First please please do not take the rankings seriously on top of that just because one person had a bad experience at a law school does not mean everyone did. I am an attorney and can tell you there are successful grads from all level of law schools and there are people from Harvard that never pass the bar.
Remember U.S. News is a for-profit unregulated magazine and the rankings change drastically year to year. University of San Francisco was top 100 last year and now they are 145 what happened at the school over one year? Nothing I guarantee you and I worked alongside several people who attended USF, Golden Gate, Santa Clara, Hastings, Davis, etc and the name of our school never comes up getting our job done does.
As to your question where do you want to live Nebraska or Denver? If you want to live in Nebraska then Nebraska will be a good fit and if you want to live in Denver that will serve your purpose. If you do not want to live in Denver or Nebraska do not go to school to either of those places.
I was a OL once and like you took the rankings far to seriously, but now realize what absolute B.S. they are. It is a magazine nothing more who has ranked Albuquerque, New Mexico as the best place to live. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009
Will you move to Albuquerque, because U.S. News says it is #1 probably not same logic applies to law school.
I will also tell you what you learn at an ABA law school is exactly the same you will take torts, contracts, civil procedure, property, and you will read Supreme Court Decisions and believe it or not they do not write seperate opinions for Harvard v. Dayton it is the same you will then graduate and take Barbri or Kaplan to pass the bar and if you pass your an attorney. There is no Tier 4 law school license they are all the same.
I see a lot of the mistakes I made as a OL in your post so I apologize for my rambling, but just use common sense when choosing your school and do not use U.S. News as the main factor for your decision especially when dealing with schools of this caliber. If it were Harvard or somethign it would matter, but I guarantee you nobody knows what these schools are ranked.