College Football News recently ranked and previewed their top 50 non-conference games for the 2009 football season. Reading through the list really gets me excited for the season (even though we still have six months to go) and it's great that we had two Colorado games that were ranked. If Coach Hawkins wants to reach his goal of 10 wins in 2009 then he better make sure that the Buffs come out on top of both of these match-ups!
45. Colorado vs. Colorado State, Sept. 5
This might be the most entertaining under-the-radar rivalry in college football. Every game is an interesting battle, including last year’s 38-17 Colorado win that saw back-to-back kickoff returns for scores. The previous six meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less, and this year’s game should be another tight battle. A loss for Colorado would instantly turn the flames up on the Dan Hawkins hot seat, while Colorado State can make a huge early statement for the Mountain West and in year two of the Steve Fairchild era with a win.
26. Colorado at West Virginia, Sept. 26
Give Colorado credit for not ducking the big game considering it already has its annual non-conference war with Colorado State to deal with, but the program has to start winning games like these on the road. Last year, the Buffs beat the Mountaineers in a strange 17-14 overtime win with Cody Hawkins throwing two touchdown passes in the first five minutes for a 14-0 CU lead. The Colorado offense did absolutely nothing the rest of the way, while the Mountaineers rolled up 311 yards of rushing offense. With a trip to Texas next on tap, CU has to win this game, while West Virginia will be coming off a date at Auburn.