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Top Five: Colorado's Biggest Football Games In 2010

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Football season is just around the bend. What upcoming match-ups will mean the most to the state of Colorado?

We're close. We are really, really close. I love the Rockies and baseball season. I love the warmth and outdoor activities that summer brings. But, I'm ready for it to be over. I'm ready for cooler temperatures and falling leaves and ... football season. For this week's top five we are going to take a look at the top five upcoming football games in the state of Colorado.

5. Colorado vs. Colorado State - Sept. 4
It's always big; it doesn't matter the situation. However, the game in 2010 will be huge. Dan Hawkins HAS to win this game to have any sort of momentum going into the season. The lackluster effort to start the season in 2009 set the tone for the entire year, and another contest with a similar level of effort and results will severely damage the fan base. Throw in the fact that the game is once again at Invesco Field, and you have all the makings of a tension-filled game.

4. Georgia at Colorado - Oct. 2
SEC. SEC. The last time this big of a nonconference opponent made its way to Folsom Field, Aric Goodman made a short-lived hero of himself when he kicked a last second, game-winning field goal against the West Virginia Mountaineers. This time the Buffs welcome an improved Bulldogs team that will be favored, but is beatable. Can CU do it again?

3. Jets at Broncos - Nov. 17
Rex Ryan's New York Jets are the media' s preseason darlings in 2010. A team that was much improved in 2009 and broke the bank to sign every available free agent on the market. You can get your fill of them on HBO's Hard Knocks before the season starts. But if the Broncos are going to make a run towards the AFC West title and the NFL playoffs, this is a game in Denver that they need to win, whether they should ... or not.

2. Chargers at Broncos - Jan. 2, 2011
Call it wishful thinking ... but this game has to be big. If the Broncos are in the hunt for a playoff spot (hopefully they already have one locked up at this point, but judging from the last two seasons that might be asking for too much) then this game has a good chance of deciding whether they are in or staying home. Their biggest rival the last few seasons, one that has gotten the best of Denver recently, at home on the last Sunday of the regular season? Does it get any better than that?

1. Colorado at Nebraska - Nov. 26
This is it -- the last game between these two rivals for a long, long time. I know a lot of people are saying, "How can a Buffs game take the No. 1 spot over the Broncos?" Well, I'm here to tell you that this game is going to be huge. Most people assume that the Cornhuskers will be very good next year in their last season as a member of the Big 12 Conference, most likely starting the year as a top 15 team. When Colorado comes into this game with a 7-4 record (go ahead, quote me) a lot of college football fans are going to be jacked for a fantastic end to a great rivalry, whether Nebraska wants to admit the Buffaloes as a rival or not.

Honorable Mentions:
Colorado @ California - 9/11
Colts @ Broncos - 9/26
Air Force @ Oklahoma - 9/18
Broncos @ Chiefs - 12/5