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
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.
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
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.
"Obviously, it's a nice honor for our program," Missouri coach
Gary Pinkel said. "But we've got so much to play for and so much
preparation to put in for a great Oklahoma team that we really
can't spend much time thinking about that."
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.