Owls soar to the top spot

Originally Published: September 13, 2004

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The Bottom 10's inspirational thought of the week:

Early north Jersey industrial skyline
I'm a all-set cobra jet creepin' through the nighttime
Gotta find a gas station, gotta find a payphone
this turnpike sure is spooky at night when you're all alone
Gotta hit the gas, baby. I'm running late,
this New Jersey in the mornin' like a lunar landscape

-- Bruce Springsteen, "Open All Night"

Sadly, Baylor's run at the top is over. The Bears' 7-point win over Texas State wasn't exactly impressive, heck it wasn't even over a Division I-A team, but rules are rules. If you win a game, you get a week off the Bottom 10. However, the Bottom 10 doesn't think the Bears have shared their last Dr. Pepper with us. We'll probably see the boys from Waco sometime in the not-so-distant future.

Baylor's loss opens the door for some lucky team to No. 1. The first stop in that search takes us to the Empire State. The all-New York Pillow Fight didn't turn out didn't turn out to be a thriller, but it did end some of the controversy about the worst team in the state. Buffalo's 17-37 loss to Syracuse eliminates the Orange from the competition. As usual, the race will come down to the Bulls and Army. Wouldn't it be great if Buffalo, Syracuse and Army all played each other every year? The Bottom 10 can dream, right?

Then there's the No. 5 spot. No need to even talk about contenders this week. One team and one team alone deserves this honor. In case the Springsteen reference didn't give it a way, it's Rutgers. How did the State University of New Jersey respond to its win over Michigan State in the opener? The Scarlet Knights were shutout 21-0 in the second half and lost 35-24 at home to Division I-AA New Hampshire. The Springsteen song title for this week's inspirational thought couldn't be more appropriate. Wildcats' receivers were definitely open all night in Piscataway. Redshirt freshman QB Ricky Santos scorched Rutgers for 385 yards and five TDs.

For the first time this year, the Pillow Fight of the Week will not involve Buffalo. This week we're focused on Texas -- sorry OU fans, but the Longhorns are not involved. The Houston, however, is. The Cougars, fresh off a 63-13 pasting in Norman, host Army.

ESPN.com users had plenty to say about the Week 2 Bottom 10 ranking.

With apologies to Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10:

>ESPN.com's Bottom 10
 RankTeam2004 Rec.Comment
1.Temple0-2Do you think it would make much of a difference if the Eagles loaned the Owls Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens for a weekend?
2.San Jose State0-1Just a thought, but maybe the Spartans should drop the State from their name. Don't laugh, look what it did for Troy.
3.Army0-1With the losing streak now at 16, too bad Patton and MacArthur aren't around to help with strategy.
4.Buffalo0-2It still might be a little early in the relationship, but the Bottom 10 is seriously considering giving the Bulls a spare key.
5.Rutgers1-1That sound you hear is all the media "experts" jumping off the SUNJ bandwagon, after the appropriately named Scarlet Knights lost to hockey power New Hampshire.
6.Louisiana Monroe0-1Hope the Indians enjoyed their week off because facing an angry bunch of Razorbacks will not be pleasant on Saturday.
7.Directional Michigan0-1Eastern, Central and Western Michigan headed due south last Saturday, losing by a combined score of 136-17.
8.Idaho0-2The Vandals had more first downs, more rushing yards, fewer turnovers and controlled the clock, but still lost to Utah State. Some teams just like hanging around the Bottom 10.
9.East Carolina0-2The Good Ship Lollipop would probably stand a good chance at repelling this bunch of Pirates.
10.North Carolina1-1The Bottom 10 tried to find its resident UNC expert for a comment, but much like the Heels' defense, he could not be located.

Waiting list: Ball State (0-2), Central Florida (0-2), Duke (0-2), Houston (0-2), Missouri's AD for scheduling a game at Troy (0-1), New Mexico State (0-2), SMU (0-2) and Toledo (0-2).