Both teams proclaimed they should be No. 1 after New Year's Day bowl victories. And both Georgia Tech and Colorado finished No. 1 in the first split vote since 1978.

In the Associated Press poll, voted on by writers and broadcasters, Colorado was picked as the mythical college football champion by 34 points, collecting 39 first-place votes and 1,475 points to 20 first-place votes and 1,441 points for Georgia Tech. In the United Press International poll, voted on by coaches, the Yellow Jackets edged the Buffaloes by a point, 847 to 846. Georgia Tech had 30 first-place votes to 27 for Colorado.Colorado, which finished with a 11-1-1 record after defeating Notre Dame, 10-9, in the Orange Bowl, had been ranked No. 1 by both polls going into New Year's Day. But Georgia Tech, which finished as the nation's only unbeaten team with an 11-0-1 record, impressed enough pollsters with its 45-21 thrashing of Nebraska in the Florida Citrus Bowl to leapfrog Colorado in UPI.

Colorado also finished first in the CNN/USA Today poll while Georgia Tech was first in Scripps-Howard. Miami was first in The New York Times computer poll.

In 1978, Alabama won the AP championship and the University of Southern California captured the UPI title.

Brigham Young University, which had been ranked No. 9 in UPI and No. 13 in AP before the bowl games, fell to 17th in UPI and 22nd in AP following its 65-14 loss in the Sea World Holiday Bowl.

The last time the only unbeaten team didn't win the national title in the AP poll was 1982. Southern Methodist went 11-0-1 that season, but finished second behind 11-1 Penn State.

It's the second time an undefeated Tech team has ended up No. 2 in AP. The Yellow Jackets were runners-up to Michigan State in 1952 when both schools had perfect records.

"Right up until I got the results, I was sweating it out," Colorado coach Bill McCartney said. "We didn't have any guarantees."

McCartney admitted that Georgia Tech made a "strong case" for the No. 1 ranking. But he said his team deserved to win the national championship despite the close call against Notre Dame.

"We played the most difficult schedule in Division I-A and Notre Dame played the second toughest schedule," he said. "No one should have expected us to beat them decisively. They're just too good. But we won, and that's what counts."

Countered Georgia Tech coach Bobby Ross, "We are the only undefeated football team in the country, and I think that should say something."

The previous closest vote in UPI's final football ratings came in 1960, when Minnesota won the national title by three points over Iowa. UPI began its football poll in 1950.Colorado's fall marked the first time since the UPI began moving its final ratings after the postseason in 1974 that a team ranked No. 1 after the regular season won its bowl and dropped from the top spot.

"I'd like to congratulate Bobby Ross and his program for the extraordinary season and the decisive win over Nebraska," Colorado Coach Bill McCartney said. "Certainly they can make a strong case on their own behalf."

Both polls had Miami, a 46-3 victor over Texas in the Cotton Bowl, finishing third; Florida State, a 24-17 winner over Penn State in the Blockbuster Bowl, finishing fourth; Washington, a 46-34 winner over Iowa in the Rose Bowl, finishing fifth; and Notre Dame finishing sixth.

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(Chart 1)

AP Top-25

Record Pts Pvs

1. Colorado 11-1-1 1,475 1

2. Georgia Tch 11-0-1 1,441 2

3. Miami, Fla. 10-2 1,388 4

4. Florida St. 10-2 1,303 6

5. Washington 10-2 1,246 8

6. Notre Dame 9-3 1,179 5

7. Michigan 9-3 1,025 12

8. Tennessee 9-2-2 993 10

9. Clemson 10-2 950 14

10. Houston 10-1 940 9

11. Penn St. 9-3 907 7

12. Texas 10-2 887 3

13. Florida 9-2 863 11

14. Louisville 10-1-1 775 18

15. Texas A&M 9-3-1 627 NR

16. Michigan St. 8-3-1 610 22

17. Oklahoma 8-3 452 20

18. Iowa 8-4 3701/2 17

19. Auburn 8-3-1 288 NR

20. Southern Cal 8-4-1 266 21

21. Mississippi 9-3 253 15

22. BYU 10-3 246 13

23. Virginia 8-4 188 NR

24. Nebraska 9-3 185 19

25. Illinois 8-4 1461/2 16

*****

UPI Top-25

1. Georgia Tech 30 11-0-1 847 2

2. Colorado 27 11-1-1 846 1

3. Miami 2 10-2 763 4

4. Florida State 10-2 677 5

5. Washington 10-2 664 7

6. Notre Dame 9-3 548 6

7. Tennessee 9-2-2 449 10

8. Michigan 9-3 426 12

9. Clemson 10-2 420 11

10. Penn State 9-3 301 8

11. Texas 10-2 268 3

12. Louisville 10-1-1 245 16

13. Texas A&M 9-3-1 204 19

14. Michigan State 8-3-1 120 20

15. Virginia 8-4 65 23

16. Iowa 8-4 57 15

17. tie BYU 10-3 41 9

17. tie Nebraska 9-3 41 13

19. Auburn 8-3-1 39 NR

20. San Jose State 9-2-1 16 25

21. Syracuse 7-4-2 12 NR

22. Southern Cal 8-4-1 9 18

23. Mississippi 9-3 7 14

24. Illinois 8-4 6 17

25. Virginia Tech 6-5 5 NR