdown between the Colorado State Rams and the Colorado Buffaloes. With a history dating back over a century, this fierce rivalry is a celebration of state pride, tradition, and, of course, gridiron excellence. Here’s everything you need to know about the Colorado football rivalry between Colorado State and Colorado.

The History

The rivalry between Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of Colorado (CU) dates back to 1893 when they first clashed on the football field. Over the years, this matchup has evolved into a cherished tradition for fans, players, and alumni from both institutions. The series, known as the “Rocky Mountain Showdown,” has been a testament to the enduring spirit of competition and camaraderie.

The Trophy

In 1968, a new tradition was born when the Centennial Cup was introduced. This trophy is awarded to the winner of the Rocky Mountain Showdown each year, adding an extra layer of significance to the matchup. The trophy symbolizes the pride of Colorado and serves as a tangible reminder of victory in this fierce football battle.


The Rocky Mountain Showdown has been played at various venues over the years, including Mile High Stadium in Denver, Folsom Field in Boulder, and Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins. The location alternates between the campuses of CU and CSU, creating a home-field advantage for each team in alternating years.

Record and Streaks

The series has seen its share of dominance by both sides. Colorado holds the overall series lead with a significant number of wins, but the rivalry has featured memorable streaks. Colorado State’s longest winning streak occurred in the early 20th century, while Colorado enjoyed a period of dominance in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Notable Moments

The Rocky Mountain Showdown has witnessed numerous iconic moments. From thrilling last-minute victories to unexpected upsets, this rivalry has provided fans with unforgettable memories. The passionate fan base on both sides ensures that every game is an electric experience.


Both universities have unique traditions associated with the rivalry. Fans paint their faces, don team colors, and tailgate with fervor. The pre-game festivities are as important as the game itself, as fans from across the state come together to celebrate their respective institutions.

Impact Beyond Football

While the Rocky Mountain Showdown is primarily a football rivalry, it extends beyond the gridiron. It’s a chance for alumni, students, and fans to come together and showcase their school pride. The game also has economic and cultural significance for the state of Colorado, as it draws visitors and attention from around the region.

The Future

The Rocky Mountain Showdown has seen its share of hiatuses and uncertainties, but it remains a cherished tradition. The rivalry is a testament to the enduring passion for college football in Colorado. As the two teams continue to evolve and compete at the highest level, the future of this historic rivalry promises to be just as compelling as its storied past.


The Colorado football rivalry between Colorado State and Colorado is not just a game; it’s a celebration of tradition, pride, and competition. Each year, fans eagerly anticipate the clash on the gridiron, knowing that it will be a test of skill, determination, and heart. As the Rocky Mountain Showdown continues to thrive, it remains an enduring symbol of the rich tapestry of college football in the Centennial State.

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