Colorado has not had a Top 10 basketball team since 1970, and in just two seasons since Chauncey Billups have the Buffaloes been ranked at all. 

Both of those seasons came under Tad Boyle in 2013 and 2014, Boyle's third and fourth seasons at CU. Heading into this year, it appears Boyle will have the Buffs in the polls once again. And it makes this a big year for Boyle -- possibly the biggest of his tenure at CU. 

Over his first four seasons at CU, Boyle averaged 23 wins and went to three straight NCAA Tournaments. It looked like he was really building something, but after Spencer Dinwiddie left for the NBA after a second-round loss in 2014, the program regressed. CU has had a losing record in conference play three of the last five years, and were it not for a vaguely encouraging 23-13 season last year, Boyle might be on real thin ice. 

As it is, though, it looks like CU is on another upswing, and with the Pac-12 as weak as it is, this is probably Boyle's best chance yet to get past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.