Mel Kennedy, a senior forward and two-year starter for the University of Virginia basketball team, has been suspended from the team until at least Jan. 1 by Coach Terry Holland because of "poor class attendance during the spring semester."

In a statement released by the Virginia sports information office yesterday, Holland said he placed Kennedy on probationary status last spring. When Kennedy showed no significant improvement in attendance during his summer-school courses, Holland decided to suspend him.

"At that time, I told Mel that it was unlikely that he would play this year unless he could essentially attend every single class," Holland said in the release. "He indicated that he could do so, but has already missed enough classes to leave me unconvinced on his sincerity in this regard. I have, therefore, suspended him from the team for an indefinite period of time."

Holland declined further comment on the matter.

Kennedy averaged 12.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season. School officials emphasized that he remained eligible to play by NCAA and university academic standards . . .

Oklahoma and Nebraska remained atop the Associated Press' college football standings following their second straight easy victories. Oklahoma received 54 first-place votes and 1,193 points in voting by a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The other six first-place ballots went to Nebraska, which had 1,127 points.

Three top 20 teams fell back after losing to other ranked teams. UCLA, third a week ago before being beaten by Nebraska, 42-33, dropped to 13th; Michigan fell from ninth to 19th after losing to Notre Dame, 26-7, and defending national champion Penn State went from 11th to 20th after losing to Alabama, 24-13. Notre Dame climbed from 16th a week ago to ninth, while Alabama, 19th last week, moved up to No. 11.