Virginia remained No. 1 for the third straight week, while unbeaten but unimpressive Auburn fell from second to fourth in today's Associated Press college football poll.

The Cavaliers (7-0), who meet Georgia Tech in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown Saturday, received 44 first-place votes and 1,462 points from a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters. Virginia did not play last week.Notre Dame (6-1) moved up one spot to second after beating Pittsburgh 31-22, and Nebraska (8-0) rose a notch to third after downing Iowa State 45-13. The Irish received six first-place votes and 1,380 points, while Nebraska got five first-place votes and 1,350 points.

BYU fell to No. 10.

Auburn (6-0-1) lost support after edging Mississippi State 17-16 on a blocked extra point with 2 1/2 minutes left. The Tigers got two first-place votes and 1,284 points - a drop of two first-place votes and 86 points from the previous week. Although Auburn is one of six unbeaten teams, three of its last four victories have come by three points or less.

There was no change in the next four positions. Illinois (6-1) stayed No. 5, followed by Houston (7-0), Washington (7-1) and Miami (5-2). Illinois beat Wisconsin 21-3, Houston overwhelmed Arkansas 62-28, Washington routed California 46-7 and Miami defeated Texas Tech 45-10.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Colorado (7-1-1) and Brigham Young (6-1). Colorado moved up one place to ninth after beating Oklahoma 32-23 and BYU dropped one spot to 10th after defeating New Mexico 55-31.

Tennessee, which did not play, is 11th. Next, in order, are Florida State, Iowa, Texas, Florida, Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Clemson, Wyoming, Michigan, Southern Cal, Oregon, Arizona, Penn State and Louisville.

Oklahoma, 22nd in last week's poll, and Texas Christian, 24th last week, fell out of the Top 25 and were replaced by Penn State and Louisville.

Penn State, which has won five straight since starting 0-2, moved up to 24th after blanking Alabama 9-0. The Nittany Lions were 21st in the preseason poll, but dropped out of the rankings after losing their opener to Texas.

Louisville (7-1-1) gained its first ranking in 18 years after beating Western Kentucky 41-7. The Cardinals were 18th in the final poll of the 1972 season with a 9-1 record.

*****

AP poll

The Top Twenty Five teams in The Associated Press 1990 college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Oct. 27, and last week's rankings:

1. Virginia (44) (7-0) 1

2. Notre Dame (6) (6-1) 3

3. Nebraska (5) (8-0) 4

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

5. Illinois (6-1) 5

6. Houston (2) (7-0) 6

7. Washington (1) (7-10) 7

8. Miami, Fla. (5-2) 8

9. Colorado (7-1-1)10

10. Brigham Young (6-1) 9

11. Tennessee (4-1-2)11

12. Florida St. (5-2)12

13. Iowa (6-1)15

14. Texas (5-1)13

15. Florida (6-1)14

16. Georgia Tech (6-0-1)16

17. Mississippi (7-1)17

18. Clemson (7-2)19

19. Wyoming (9-0)18

20. Michigan (4-3)20

21. Southern Cal (6-2) 21

22. Oregon (6-2)25

23. Arizona (6-2)23

24. Penn St. (5-2)-

25. Louisville (7-1-1)-

Other receiving votes: Michigan St. 50, Ohio St. 38, Texas A&M 37, Oklahoma 29, Central Michigan 9, Georgia 6, Indiana 5, Texas Christian 4, North Carolina St. 1, North Carolina 1, South Carolina 1, Syracuse 1, UCLA 1.

UPI poll

NEW YORK _ The United Press International Board of Coaches Top 25 college football ratings, with record and first-place votes in parentheses, and last week's ranking.

1. Virginia (35) (7-0) 1

2. Nebraska (16) (8-0) 2

3. Notre Dame (1) (6-1) 4

4. Auburn (3) (6-0-1) 3

5. Washington (1) (7-1) 6

6. Illinois (6-1) 5

7. Colorado (7-1-1) > 8

8. Miami (5-2) 9

9. Brigham Young (6-1) 7

10. Tennessee (4-1-2) 10

11. Florida State (5-2) 11

12. Texas (5-1) 14

13. Iowa (6-1) 13

14. Georgia Tech (6-0-1) 12

15. Mississippi (7-1) 15

16. Wyoming (9-0) 16

17. Clemson (7-2) 17

18. Michigan (4-3) 18

19. Arizona (6-2) 21

20. Oregon (6-2) 22

21. Penn State (5-2) 24

22. Louisville (7-1-1) 23

23. Southern Cal (6-2) 20

24. (tie) Texas A&M (5-2-1)25

24. (tie) N. Carolina (5-2-1)1NR

NR - not ranked

Others receiving votes: None.