Brigham Young coach LaVell Edwards is a bit bothered that the Cougars are ranked No. 4 and behind Miami in this week's college football poll, but holds hope for making the top spot by the end of the season.

The second-ranked, 7-2 Hurricanes, who lost their season opener to BYU and fell later to Notre Dame, moved up one notch in the poll Monday, while the 9-1 Cougars did the same, winding up fourth."It's hard to really understand," Edwards said. "I think (poll voters) generally vote for who they think is the best team. Apparently, there are those that elected Miami as better than we are. There's nothing I can do about it.

"I'm not mad, but it bothers you a little bit," he said. "At least we're up there within striking distance."

Edwards still sees opportunity for the Cougars in their quest for a repeat of their 1984 national championship year.

"There have been some strange things happen each week this year in the top-ranked teams. And I think there's a lot of interesting bowl matchups where you could develop a lot of scenarios," he said.

For BYU, that means beating Utah State at home Saturday and Hawaii on the road the following week before playing in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 29, probably against Texas A&M.

If the Cougars win all three, and if Colorado, Miami and Georgia Tech lose their bowl games, Edwards sees a chance for BYU to grab the top spot in the final poll.

Quarterback Ty Detmer also believes BYU should be ranked above Miami and still voted No. 1.

"Miami has two losses. We have one. Common sense will tell you that maybe we should be ahead of them. But that's not for us to decide," Detmer said.

In comparison to other areas and better-known leagues than the Western Athletic Conference, BYU and the Intermountain West lack a solid base of support and seldom appear on national television, Edwards said, although BYU's 28-21 victory over Miami was carried by ESPN.

Detmer, who is 390 yards shy of the single-season NCAA passing mark of 4,699 yards set last year by Andre Ware of Houston, believes the Cougars are "definitely in the running" for the championship.

"When bowl games are played anything can happen," he said. "We've just got to stay focused and can't let up any of these weeks."

*****

POLL

AP Poll

The Top 10 teams in the Associated Press 1990 college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Nov. 17, 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. Colorado 10-1-1 1,476 2

2. Miami, Fla. 7-2-0 1,344 3

3. Georgia Tech 9-0-1 1,333 4

4. BYU 9-1-0 1,263 5

5. Florida 9-1-0 1,229 6

6. Texas 8-1-0 1,228 7

7. Notre Dame 8-2-0 1,113 1

8. Florida St. 8-2-0 1,060 9

9. Washington 9-2-0 1,043 10

10. Nebraska 9-1-0 926 11