Top 25 Takeaways: Tennessee rises; Miles is on the clock
Wisconsin made an emphatic statement, Tennessee and Mississippi snapped long losing streaks to Southeastern Conference rivals and Notre Dame's got some serious problems.
Observations, thoughts and takeaways from week four of the college football season:
1. Butch Jones and Tennessee have their turning point victory . The 14th-ranked Volunteers showed some moxie that had been lacking from the program to rally back and snap an 11-game losing streak to Florida.
2. Things could not be better set up for the Vols to get to Atlanta for the conference title game for the first time since 2007. Because the rest of the East is a mess.
3. Now, Vols, about ending that nine-game losing streak to Alabama . Not happening without some seriously better offensive line play, but y'all enjoy this for now.
4. It would have been the most Les Miles victory in LSU history. Instead, the Tigers' loss to Auburn puts Miles on the clock. After a brutal late-season stretch of games (Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M) he is likely to be fighting for his job - again.
5. No. 11 Wisconsin's sheer dominance of Michigan State in East Lansing was stunning and the Badgers have made an upgrade at quarterback with freshman Alex Hornibrook making his first start.
6. The strange career arc of a defensive coordinator: Justin Wilcox was a budding star with Boise State. The star faded during stops and Tennessee, Washington and Southern California. Now at Wisconsin, Wilcox is in the process of rebuilding his reputation again.
7. Wilcox inherited a stellar group of linebackers, including T.J. Watt, who had 2.5 sacks against the Spartans. Apparently, Watt has a brother who played in the NFL game last Thursday .
8. It gets no easier for the Badgers, who are at No. 4 Michigan next week . The Wolverines made Penn State look like a bad MAC team at the Big House.
9. The Nittany Lions are 0-7 against Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State under coach James Franklin and have been outscored 253-99. That gap is the reason why things are getting uncomfortable for Franklin in Happy Valley.
10. Not so great a day for Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, even though the Seminoles beat USF 55-35. The Seminoles' defense was ripped again. In three games against Ole Miss, Louisville and USF (all good offenses), Florida State is allowing 7.8 yards per play.
11. Kelly still had a much better day than Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder . The Fighting Irish fell to 1-3 in a 38-35 loss to a Duke team that had scored 38 points combined in losses to Wake Forest and Northwestern. An in-season change by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly would not be shocking.
12. Then again, Wake Forest is now 4-0 after beating Indiana. The Deacon Demons won six games in coach Dave Clawson's first two seasons.
13. Never forget how good a job David Cutcliffe has done making Duke football relevant.
14. When Oregon loses at home to Colorado , the direction of the program can reasonably be called into question. It was the first time since 2007 the Ducks lost consecutive games.
15. Oh, and the Buffaloes used a backup quarterback.
16. Add Oregon's Brady Hoke to the list of defensive coordinators who had a bad, bad day.
17. On the other side, the Buffs beat Oregon for the first time since being in the Pac-12 and by far this counts as coach Mike MacIntyre's biggest victory with CU.
18. Ole Miss snapped a 10-game losing streak that dated to 1997 to Georgia and showed why even with two losses the Rebels deserved to be ranked.
19. He's listed as a tight end for Ole Miss, but really Evan Engram is an oversized wide receiver who might have already locked up a spot on the AP All-America team. The senior has 26 catches for 397 yards and three touchdowns in four games.
20. Even talented freshman quarterbacks such as Jacob Eason have their step-back games.
21. After thumping East Carolina, Virginia Tech has outscored its last two opponents 103-17. It should be noted, the Hokies do not play Clemson, Florida State or Louisville from the ACC's Atlantic Division. First-year coach Justin Fuente's transition year could wind up in the conference title game - wherever that will be.
22. The Coastal race has crazy written all over it with North Carolina, Pitt and Miami also in contention. The Tar Heels scored the first big win by rallying past the Panthers .
23. BYU has lost three straight games by a total of seven points after falling short in a comeback effort against West Virginia. Still to come for the Cougars is undefeated Toledo, Michigan State and Mississippi State.
24. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill is not quite what he was before a couple of serious injuries, but he's still a fun player to watch .
25. West Virginia's offense looks good enough to keep the Mountaineers hanging around in the Big 12 race.