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December 5, 2011 Table Of Contents

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LEADING OFF

LEADING OFF

Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS

THE FIRST 48 HOURS

The rebuilding job for a new coach begins immediately. For Rich Rodriguez's first two days, SI was there for every minute

By Andy Staples

VALUE JUDGMENTS

Wins or stats: What's the best way to measure a passer? Many evaluators think the latter—which is bad news for some young QBs

By Jim Trotter

PETER KING'S: THINGS I THINK

By Peter King

REBUILT TO LAST

After two ACL surgeries and a combined 14 months of rehab, Purdue forward Robbie Hummel has got his groove back

By David Epstein

STRETCH PLAYERS

As the fantasy postseason approaches, matchups matter. Winning requires hot players with weak opponents. Below are a few smart roster fillers—along with their schedules for the all-important Weeks 14, 15 and 16—that are available in nearly half of all leagues.

By David Sabino

NBA PREVIEW 2011-12

'TIS THE SEASON

After almost failing to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the owners and players struck a last-minute deal that will yield a 66-game schedule starting on Christmas Day, at least six years of labor peace—and maybe a more wide-open race for the championship

By Lee Jenkins

WHO'S OUT THERE?

Thanks to the lockout, teams have a shorter free-agency period to fill their holes—and big names are at a premium

By Ian Thomsen

ATLANTIC

By Chris Mannix

CENTRAL

By Chris Mannix

SOUTHEAST

By Chris Mannix

SOUTHWEST

By Sam Amick

NORTHWEST

By Sam Amick

PACIFIC

By Sam Amick

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING

Sorry, Cowboys and Cardinal and Hokies. Like it or not, No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama are virtually locked in for Tigers-Tide II, and this time the megamatchup will be for all the marbles

By Lars Anderson

GAMES OF THE WEEK

Here are the teams and the themes to follow this week

By Cory McCartney

PRO FOOTBALL

#OCCUPY THE PLAYOFFS

A first-ever postseason berth is the righteous cause in Houston—but with two QBs already lost to injury, the Texans will need hard-charging, deep-thinking feature back Arian Foster to lead the way

By Damon Hack

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

TREY MAGNIFIQUE

Twenty-five years ago college hoops drew a line in the hardwood. Scorned, reviled, embraced only by the desperate, it changed the game forever

By Kelli Anderson

SPECIAL REPORT

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

A top student and football star in South Central L.A., Kitam Hamm is one of a growing number of high school athletes who face life-and-death decisions every day as they try to survive in gang-infested communities

By Jeff Benedict

A SENSELESS KILLING

All-city L.A. wide receiver Dannie Farber was out eating dinner with his girlfriend when he was shot by a gang member

By Michael McKnight

SAFE HAVEN

Dominguez High coach Keith Donerson helps kids avoid trouble by making them choose football over gangs

By Jeff Benedict

POINT AFTER

STILLWATER RUNS DEEP

By Phil Taylor

Departments

LETTERS

Masthead

STAR POWER

Sidney Crosby's blockbuster return shows where the focus in sports belongs

By Michael Farber

HOT | NOT

FOR THE RECORD

Another Troubling Case

Hit by an abuse scandal of its own, Syracuse seeks to avoid the missteps made by Penn State

By L. Jon Wertheim

High and Mighty Thrilling

A new film goes over the top in its celebration of some extreme athletes

By Rebecca Shore

Telling It Like It Was

A sportscasting giant is interpreted for a generation that never knew him

By Alexandra Fenwick

FACES IN THE CROWD

Edited by Alexandra Fenwick

JUST MY TYPE

By Dan Patrick