Colorado wants to cap "The Rise" with Alamo Bowl victory

No. 13 Oklahoma State (9-3, Big 12) vs. No. 11 Colorado (10-3, Pac-12), 9 p.m. EST (ESPN), in San Antonio.

Line: Colorado by 3.

Series Record: Colorado leads 26-19-1.

WHAT'S AT STAKE:

Colorado wants to cap its best season in more than a decade -dubbed ''The Rise'' - with a win that would suggest a long-term turnaround under fourth-year coach Mike MacIntyre, The Associated Press college football Coach of the Year. For Oklahoma State, a Cowboys victory would be a boost for the Big 12, which could use one after getting shut out of the College Football Playoff for the second time in three seasons.

KEY MATCHUP

Colorado assistant coach Joe Tumpkin vs. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. Tumpkin has a tall task. Normally Colorado's safeties coach, he'll be calling the defensive plays against Gundy, an offensive mastermind. Colorado defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt left the program earlier this month to join the staff at Oregon, leaving Tumpkin to game plan against one of the best offenses in the country behind quarterback Mason Rudolph.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oklahoma State: WR James Washington. The junior was an all-Big 12 selection with 1,209 yards and nine touchdowns on 62 receptions.

Colorado: QB Sefo Liufau has started 39 games over his career and took plenty of beatings until the program finally found its footing under MacIntyre this year. Along the way, Liufau has set 98 different school records, including 9,568 passing yards despite battling injuries the past two seasons.

FACTS & FIGURES

The game is a matchup of former Big Eight and Big 12 rivals and the Alamo Bowl will be their first meeting since Colorado joined the Pac-12 before the 2011 season ... Colorado is playing in its first bowl game since 2007 ... Rudolph and Washington announced together on Tuesday they will return to Oklahoma State to play their senior seasons in 2017 ... Shortly after accepting a bid to the Alamo Bowl, the Colorado program was stunned by the Dec. 5 death for former Buffaloes running back and 1994 Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam. He was 42.

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More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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