In many households across Colorado, this week is all about Ralphie vs. CAM the Ram. The rest of the year, however, Ralphie and CAM are more partners than rivals, as our universities work together to advance our state and develop solutions to society’s most difficult problems.

Colorado State University and the University of Colorado team up each day to serve Colorado through groundbreaking research and exceptional education.

Last year, combined research expenditures by CU and CSU totaled more than $1 billion. The CSU and CU systems employ more than 56,000 people in Colorado, while spinoff companies created from our universities’ research have created thousands more private-sector jobs across the state.

Our alumni represent our most important contribution. Some are well-known, like CSU graduates astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Olympic champion Amy Van Dyken and Tuskegee Airman and civil rights activist Lt. Col. John Mosley; and CU alums Matt Stone of “South Park” fame, Supreme Court Justice Byron White and journalist Savannah Sellers. Our alumni include leaders in every field, with more than 417,000 graduates of CU and CSU systems living and working in Colorado.

Given the success of our graduates and the incredible impact our universities are having across the state, our message today is simple: Colorado’s aspiring college students can and should remain in Colorado for a top-notch education that enables lifelong success. No matter your interests, ambitions, or background, you can find what you seek at CSU or CU — or with degrees from both!

A core purpose of a public institution is to support our state’s workforce and graduate tomorrow’s leaders. Last year alone, the CSU and CU systems delivered 67% of the bachelor’s degrees earned in Colorado; 76% of master’s degrees; 91% of doctoral and professional degrees; and 100% of MD and DVM degrees.

In addition to granting the majority of degrees in the state, CSU and CU are among the nation’s top public research universities. Outside the stadium, both are breaking ground on the most important challenges we face today, including sustainability, climate and health.

CU has established itself as a leader in translating climate research and data into meaningful solutions across the globe and close to home. CSU has blazed a similar path, being the first university to earn a platinum ranking through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System while simultaneously developing and implementing impactful climate solutions across the world. Our universities have a prominent history of global leadership in climate research and sustainability, and we continue to accelerate this important work.

Today CSU and CU are engaged in dozens of collaborative research projects that protect our land, air and water.

A startup from CU, LongPath Technologies, harnesses Nobel Prize-winning technology to identify and stop methane leaks. CSU’s AgNext is slashing emissions in animal agriculture with the largest greenhouse-gas-emissions testing facility in the country. Leading up to Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown, we will each enjoy favorite pregame rituals: One of us having a burger at “Grill the Buffs” in Fort Collins, and the other cheering at Boulder’s Pearl Street Stampede.

We anticipate a spirited clash of hooves and horns this weekend. But what’s most important is what our universities are accomplishing together. It’s a legacy that Colorado’s prospective students would be wise to join.

Go Rams and Sko Buffs!

Amy Parsons is the president of CSU, and Philip DiStefano is the chancellor of the University of Colorado.