Virginia, which never had even cracked the Top 10 before this season, moved into the No. 1 position Sunday in the United Press International college football ratings.

The Cavaliers, coming off a 31-0 shutout over North Carolina State, vaulted past Nebraska to the top spot in the latest balloting by the UPI Board of Coaches.Miami also pushed past Nebraska, which fell to third despite a 6-0 record. It marked the second week in a row that the Cornhuskers were ranked second when the No. 1 team lost and failed to inherit the top position.

Virginia received 29 of 56 first-place votes cast by the 59-member Board of Coaches and finished with 785 of a possible 840 points. No. 2 Miami received seven first-place votes and 736 points, and Nebraska was at the top of 13 ballots and earned 712 points.

Prior to this season, the highest Virginia had been ranked in football was 14th at the end of the 1989 regular season. The Cavaliers, 6-0, began the year ranked 21st, but moved into the Top 10 on Sept. 16 after three wins.

"I'm not getting into the rankings," Virginia Coach George Welsh said Sunday, echoing his statements of the previous weeks. "We've only played three games in the (Atlantic Coast) Conference and we've got five more games to go."

However, his players were a little more enthusiastic.

"Being No. 1 - that's what you strive to be," Virginia defensive tackle Joe Hall said. "That's an honor. But it still doesn't win a football game for you. It's an honor and we still have to earn it through five more games."

Miami, 4-1, jumped to No. 2 following its 34-0 victory over Kansas, and Nebraska wound up dropping despite a 69-21 rout of Missouri.

"I'm not really sure what people see going on," Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne said. "What's hurt us is we've been on television once - our first game against Baylor. We have improved considerably since then. We played a reasonably good football team yesterday against Missouri. People just have to make their decisions, I guess."

No. 4 Tennessee received three first-place votes and No. 5 Auburn two in moving up one position each. No. 6 Notre Dame improved a place after its victory over Air Force, as did No. 7 Florida State after an idle week.

Michigan, last week's No. 1 team, fell to eighth after its 28-27 loss to Michigan State in which Demond Howard dropped a two-point conversion pass with six seconds left. The Wolverines still picked up two first-place votes.

No. 9 Illinois jumped three spots after a 34-0 shutout of Purdue and No. 10 Brigham Young rounded out the Top 10.

No. 11 Georgia Tech jumped four places after remaining unbeaten with a 21-19 victory over Clemson.

*****

(Additional Information)

UPI Top 25

The United Press International Board of Coaches Top 25 college football ratings, with record and first-place votes in parentheses, total points (based on 15 points for first place, 14 for second, etc.), and last week's ranking:

1. Virginia (29) (6-0) 785 3

2. Miami (7) (4-1) 736 4

3. Nebraska (13) (6-0) 712 2

4. Tennessee (3) (4-0-2) 679 5

5. Auburn (2) (4-0-1) 584 6

6. Notre Dame (4-1) 524 7

7. Florida State (4-1) 458 8

8. Michigan (2) (3-2) 333 1

9. Illinois (4-1) 304 1

10. Brigham Young (5-1)292 9

11. Georgia Tech (5-0) 290 15

12. Washington (5-1) 284 13

13. Southern Cal (5-1) 271 10

14. Colorado (5-1-1) 241 11

15. Texas (3-1) 51 22

16. Indiana (4-0-1) 47 18

17. Wyoming (7-0) 31 19

18. Mississippi (5-1) 26 20

19. (tie) Tex. Christian (5-1) 16 25

19. (tie) Iowa (4-1) 16 24

21. Texas A&M (4-2) 13 16

22. Clemson (5-2) 8 14

23. Michigan State (2-2-1) 7 NR

24. Oregon (4-2) 6 17

25. Louisville (5-1-1) 2 NR

NR - not ranked

Others receiving votes: Penn State, South Carolina, Southern Mississippi, Toledo.

The national champion will receive a $32,000 non-athletic scholarship from the Gerrits Foundation and United Press International.

AP Top 25

The Top Twenty Five teams in the Associated Press 1990 college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Oct. 13, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and last week's rankings:

Record Pts Pvs

1. Virginia (38) 6-0-0 1,454 2

2. Miami, Fla. (15) 4-1-0 1,414 3

3. Tennessee (2) 4-0-2 1,354 5

4. Nebraska (3) 6-0-0 1,258 7

5. Auburn 4-0-1 1,238 6

6. Notre Dame (1) 4-1-0 1,208 8

7. Florida St. 4-1-0 1,046 10

8. Illinois 4-1-0 971 11

9. Houston (1) 5-0-0 963 12

10. Michigan 3-2-0 939 1

11. Georgia Tech 5-0-0 835 18

12. Brigham Young 5-1-0 830 13

13. Washington 5-1-0 786 17

14. Colorado 5-1-1 762 14

15. Southern Cal 5-1-0 761 16

16. Oklahoma 5-1-0 724 4

17. Florida 5-1-0 485 9

18. Mississippi 5-1-0 374 24

19. Texas 3-1-0 354 -

20. Indiana 4-0-1 312 22

21. Wyoming 7-0-0 291 23

22. Clemson 5-2-0 278 15

22. Iowa 4-1-0 278 25

24. Michigan St. 2-2-1 193 -

25. Texas A&M 4-2-0 116 20

Other receiving votes: Texas Christian 89, Oregon 83, South Carolina 36, Ohio St. 15, California 14, Penn St. 12, Arizona 11, Louisville 5, Toledo 5, S. Mississippi 4, UCLA 2.