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Original Issue


OSU on Top

Even before I opened the Nov. 27 issue, I knew I could not sum up what the Ohio State Buckeyes have done this year better than your cover did. The Best. Period. No matter what happens at the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 8, the Buckeyes have proven during the regular season that they are the best team in the nation. Go Buckeyes.
Ryan Crandall, Napoleon, Ohio

While reading Austin Murphy's The Buckeyes Have It (Nov. 27), I was impressed by Troy Smith's comments regarding the importance of his teammates. Smith and the Buckeyes are earning respect not only by winning games, but by how they win games: with respect and humility.
Brad Miller, Attica, Ohio

It's funny how when Smith was suspended for a game two years ago for violating team and NCAA rules and standards, we Buckeyes faithful—remembering Maurice Clarett—rolled our eyes and thought, Not this again. Instead we got a leader and a class act, an undefeated season, a trip to the national championship game and a Heisman Trophy winner.
Erlina Mae Bowers, Pittsburgh

Clearly this classic OSU-Michigan game featured the two best teams in college football. The BCS should have honored the late Bo Schembechler, a coach for the ages, by granting his alma maters a rematch for the ages.
Kurt Lark, Concord, N.C.

Florida deserves its spot in the BCS title game since the Southeastern Conference was by far the toughest conference in the land this season—as SI stated in its cover story a few months back (Battle of the South, Oct. 16).
Peter Bowling Anderson-South Dennis, Mass.

I grew up in Ohio during the Bo versus Woody era of the Michigan--Ohio State rivalry, and my father and I both went to the school where each of these football giants had his early coaching success: Miami (Ohio). When the Wolverines would beat the Buckeyes, my dad would say, "Goody, goody, goody, Bo beat Woody!" Now Bo again joins Woody, and his type won't be seen again.
John McLaughlin, Lakewood, Colo.

Odd Odds

SCORECARD (Nov. 27) has the odds of a particular number hitting in the Ohio Pick 4 Lottery as 10,000 to 1. It's a slam dunk, however, that that understates the odds of a particular number coming up and that number being the final score of the OSU-Michigan game—a parlay, in gambling parlance. The odds of the Pick 4 number matching the final score are presumably incalculable.
Richard Lichtig, West Caldwell, N.J.

Family Business

Let me get this straight. Derrick Rose is a basketball phenom who lives in a dangerous, drug- and gang-infested part of Chicago and is being raised by a single mother (The Well-Guarded Guard, Nov. 27). To help protect and guide her son, his mother has Derrick's three older brothers watch over him and keep at bay people who are trying to capitalize on Derrick's abilities. And because of this, agents accuse the family—especially the brothers—of trying to "exploit" Derrick. Are we to feel sorry for the poor agents because they're not making money off Derrick? To me, this is a story of family love. This world needs fewer agents and more mothers like Brenda Rose. Good luck to the entire family.
Brian McGuire, Mauston, Wis.

Two Clear

Tim Layden's Two Tough (Nov. 27), which dissects and explains the Cover Two defense, was outstanding. I learned more about football in 15 minutes of reading than in years of casual football watching and listening to network announcers. Hours later, I watched the Bears-Vikings game and could immediately appreciate each of the Bears' defensive assignments and roles, which made the game immensely more fun.
David Pattie, Lake Forest, Ill.


His eyes say it all: Uh-oh! Like Colts receiver Marvin Harrison staring wide-eyed at his fumbled ball (LEADING OFF, Nov. 27), I am continually mesmerized by the spectacular photo spreads that kick off each issue and capture subtle, poignant moments in sports that otherwise are lost in a flurry of action.
Ryan Gehm, Cranberry Township, Pa.

Beat Writer

Kudos to the always energetic Steve Rushin for his thoughts on athlete fatigue (AIR AND SPACE, Nov. 27). Permit me to add one more example: Tiger Woods recently skipped The Tour Championship because he was too tired, but somehow he found the strength just one week later to compete in an event in China. Is it possible that guaranteed megabucks appearance fees are a cure for exhaustion?
Mark Concannon, Whitefish Bay, Wis.

My wife and I concluded years ago that the only people allowed to check into hospitals with "exhaustion" are very rich people. The rest of the population has to work through it.
Charlie Bensinger, Louisville

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