Notre Dame, coming off a victory that left its coach more worried than satisfied, nonetheless returned to the No. 1 position Sunday in the United Press International college football ratings.

The Fighting Irish, who had occupied the No. 1 position for four weeks earlier this season before losing to Stanford, outpointed Washington as the ratings underwent a major shakeup after four of the top six teams last week were upset.Notre Dame received 38 of 58 first-place votes cast by the 59-member UPI Board of Coaches and finished with 828 of a possible 870 points, the largest point total by any team this season.

Washington received 18 first-place votes and 805 points, while No. 3 Colorado was at the top of two ballots and earned 697 points.

Notre Dame, 7-1, ascended two positions to the top spot on the heels of its 52-31 victory over Navy, a win in which the Fighting Irish scored 21 third-quarter points to pull away from a 10-10 tie at halftime.

But the runaway victory left Coach Lou Holtz stewing over the state of his defense heading into a stretch run that finds the Fighting Irish finishing against Tennessee, Penn State and Southern Cal.

"We cannot be a great football team unless we play great defense," Holtz said. "To score 52 points and not be able to play your second team is an embarrassment for Notre Dame."

Washington, 8-1, rose three positions after it clinched a Rose Bowl berth by hammering Arizona 54-10. The Huskies are 6-0 in the Pacific-10 Conference and have outscored league foes 263-64.

"Our guys have played just so much better than I ever thought we could," Washington Coach Don James said. "We just took five real good teams apart. I'm amazed with the scores we've posted."

Since suffering its lone loss to Colorado, Washington has posted wins of 38-17 over Oregon, 52-16 over Stanford, 46-7 over California and 54-10 over Arizona.

"We're a stronger team than we've ever been and probably faster than we've been," James said. "We've had sand kicked in our face over the last few years, but now our guys have experience."

Colorado, 8-1-1, moved up four places after its 28-12 victory over Nebraska, in which the Buffaloes held Nebraska without a first down in the fourth quarter and Eric Bieniemy scored four touchdowns in the period.

Number 4 Miami moved up five positions following its 45-0 shutout of Pittsburgh, No. 5 Iowa jumped eight spots after pounding Illinois 56-28, and No. 6 Brigham Young improved three places after grounding Air Force 54-7.

Number 7 Georgia Tech jumped seven places after knocking off previously top-rated Virginia 41-38 on a Scott Sisson field goal with seven seconds left. Number 8 Tennessee moved up two spots, while No. 9 Virginia and No. 10 Nebraska both dropped eight positions.

Number 11 Florida State and No. 12 Texas remained unchanged despite wins, while No. 13 Auburn fell nine spots after suffering a 48-7 loss to Florida. Number 14 Mississippiimproved one place, and No. 15 Illinois dropped nine positions.

Number 16 Clemson and No. 17 Michigan each improved one spot, and No. 18 Oregon, No. 19 Penn State and No. 20 Louisville each moved up two positions.

Number 21 Wyoming fell six spots after suffering its first loss of the season, while No. 22 Texas A&M improved two places. Fresno State returned to the ratings at No. 23, and fellow newcomer Ohio State tied Arizona for the 24th position.

Dropping out of the ratings this week were Southern Cal, formerly ranked 23rd, and North Carolina, co-No. 24 last week.

The national champion will receive the UPI Coaches Trophy and a $32, 000 non-athletic scholarship from the Gerrits Foundation and United Press International. Schools ineligible for consideration in the ratings because of NCAA sanctions are Florida, Houston, Memphis State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.