Not long ago, it would have been tough to find 10 teams worse than the Colorado Buffaloes.

Right now, the College Football Playoff selection committee can't find 10 teams that are better.

CU's exceptional rise took another step on Tuesday night, when it was slotted at No. 10 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.

It's the first time CU (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) has been ranked among the top 10 in a major national poll since entering the 2002 season at No. 6 in the Coaches poll and No. 7 in the Associated Press poll.

Just two seasons removed from going 2-10, the Buffs are ranked No. 12 in the AP and Amway Coaches polls this week.

The top four teams in the CFP rankings released on Dec. 4 will play for the national championship. With three weeks to play, the Buffaloes (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) have a shot to get there, but would need some outside help.

Defending champion Alabama (10-0) remained at No. 1 after routing Mississippi State last week.

The rest of the rankings look different after five of the eight teams ranked from No. 2-9 lost last week. The heavyweights didn't fall far, however.

Ohio State (9-1) jumped to No. 2 this week after being slotted at No. 5 a week ago.

Michigan (9-1) remained at No. 3 despite its 14-13 loss to Iowa, while Clemson (9-1), which lost to Pittsburgh last week, dropped from No. 2 to No. 4.


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Louisville (9-1) moved up one spot to No. 5, while Washington (9-1), which lost to Southern California, dropped two spots to No. 6.

Wisconsin (8-2) remained at No. 7, while Penn State (8-2) moved up to No. 8 and Oklahoma (8-2) moved up to No. 9.

CU is one of six Pac-12 teams in the CFP Top 25, joining Washington, Utah (8-2) at No. 12, USC (7-3) at No. 13, Washington State (8-2) at No. 22 and Stanford (7-3) at No. 24.

The Buffs will host Washington State on Saturday in a battle of the teams leading their respective Pac-12 divisions. It'll be the first meeting of Top-25 teams at Folsom Field since 2002.

Brian Howell: howellb@dailycamera.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.