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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Top five in-game atmospheres from 2010

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Following the lead of my colleagues David Ubben and Chris Low, I wanted to examine the top in-game atmospheres from the 2010 season.

This is clearly a subjective list, so to be fair, I only considered games I attended this past season. Although I could sense the electricity of games like Wisconsin-Iowa and Notre Dame-Michigan State as I watched them on TV, I couldn't get the full experience since I wasn't there in person.

Here are my top five game atmospheres from 2010:

1. Ohio State at Wisconsin, Oct. 16: Electricity filled Camp Randall Stadium on a perfect October night as Wisconsin hosted the nation's No. 1 team. The place started rocking from the opening kickoff as David Gilreath scored on a 97-yard return. Badger fans shook the stadium with "Jump Around" to begin the fourth quarter and stormed the field after Wisconsin recorded a season-defining win against the Buckeyes. This was the obvious choice for No. 1.

2. Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. TCU, Jan. 1: There's simply no setting in college sports that compares to Pasadena on New Year's Day, and this year's Rose Bowl didn't disappoint. Wisconsin fans showed up in force and lifted their team in the fourth quarter with "Jump Around." TCU fans also did their part to provide a terrific atmosphere for a non-traditional Rose Bowl game.

3. Northwestern at Penn State, Nov. 7 (second half and post-game): I can't excuse the Penn State students for showing up late, but Beaver Stadium lived up to its excellent reputation in the second half. Penn State mounted the largest comeback in the Joe Paterno era to give the coaching legend his 400th career victory. Everyone stuck around after the game as Penn State honored Paterno with a touching tribute. It's a moment I'll never forget.

4. Wisconsin at Michigan State, Oct. 2: It was an emotional game for Michigan State, which played without head coach Mark Dantonio in the stadium, and the home crowd provided the Spartans with the lift they needed. After falling behind early, Michigan State rallied to take control and post its biggest win of the season.

5. Connecticut at Michigan, Sept. 4: Quite a lot has changed since Michigan opened the season with a bang, but the Big House rocked as Denard Robinson and the Wolverines stomped Connecticut in an impressive win. The stadium rededication and Brock Mealer's pregame walk got the crowd going, and the Wolverines' performance kept the energy level high all afternoon.

Here are the games I attended this fall:

Week 1: Marshall at Ohio State (Thursday); Connecticut at Michigan (Saturday)
Week 2: Miami at Ohio State
Week 3: Arizona State at Wisconsin
Week 4: Not at game
Week 5: Wisconsin at Michigan State
Week 6: Michigan State at Michigan
Week 7: Ohio State at Wisconsin
Week 8: Michigan State at Northwestern
Week 9: Michigan State at Iowa
Week 10: Northwestern at Penn State
Week 11: Not at game
Week 12: Wisconsin at Michigan
Week 13: Michigan at Ohio State
Jan. 1: Rose Bowl (TCU vs. Wisconsin)
Jan. 4: Sugar Bowl (Arkansas vs. Ohio State)