Colorado State University-Pueblo reaped immediate dividends from its 26-24 win over then-19th-ranked West Texas A&M Thursday, debuting in the American Football Coaches' Association (AFCA) Division II poll at a ranking of 21st in the nation.

It is the highest national ranking CSU-Pueblo has held since being a member of Division II (since 2008). It had previously been ranked in the top 25, reaching an apex of 25th in the country in 2010 in both major polls (AFCA and

A pair of Fort Morgan Mustang alums continue to play key starting roles for the ThunderWolves. Senior Jon "The Jet" Bailey made five tackles against host West Texas A&M on Saturday to begin his fourth consecutive season at safety since the football program re-started in 2008.

Meanwhile, pre-season All-RMAC offensive tackle Ryan Jensen helped lead a Pueblo offense that erased an early 10-0 deficit. ThunderWolves quarterback Ross Dausin rushed for two touchdowns while kicker Kyle Major booted four field goals -- his final with five minutes remaining to secure this 26-24 victory.

The win knocked West Texas A&M all the way out of the top 25, as the Buffs are currently "receiving votes" in the poll. The ThunderWolves joined conference foes Colorado School of Mines and Nebraska-Kearney in the poll. Mines, like CSU-Pueblo, was "receiving votes" last week before they knocked off William Jewell (Mo.) 33-0. Nebraska-Kearney, by virtue of a 41-20 win over Wayne State (Neb.), climbed from 16th to 13th nationally.

The ThunderWolves will attempt to maintain a national-ranking for two straight weeks when it plays its home-opener Saturday against NAIA power and perennial opponent, Northwestern Oklahoma State