44 They GotGame
The first 115meetings between bitter rivals Kansas and Missouri were mostly forgettable, butthis one won't be. Saturday's victor will be one win from playing for thenational championship
48 The Fight forSecond
While the Patriotscontinue to operate on a higher plane, NFL Nation is left to wonder whether aviable contender--Dallas? Green Bay? Indy?--will emerge
By Tim Layden
• The Pats'precision play-calling
54 Bringing ItHome
Jimmie Johnsonrepeated as Nextel Cup champ with a flawless run at Homestead
60 A Big-timeGamble
Some top recruits,like point guard Oscar Bellfield, would rather wait than sign
The HoustonDynasty--er, Dynamo--seized its second straight MLS Cup
By Grant Wahl
THE ROAD TO BADNEWZ
Through his riseand fall the QB stayed loyal to a tight circle of friends--homeboys who usedhim and ultimately sold him out
By George Dohrmannand Farrell Evans
10 Leading Off
• The antidote toBarry Bonds
• Remembering JoeNuxhall
• The Stars'strange G.M. choice
• Sports' biggestlosers
• First Person:Chris Paul
• The NFL's Jonesbrothers face off
• Caltech: revengeof the nerds
40 Faces in theCrowd
88 Life ofReilly
In Washington highschool athletics, a punishment that seems criminal by Rick Reilly
Inside . . .
81 The NFL
• Assessing RexGrossman
84 The NBA
• Dwyane Wadefires up the Heat
• A winningmakeover at Georgia
PHOTOGRAPH BYDAMIAN STROHMEYER
INSET PHOTO: DavidWalberg
For reprints of SIcovers visit www.SIcovers.com.
To sign up forSPORTS ILLUSTRATED'Sfree subscriber-only e-mail newslettergo tosicustomerservice.com/siextra.
SPORTS IN REALTIME. ALL THE TIME. ALL FREE. CUSTOMIZED ACCESS TO ANY SIX OF YOUR FAVORITETEAMS. HD-QUALITY PHOTOS. STREAMING VIDEO. THE BEST NEWS AND ANALYSIS ON THEWEB
THE TURKEYS OF THEYEAR
BRYANT, WEIS,BONDS, BELICHICK AND MORE TURKEYS AT SI.COM/TURKEYS.
The Pats AreUnstoppable
The question isnot who can beat Tom Brady and the Patriots. It's who can give them a game.There's never been anything like this in the NFL.
Read more of thiscolumn at SI.com/king.
Hail to theChamps
Jimmie Johnson'screw chief, Chad Knaus, is a solid motivator and, more significantly, asingenious as anyone in the Nextel Cup garage.
Read more of thiscolumn at SI.com/anderson.
1. Photos: BarryBonds's growth
2. Peter King onBig Ben Roethlisberger
3. MLB's bestfree-agent contracts ever
1. Heisman Watch:Tim Tebow is on top
2. Marty Burns'sNBA Power Rankings
3. Seth Davis'sCollege Hoop Thoughts
Check 'em all outat SI.com/traffic.
The Hawks haveseven lottery picks on their roster, including Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams,but they don't have a lot of wins to show for it.
Weigh in with yourthoughts at fannation.com.
Your news, yourway: Pick your favorite teams and get personalized news from across the Web aswell as photos on your desktop at SI.com/mySI.
DAVID WALBERG (JOHNSON)
54 A WHEEL RUSH At the Ford¬†400 on Sunday, Jimmie Johnson's pit crew was efficient enough for a seventh-place finish, which clinched his second straight Nextel Cup championship.
MICHAEL BLACKWELL/POLARIS (VICK)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH
MEL LEVINE (KING, ANDERSON)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (BRADY)
NIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK (JIMMIE JOHNSON)
PETER READ MILLER (ROETHLISBERGER)
JOHN BIEVER (TEBOW)
BOB ROSATO (JOE JOHNSON)