Colorado, in a repeat of its situation a year ago, completed its regular season Sunday by moving to the No. 1 position in the United Press International college football ratings.
The Buffaloes took advantage of Notre Dame's last-second loss to Penn State to become the sixth team this season to ascend to the top spot in balloting by the UPI Board of Coaches.Colorado received 45 of 55 first-place votes cast by the 59-member Board of Coaches and finished with 804 of a possible 825 points. No. 2 Miami received three first-place votes and 700 points, while No. 3 Georgia Tech was at the top of four ballots and finished with 658 points.
BYU stayed at fourth place with two first-place votes.
Colorado's move to the top was a near-exact duplication of its ascension to No. 1 last year. In 1989, the Buffaloes completed their regular season before taking advantage of a Notre Dame loss to occupy the top spot.
"I feel extremely fortunate to be in this position," Colorado Coach Bill McCartney said.
However, McCartney would like to see the similarities end in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Night, when the Buffaloes face Notre Dame in a rematch of last year's Orange Bowl won by the Fighting Irish."To be able to play Notre Dame is the maximum challenge," McCartney said. "They represent everything that is good about college football. They recruit the best players and graduate them. They play the toughest schedule in the country. They are a tremendous credit to college football."
The Buffaloes, 10-1-1, routed Kansas State 64-3 on Saturday to become the first Big Eight team other than Nebraska or Oklahoma to win back-to-back conference titles outright.
Miami, 7-2, which was snubbed by the Orange Bowl and wound up making an agreement with the Cotton Bowl, took over the No. 2 position with a 42-12 victory over Boston College.
Georgia Tech, at 9-0-1 the only unbeaten team in Division I-A, improved two positions to third with a 42-7 drubbing of Wake Forest.
No. 4 Brigham Young remained unchanged despite a 45-22 victory over Utah. No. 5 Texas received the final first-place vote, improving one place after its 38-10 triumph over Texas Christian.
No. 6 Nebraska moved up three spots despite an idle week heading into Friday's showdown against Oklahoma and No. 7 Washington improved one place after clobbering Washington State 55-10.
Notre Dame fell seven spots to eighth on the heels of its 24-21 loss to Penn State, a game decided on Craig Fayak's 34-yard field goal with four seconds remaining. In losing, the Fighting Irish became the only team this season to fall out of first place twice.
No. 9 Florida State improved one place after its 35-3 victory over Memphis State, and Penn State jumped four positions to 10th.
No. 11 Iowa and No. 12 Tennessee each moved up one spot after wins, while No. 13 Clemson improved two places after beating rival South Carolina. No. 14 Virginia dropped seven positions after its 35-30 loss to Maryland.
No. 15 Michigan moved up one place after a victory, and No. 16 Southern Cal jumped three positions.
UPI Top 10
Records and first-place votes in parentheses, total points and last week's ranking.
1. Colorado (10-1-1) 804 2
2. Miami (7-2) 700 3
3. Ga. Tech (9-0-1) 658 5
4. BYU (9-1) 604 4
5. Texas (8-1) 601 6
6. Nebraska (9-1) 490 9
7. Washington (9-2) 469 8
8. Notre Dame (8-2) 448 1
9. Florida State (8-2) 442 10
10. Penn State (8-2) 304 14
CNN/USA Today Poll
First-place votes in parantheses.
1. Colorado (35)
2. Miami (6)
3. BYU (5)
4. Georgia Tech (4)
5. Texas (1)