NEW YORK — Missouri is No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 for the second time in school history. The Tigers have to be hoping this stay is longer than the first.
Missouri became the fourth team this season — joining Southern California, LSU and Ohio State — to hold the top ranking, a day after beating Kansas 36-28 to earn a spot in the Big 12 championship game. Not since 1997 have so many teams been No. 1 in a season.
The Tigers’ only other time at No. 1 lasted a week in 1960.
West Virginia moved up to No. 2 on Sunday, its highest ranking ever, and became the eighth team this season to be ranked second. The Mountaineers’ 66-21 victory over Connecticut earned them the Big East title and knocked the Huskies out of the rankings.
No. 3 Ohio State, Georgia and LSU complete the top five.
Missouri, West Virginia, Ohio State, Georgia and Kansas were the top five teams in the Bowl Championship Series standings released Sunday. The Tigers were No. 1 in the Harris poll and West Virginia was No. 1 in the coaches’ poll.
This most unpredictable season took another tumultuous turn when Nos. 1 and 2 lost in the same weekend for the second time in two months. Top-ranked LSU lost its second triple overtime game of the season to Arkansas on Friday and second-ranked Kansas had its unbeaten season spoiled by Missouri.
On Oct. 6, then-No. 1 LSU lost in three OTs to Kentucky and later that day No. 2 California fell to Oregon State. Before that, Nos. 1 and 2 hadn’t lost in the same regular season weekend in 10 years.
Three times this season No. 1 has been beaten. That hasn’t happened since 1990, when No. 1 went down five times.
LSU became the 12th top-five team to lose to an unranked team when it fell 52-50 to Arkansas and Kansas was the sixth team ranked No. 2 to lose this season. LSU became the first team since Notre Dame in 1990 to lose as No. 1 twice in the regular season.
The new top-ranked Tigers from Missouri face Oklahoma in San Antonio on Saturday, a victory away from playing in the BCS championship game on Jan. 7.
Missouri last rose to the top of the media poll on Nov. 14, 1960. The next week coach Dan Devine’s Tigers lost to Kansas 23-7 in the regular-season finale, though the Jayhawks later had to forfeit that game because they used an ineligible player.
Missouri finished that season No. 5.
The rest of the new top 10 was Virginia Tech at No. 6, followed by Kansas, Southern California, Oklahoma and Florida.
Hawaii, the only unbeaten team left in major college football, moved up three spots to No. 11 after beating Boise State 39-27 on Friday night to win the Western Athletic Conference title.
No. 12 Boston College plays Virginia Tech for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship on Saturday.
Arizona State was No. 13 and No. 14 Tennessee plays LSU in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday.
No. 15 Illinois was followed by Clemson, Texas, Oregon, Wisconsin and Cincinnati.
The final five were BYU at No. 21, Virginia, Auburn, Boise State and South Florida.
USF, which was No. 2 for a week in October then fell out of the rankings after a a three-game losing streak, moved back into the Top 25 for the first time in a month.