Lots of action on Colo. teams

Jul 25, 2006 2:42 AM

Colorado schools appear five times on the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook’s list of 80 making the opening phase of College Football Games of the Year.

The annual SuperBook compilation of the best in 2006 is continually updated, with pointspreads changing and games either added or dropped in terms of importance as the season progresses.

What has turned into the state’s marquee matchup over the past decade appears again on Saturday, Sept. 9 when Colorado plays Colorado State in Denver. The Buffaloes are a 4½ favorite and the only state team to appear in the individual BCS title odds — ranked 100-1 on the Caesars Palace board.

The Colorado-CSU series used to be played mostly in Boulder, but when the Rams started getting competitive on a consistent basis the venue was switched to home of the Broncos and a national TV date on ESPN.

Last year’s game was a dilly, with Colorado holding on for a 31-28 victory at Invesco Field. However, the Rams came away with the all-important cover here in Las Vegas as a 6½ underdog. The last four games in this series have each been decided by seven points or less.

The Big XII North Division champion Buffaloes appear twice more on the Hilton’s list — hosting Texas Tech on Oct. 14 and visiting Nebraska the day after Thanksgiving. Colorado is a slight underdog in both games, getting one point against the high-octane Red Raiders passing attack and seven in Lincoln versus the improved Cornhuskers.

The biggest day of the season in the state figures to be Saturday, Nov. 4 when Colorado State hosts perennial Mountain West power BYU and Air Force takes its shot at possible No. 1 ranked Notre Dame. The Falcons will be a 16-point home dog for this huge test at Colorado Springs. CSU is a 2-point favorite against the visiting Cougars.

Air Force and Notre Dame did not play last year, perhaps because the Falcons have been a nemesis to the Irish in recent years. The most recent matchup was in 2002 at the Academy. Notre Dame won as a 3-point road underdog, 21-14. That was during the Tyrone Willingham era, before Brady Quinn arrived and became starting QB and Charlie Weis later was named the new coach.

Fisher DeBerry is still at Air Force, set to begin his 23rd season as head coach.