Missouri is only one win away from the unthinkable - competing for a national title.
The Tigers climbed three spots to the No. 1 ranking in the atest Bowl Championship Series standings, which were released Sunday.
It marks the first time in school history that Missouri (11-1) has held the top BCS spot. The Tigers will lock up a berth in the BCS title game on January 7 with a win next week over Oklahoma in the Big 12 Conference championship.
Missouri, which entered this weekend fourth in the BCS, held on for a pivotal 36-28 victory over then-No. 2 Kansas on Saturday night to clinch the school's first Big 12 North Division title.
Missouri is ranked first in the Harris Interactive poll and second in the USA Today coaches' poll for a BCS average of .978 out of a possible score of 1.000.
The Tigers are mere percentage points ahead of second-ranked West Virginia (10-1), which owns a BCS average of .971.
The Mountaineers climbed one spot in the rankings but were leapfrogged by the Tigers despite clinching the Big East Conference title Saturday with a 66-21 rout of Connecticut.
West Virginia almost certainly will secure a berth in the BCS title game with a victory over rival Pittsburgh next week in the annual "Backyard Brawl."
Both Missouri and West Virginia benefited from the misfortune of Louisiana State, which fell from the No. 1 spot courtesy of a 50-48 triple-overtime loss Friday to Arkansas.
Idle Ohio State (11-1) also capitalized on LSU's shocking loss, climbing two spots to third in the rankings with a .919 average.
The Buckeyes clinched the Big Ten Conference title November 17 with a 14-3 victory over rival Michigan.
Georgia (10-2) moved up two spots to fourth and likely will receive a BCS bid. But the Bulldogs are a long shot to compete for the national title since they did not reach next week's Southeastern Conference championship game.
Kansas (11-1) fell three spots to fifth following its loss to Missouri in the 116th edition of the rivalry game formerly known as the "Border War."
Virginia Tech (10-2) is sixth, followed by LSU (10-2), Southern California (9-2), Oklahoma (10-2) and Florida (9-3).
Boston College (10-2) moved up three spots to No. 11 while Hawaii (11-0), the only remaining undefeated team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, also climbed three spots to 12th.