CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- At 6:30 a.m. yesterday, Virginia became the fourth No. 1 college football team of this still-young season.
By 7 p.m., Mincer's Gift Shop on University Avenue in Charlottesville had a new set of T-shirts in stock, with the official AP poll printed on the back.
"This is the Andy Warhol thing," Virginia coach George Welsh said, downplaying Virginia's first-ever rendezvous with the top football rating. "This is our 15 minutes of fame."
Welsh said he wasn't going to get too excited about the new AP or UPI rankings, which both put Virginia (6-0) ahead of No. 2 Miami (4-1). By next week, if Miami beats Notre Dame at South Bend, Ind., Virginia might drop to No. 2 again -- no matter how badly it humbles Wake Forest.
"What if it's for one week? I've thought about that," Welsh said. "I don't think it's a big deal, and we shouldn't dwell on it. I've just got to get my players worrying about other things after today. Like Wake Forest."
Beyond a front-page headline in the local paper, The Daily Progress, there was little measurable excitement over the new poll in the central Virginia city. Students were still gone on a four-day fall break. Most players were ho-humming this precedent as if it happened every autumn.
"I didn't wake up feeling any different," nose guard Ron Carey said. "We've still got damned practice at 3:15 p.m."
After meeting Wake Forest, Virginia has a week off before an ACC showdown with No. 11 Georgia Tech.