36 Hail to the Horns
Led by quarterback Vince Young, Texas ended USC's winning streak and won the national championship
by Austin Murphy
40 Return Trip?
Fiesta Bowl winner Ohio State is primed to make it back to Arizona
by Lars Anderson
42 Bowls in Review
A 25-game salute to the highs (and lows) of the postseason
46 Bear Season
A spirited D has Chicago believing in itself-and its Super Bowl chances
by Jeffri Chadiha
52 Buckeyes Arrive
Under coach Thad Matta, Ohio State is off to a torrid start-a year early
by Grant Wahl
56 Russian Evolution
Capitals rookie Alexander Ovechkin has the tools to carry an NHL team
by Michael Farber
What Went Wrong In Winthrop?
One high school football team, five suicides in three years. Can we learn anything?
By E.M. Swift
6 Leading Off
12 From the Chairman
19 Air and Space
There's nothing more tiring than retirement by Steve Rushin
• College football needs a playoff
28 Faces in the Crowd
74 Life of Reilly
Caltech hoopsters: the failed search for a winning formula by Rick Reilly
70 The NBA
• Is a Finals rematch inevitable?
72 College Basketball
• Three freshmen propel Memphis
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT BECK
INSET PHOTO: Damian Strohmeyer
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Through Tuesday, Steve Nash (right) and the Suns were 15-6 when scoring 100 or more points. But unlike last season's squad, this one does more than run and gun: Phoenix ranks second in the league in defensive efficiency. Get Kelly Dwyer's take on the Suns and Marty Burns's power rankings of the entire league at SI.com/NBA.
How formidable is Duke this season? Seth Davis contends that Mike Krzyzewski (left) and his Blue Devils, who are off to a blazing 13-0 start, could lose a few times in their final 17 regular-season games but still get a No. 1 seed come March. He's also high on Memphis, but down on Texas. Get more insight and analysis from Davis and Grant Wahl, plus Luke Winn's and Tracy Schultz's power rankings, at SI.com/collegebasketball.
The field at the Mercedes Open will be without Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, but it should still have six of last year's top 10 money winners, including Sergio García and Vijay Singh. Get coverage of the season-opening tournament at SI.com/golf, as well as a photo gallery of the pros who will supply the most drama this year.
The Seahawks have never appeared in a Super Bowl; in fact, they've been in only one conference championship game, losing 30-14 to the Raiders in January '84. How far can Shaun Alexander (left) take the NFC's top team this season? Get Peter King's and Dr. Z's takes at SI.com/NFL, along with analysis from Falcons coach Jim Mora throughout the playoffs.
BIG BAD BEAR Chicago's playoff chances will hinge on the play of its rugged defense, led by All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher.
ANDY LYONS/GETTY IMAGES (DUNGY)
INSPIRATION Five days after burying his 18-year-old son, Tony Dungy guided the Colts to a 17--13 win over Arizona, whose coach, Dennis Green, embraced his friend's return.
GREG NELSON (NASH); DAMIAN STROHMEYER(KRZYZEWSKI); PETER READ MILLER (ALEXANDER)