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Colorado receiver Shay Fields scores a second-half touchdown against Arizona on Saturday.
Rick Scuteri / Associated Press
Colorado receiver Shay Fields scores a second-half touchdown against Arizona on Saturday.

The Rise of the Colorado football team is real on the field. It’s also real in the national rankings.

On Sunday, the Buffaloes moved up to No. 12 in the latest Associated Press poll, reaching the top 15 for the first since 2002. CU (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) also moved up to No. 12 in the Amway Coaches’ poll.

First place in the Pac-12 South division, the Buffs will have a showdown with the first place team in the North, Washington State (8-2, 7-0) on Saturday at Folsom Field.

On Sunday, it was announced that Saturday’s game would kick off at 1:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on Fox Sports. Former CU quarterback Joel Klatt will provide the color commentary with Gus Johnson on play-by-play and Shannon Spake reporting from the sidelines.

The Cougars checked in at No. 20 in the AP, setting up the first matchup of Top 25 teams at Folsom Field since Sept. 14, 2002, when USC came to Boulder.

Colorado is among the Top 25 for the fourth straight week, the first time that’s happened since 2002.

Last week, the Buffs were slotted 12th in the College Football Playoff rankings. The new CFP rankings will be released on Tuesday, and the Buffs figure to move up, as five teams ahead of the Buffs lost on Saturday.

The Buffs rolled past Arizona, 49-24, on Saturday night and have won four games in a row for the first time since 2002, of course.

CU will close the regular season with two games at Folsom Field. After Washington State’s visit, No. 11 Utah (8-2, 5-2 in South) will be in town on Nov. 26.

Also from the Pac-12, Washington (9-1, 6-1) slipped to No. 7 after its loss on Saturday to USC, while the Trojans (7-3, 6-2) moved from unranked to No. 15.

The only disappointment from Sunday for CU fans is that ESPN GameDay elected to go Western Michigan this week instead of coming to Boulder for the first time in 20 years. No. 14 Western Michigan (10-0) is one of only two unbeaten teams in the country, along with No. 1 Alabama.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or