It hasn’t been since a certain player named Billups was donning the Black and Gold that the Colorado basketball team has been ranked in the AP Top 25 poll.
A lot of time has passed since then but they can now update the “last time Colorado was ranked…” section of the team notes.
After Colorado’s 81-74 victory over Murray State to win the Charleston Classic the Buffaloes are once again one of the top teams in the country. Colorado debuted in the AP Top 25 at No. 23 and it’s the first time that they have been ranked in a major poll since 2005-2006 when they earned back-to-back No. 25 rankings in the coaches poll.
Throughout the years Colorado has had some good teams but none of them quite made it to being ranked, even when Colorado was upsetting some of the top teams in the country two years ago. Led by Alec Burks and Cory Higgins, Colorado upset No. 5 Texas, No. 9 Missouri and No. 22 Kansas State three times but they still were outside the top 25 in all of the major polls.
That’s all in the past now as this year’s squad earned a top 25 ranking after just their fourth game of the season. In fact it’s the first time in 42 years that Colorado has been ranked before the start of conference play. You would have to go back all the way to Dec. 30 1969 when the Buffs came in at No. 20 to find a team ranked before the conference slate began. The team still has a long way to go before they become the highest ranked CU team ever (No. 6 in 1963) but they have all the makings to do it.
A preseason Wooden Award candidate (Andre Roberson), two stellar sophomores (Askia Booker, Spencer Dinwiddie) and a star-studded freshman class make up one of the deepest and most talented teams Colorado has ever had. All components of the team have been playing well to start off the season and they will have to continue to do so if the Buffs want to stay where they are.
The key now for the Buffaloes is to stay humble and not let their ranking go to their head because there’s still a long season ahead. Just looking at the rest of Colorado’s non-conference schedule there are some tough games remaining for the team to stay focused on.
Colorado faces off against tough regional foes Air Force, whom they beat in OT last season, Wyoming and Colorado State, both of which they lost to last year, before traveling to Lawrence to take on powerful Kansas on Dec. 8.
It’s not an easy road for Colorado but this team has already defied expectations, just four games in, so why not continue the trend?