Full Version: Buffs crack top 25, face Texas next
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(AP) - Colorado climbed into the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in more than two years Sunday. Staying there for more than a week won't be easy.

The Buffs, ranked 24th in the poll after a 41-20 win over Texas A&M, travel to No. 2 Texas next Saturday.

"I'd say about the middle of the third quarter, a lot of our guys started thinking about Texas,'' CU coach Gary Barnett said.

And why not?

In improving to 4-1 - their best start since going 5-1 in 2001 - the Buffs thoroughly handled Texas A&M, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter and never giving the Aggies any reason to believe they could win.

It was a thorough, businesslike effort, the sign of a veteran team playing with focus.

Joel Klatt threw for 398 yards and three touchdowns, as the offense clicked from start to finish. The defense, which already has two shutouts this year, held Texas A&M's first team offense to two field goals.

The win stirred memories of Colorado's most successful teams of the recent past, most notably the 2001 team, which finished 10-3 and beat Texas in the Big 12 title game.

"Before the game, you never think it's going to be that easy,'' tight end Joe Klopfenstein said. "But we popped open for some big plays and it went from there.''

Next, a game against Texas, which beat the Buffs 31-7 in Boulder last season.

CU has already traveled to face a top-25 foe, a 23-3 loss to Miami in which Colorado moved the ball, but was consistently hurt by penalties and mistakes.

Texas will be a more familiar foe - that's a good thing. The Longhorns are also probably better than the Hurricanes - not so good.

"The second the game was over, I started thinking about Texas,'' Klopfenstein said.

A win there would propel the Buffs further up the rankings and make them the indisputable favorite to win the Big 12 North and head to their fourth championship game in five years.

A loss would probably send them out as quickly as they got in.

Either way, they're in this week for the first time since Sept. 7, 2003 - not a bad reward for a program that has had its share of trouble and turmoil over the last few years, the result of the sex-and-recruiting scandal that embarrassed the university and put Barnett's future in jeopardy.

"We're trying to get better every week,'' the coach said. "We had a big improvement from last week and we'll have to have a whole lot of improvement for next week.''
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