Stuck in the middle with the Bottom 10
A surprise team finds itself stuck in the middle of the Bottom 10 with the bottom of the college football barrell.
The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain't right,
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.
Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,
And I'm wondering what it is I should do,
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I'm all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
-- Stealers Wheel, "Stuck In The Middle With You"
After opening the season ranked No. 4 in the AP and USA Today Top 25, the last place Michigan expected to be on Oct. 11 was stuck in the middle of the Bottom 10 at the halfway point. However, a 3-3 start has the Wolverines in the highly coveted No. 5 spot at the midpoint on the season. The Maize and Blue has two home losses by October for the first time since 1994. Other teams, including Oklahoma, Purdue and Texas A&M, have strong credentials as the season's biggest disappointment to date, but the extremely high expectations for the Wolverines in 2005 make Michigan the choice.
As for the clowns to the left of the Wolverines and jokers to the right, Temple, Buffalo and Idaho remain from the preseason Bottom 10, while Army, Duke, Louisiana-Lafayette and New Mexico State have made the move down from the preseason waiting list. Kentucky and Rice have also played their ways onto the Bottom 10.
But remember, we're only halfway home. There's time enough to leave a lasting impression on the Bottom 10. There are plenty of potential losses on the remaining schedule. The big question for the second half is, will a team be able to catch Temple? With games against Miami, at Clemson, at Virginia next up before finishing up with Miami (Ohio) and at Navy, the Owls could be staring at a winless campaign.
Special Bottom 10 note to the Owls: Getting Miami to visit this Saturday is great, but you might want to rethink scheduling the Hurricanes as your homecoming game in the future.
The Pillow Fight of the Week is a Sun Belt special. Louisiana-Lafayette is traveling to Jonesboro, Ark., to take on Arkansas State.
ESPN.com users had plenty to say about the Oct. 11 Bottom 10.
With apologies to Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10.
|ESPN.com's Bottom 10|
|1.||Temple||0-6||Listening to Hanson's "Middle of Nowhere" album on a loop is preferable to watching the Owls, who have lost five of their six games by more than 25 points.|
|2.||Buffalo||0-5||The Pretenders sing that you see the darndest things in the middle of the road. The Bulls celebrating a win is rarely one of them.|
|3.||New Mexico State||0-6||The Aggies can relate to Elton John when he wonders "how come it's cold as Christmas in the middle of the year."|
|4.||Rice||0-4||The Owls, who are tied with Army for the nation's longest losing streak at 10, get it when Natalie Imbruglia sings "I got my ticket. And I got a straight road. But I'm passing the same signs. Over and Over" in "Left of the Middle."|
||3-3||The Sugababes sum up the Wolverines' season to date nicely in "In the Middle": "I'm caught up in the middle. Jumping through the riddle. I'm falling just a little tonight (uh-huh). Cos everybody's making trouble. Someone's burst their bubble."|
|6.||Army||0-5||Even Steve Lucky knows the Black Knights are "Smack Dab In the Middle" of a 10-game losing streak.|
|7.||Louisiana-Lafayette||1-4||No truth to the rumor that Jason and the Stragglers dedicated "Somewhere in the Middle" to the Ragin' Cajuns.|
|8.||Duke||1-5||Chances are the Blue Devil students would rather read "One Hundred Middle English Lyrics" edited by Robert D. Stevick than attend a Duke game -- at least until they toss it up at Cameron Indoor.|
|9.||Kentucky||1-4||Think the Bee Gees had Rich Brooks in mind when they wrote: "I'm just the man in the middle of a complicated plan. No one to show me the signs. I'm just a creature of habit in a complicated world. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide."|
|10.||Idaho||1-4||One Amazon.com review suggested that Chely Wright's "Right in the Middle of It" should be bought used and as cheap as possible. After losing 62-14 to Nevada, the same could be said about Vandals tickets.|
Waiting list: Arizona (1-4), Hawaii (1-4), Kent State (1-4), San Jose State (1-4), Syracuse (1-4) and Washington (1-4).
Dropped out: Ball State, Florida Atlantic, Pittsburgh, UNLV and Vanderbilt.
David Duffey is a college sports editor at ESPN.com.