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Texas’ notable number: The Longhorns' history with Colorado — and the number 18

Texas quarterback Vince Young attempts to break away from Colorado's Lorenzo Sims and J.J. Billingsley during the 2005 Big 12 championship game in Houston. The win propelled the Longhorns into the national championship game.

Each week this season, we’ve looked at a specific number tied to Texas football.

This week’s notable number is 18 – the jersey number that Texas has assigned to tight end Jared Wiley. Despite missing five games, Jordan Whittington ranks fourth among the Longhorns with 18 receptions. Earl Campbell rushed for 18 touchdowns during his Heisman Trophy season in 1977.

Eighteen also is the number of times Texas has played Colorado. 

The 19th meeting will take place in Tuesday's Alamo Bowl. Since 2000, Texas has had more history with only two of its bowl opponents. The 2000 Cotton Bowl and 2014 Texas Bowl were the 74th and 78th meetings between Texas and Arkansas. The 2017 Texas Bowl was the site of the 24th game in the Texas-Missouri series.

Both founding members of the Big 12, Texas and Colorado were rivals until the Buffaloes left the conference after the 2010 season. They also met for a handful of nonconference contests before the Big 12 was formed.

Texas assistant coach Oscar Giles and Colorado's Darian Hagan, who tutors Buffaloes running backs, were each playing for the schools they now work at when Colorado beat Texas in 1989 and 1990. Colorado offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini was a receiver for the Buffaloes during 1996 and 1997 seasons, which featured wins over Texas. 

Texas and Colorado have not played since the Buffaloes joined the Pac-12. Therefore, the active ties between the two schools are few and far between.

UT running back Bijan Robinson told reporters last week that he was surprised to learn that Colorado once played in the Big 12. In Robinson's defense, he's only a freshman. And he hails from Arizona, so the two biggest schools from his home state currently play alongside Colorado in the Pac-12. Robinson's grandfather has also worked as a longtime referee in the Pac-12.

"I thought they were a Pac-12 school the whole time," Robinson said. "I never knew they were in the Big 12 at all until I got here."

Texas holds an 11-7 lead in its series with Colorado. Two of those games — Colorado's 39-37 win in 2001 and Texas' 70-3 triumph in 2005 — decided the Big 12 championship. The 67-point rout set UT up to play for a national title. Colorado downed Texas during its 1990 championship season.

The series between Texas and Colorado has had a couple of noteworthy offensive performances. Two of UT's 10 70-point games have come at Colorado's expense. The last player to top 300 rushing yards against Texas was Colorado legend Rashaan Salaam, who accumulated a school-record 362 all-purpose yards against the Longhorns in 1994.

Texas and Colorado have also battled once before in a bowl game. In 1975, the ninth-ranked Longhorns bested No. 10 Colorado in the Bluebonnet Bowl. Forty-five years later, that 38-21 win for Texas remains notable because it was recorded in Darrell Royal's final postseason appearance with the Longhorns.