46 First in a Series
As fans in Chicago and Houston savored the scene, the White Sox (88 years without a championship) got the jump on the Astros (0 for 43) in a refreshingly new Fall Classic
by Tom Verducci
52 West Side Story
Playing in the shadow of the top-ranked Trojans, UCLA backfield mates Drew Olson and Maurice Drew have created their own buzz in Los Angeles
by Austin Murphy
56 Change for the Better
Largely ignored because of his bad rep, Plaxico Burress signed with New York, where he's Eli Manning's primary target--and the NFL's best off-season pickup
by Jeffri Chadiha
60 "I Am an American"
Ethiopian-born Meb Keflezighi has won an Olympic medal for the U.S. Maybe if he wins the New York City marathon, he'll shed his image as a foreigner
by Tim Layden
This Is the Life
In eight days as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns, the author took a hit from Shawn Marion, lost a bet on Amaré Stoudemire and learned to love the game in a whole new way
by Jack McCallum
FOR VIDEO OF "COACH JACK," GO TO SI.COM/NBA.
6 Leading Off
18 Catching Up With ...
21 Air and Space
Ah, to someday be worthy of this Oscar by Steve Rushin
• Rollicking Rocky VI scenarios
• Will the Saints bolt the Big Easy?
32 Faces in the Crowd
86 Life of Reilly
At the World Series, Chicago's Rain Man in a mask
by Rick Reilly
78 College Football
• Basketball's loss is Georgia's gain
80 The NFL
• The Steelers win in a rush
83 Horse Racing
• Lost in the Fog's brilliant year
84 Motor Sports
• The Chase: four-driver scramble
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHUCK SOLOMON
INSET PHOTOS: John W. McDonough (2: Olson, Nash)
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**Which state plays the best high school football? See how the top programs stack up in the National Power Rankings, Thursdays at SI.com.
**Georgia is poised to move up in the BCS standings if any of the three teams ahead of it falter--provided, that is, the unbeaten Bulldogs don't get tripped up first. Get a preview of their SEC matchup with Florida at SI.com/collegefootball, and see Stewart Mandel's weekly Power Rankings.
**With the 2005--06 NBA season opening on Nov. 1, go to SI.com/nba and get the latest on the Phil Jackson--Kobe Bryant reunion as well as fantasy rankings for each position and a photo gallery of rookies to watch, including Chris Paul (above).
**SI senior writer Jack McCallum recently spent eight days coaching Steve Nash, Amaré Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and the rest of the Suns. See a video and photo gallery of Coach Jack, along with outtakes, at SI.com/nba.
**Unsure of whom to start and whom to sit in your fantasy league this week? Get fantasy football news, notes and observations at SI.com/fantasy.
**The NFC East is shaping up as one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL, with all four teams above .500. How will Eli Manning (below) and the Giants fare against the resurgent Redskins? Find out at SI.com/nfl.
**For a gallery of NFL players out for the season and the brightest stars in the league under 25, go to SI.com/photos.
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (BURRESS)
¬†¬† CATCH AND CARRY
One of the season's key free-agent pickups, Plaxico Burress helped lift the Giants to a 24-23 win over Denver.
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (MCCALLUM)
BILL FRAKES (PUNT)
¬†¬† FINE LINE
The Georgia punting team looked sharp in a 23-20 defeat of Arkansas, which ran the Bulldogs' record to 7-0.
PORTER BINKS (BULLDOG)
GARRETT W. ELLWOOD/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (PAUL)
BOB ROSATO (MANNING)