Miami, which ended the '80s as the nation's top college football team, is starting the '90s the same way.

The defending national champions are ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason poll. The Hurricanes beat Notre Dame by 25 points in voting by a nationwide panel of 60 sportswriters and broadcasters.

"It's nice to be recognized, but it also puts a burden on you," Miami Coach Dennis Erickson said. "When you're number one, everybody wants to play their best against you."

The Hurricanes, who have won three of the last seven national titles, received 24 first-place votes and 1,431 points. Notre Dame, which finished second last season, was runner-up again with 22 first-place votes and 1,406 points.

Virginia, which won a share of its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship last season, made the preseason rankings for the first time.

It is the first time Miami has been ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll. The Hurricanes' previous high was No. 3 in 1986.

Auburn was third in the poll, Florida State was No. 4 and Colorado was No. 5. Auburn received three first-place votes and 1,311 points, while Florida State -- which handed Miami its only defeat last season -- got six first-place votes and 1,268 points.

Colorado, which was No. 1 last season before losing to Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl, received four first-place votes and 1,258 points.

A team gets 25 points for a first-place vote, 24 points for second and so on, down to one point for 25th place.