College football fans will learn Sunday what bowl games their favorite teams will be playing in over the next six weeks.
Colorado fans have at least a year to wait before selection Sunday in football is relevant to them, but the non-conference portion of the 2012 schedule has been finalized and it is significantly easier than it has been in recent years which should help CU get off to a fast start.
The Buffs will host Sacramento State on Sept. 8 next season in the second game of the year.
CU has played only two FCS teams in the modern era, losing to Montana State at home to start the 2006 season and the Dan Hawkins era in Boulder. The Buffs beat Eastern Washington at home two years later, but needed a late interception to secure that win.
The Hornets finished this season near the bottom of the Big Sky Conference with a 4-7 overall record, but one of those victories was an upset at Oregon State in the season opener. Former CU graduate assistant Andy Avalos coaches linebackers at Sacramento State.
Next season will mark just the third time since 1962 that CU will not play at least one other team from a Bowl Championship Series league in the non-conference portion of its schedule. The Buffs are slated to play Colorado State in Denver, host the Hornets at Folsom Field and play at Fresno State on Sept. 15.
One win against an FCS team counts toward earning bowl eligibility.
In 2013, CU will play CSU in Denver and then host another FCS team and Fresno State in back-to-back weekends. Never in the modern era of Colorado football have the Buffs gone two consecutive seasons without playing at least one BCS team in non-conference play.
The only other times in the modern era that CU has played a non-conference schedule filled with teams from non-BCS leagues occurred in 1998, when the Buffs faced Colorado State, Fresno State and Utah State and 2001 when they played CSU, Fresno State and San Jose State.
CU just concluded one of the toughest seasons in its history with 13 consecutive games without a bye and 11 of those games against teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences.
The Buffs will have a bye next season, though it is uncertain when because the Pac-12 Conference hasn't released its schedule yet. The league is expected to finalize the schedule soon.