The CU Boulder Buffs football team is back in the top 25 for the second time this season and likely headed to a bowl game for the first time in nearly a decade.

It is a bye week for the team but they take on the UCLA Bruins at home next Thursday night.

"Definitely a much improved atmosphere from years past," said CU Boulder junior Michael Lawson.

"The rise is real, for sure," said freshman Sara Moss.

There are still four more football games in the regular season but the CU Buffs are already looking forward to their first bowl game since 2007.

"That'd be so cool!" said Sophie West, CU Boulder freshman.

Behind the players on the field are screaming fans in the stands.

"Once you actually go, it's like so much spirit and it's really fun to watch them do good," said freshman Ali Inzunza.

"They've been supporting us so well this year. We actually grew our student passes that we sold from 7,200 to 9,800 this year. So there's been a huge increase of excitement and engagement," said Matt Biggers, associate athletic director.

From the newbies on campus to the seniors, they said this is a season worth waiting for.

"Coming here as a freshman a lot of people were like, 'Oh the Buff suck, you guys aren't going to do good.' And then they came in this year and they were a total surprise and it's super exciting," said freshman Annie Kotarva.

"You always support your school through thick and thin. Now that the rise is real, we're coming up and it's a lot of fun to support a school that's doing well in football," said CU Boulder senior Ben Bishop.

Even for those who already graduated, it's a special time to be a Buff at home and away. This past weekend's game at Stanford drew a big crowd.

"We had more than 1,500 alumni show up which is easily double what we'd normally get at an away game," said Peter Burke with the CU Boulder Alumni Association.

Out of the four regular season games left, three are at Folsom Field in Boulder.

"We know it's a special time, we know it's a special team and the great part is, we're nowhere near done," said Biggers.

"I'm proud to be a Buff, I'll tell you that. Go Buffs," said Lawson.