This is CU's first preseason ranking since 2015 and its highest since being at No. 12 coming into the 1998 season.
CU went 24-10 a year ago, its highest win total since 1993. The Buffaloes also made their first Sweet 16 appearance in 20 years and tied for fifth in the Pac-12 (12-8 conference mark).
Four starters are back for the Buffs: Naghede Abu, Gabby Carta-Samuels, Alexa Smith and Brynna DeLuzio.
Led by No. 1 Stanford, which received 43 of 64 first-place votes, the Pac-12 has seven teams in the preseason Top 25. Also ranked: No. 10 Southern California, No. 11 UCLA, No. 17 Washington, No. 18 Oregon and No. 19 Utah.
CU's in-state rival, Colorado State, is also ranked, at No. 25.