Colorado stayed alive in the Big 12 North race for another day and ended Nebraska's season in November for the first time since 1968.
The Buffaloes' 26-20 win sent the Cornhuskers to their first losing season in 43 years and snapped their NCAA-record streak of consecutive bowl appearances at 35.
"I'm really glad they're home for the holidays," Colorado defensive tackle Matt McChesney said. "They can sit and watch everybody else play. I hope it feels good."
Bobby Purify ran for 130 yards and a touchdown and the Buffaloes intercepted Nebraska's Joe Dailey four times. They won their third straight after a 1-4 start in the conference and they did it against an opponent that they love to hate -- one former Colorado coach Bill McCartney designated as the Buffs' chief rival back in the 1980s.
Now the Buffaloes (7-4, 4-4) need Missouri to win at Iowa State today to advance to the Big 12 championship game against Oklahoma on Dec. 4 in Kansas City, Mo.
"We'll worry about that (today)," Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. "If it's supposed to happen, it will happen. If not, we'll go someplace else."
While a bowl is in the Buffs' future, regardless of what happens today, Nebraska (5-6, 3-5) is done.
The Huskers, who fired Frank Solich after a 9-3 regular season last year, ended the season with four losses in five games under new coach Bill Callahan.
"It's one game, it's one season. I never look back," Callahan said. "I'm disappointed we couldn't continue it, but our kids fought and did the best they could."