FOR JAN. 20, 2014
Ahead of the Game
We've just wrapped up another college season, the last of the oft-maligned BCS era. What better time to look ahead to next season's first annual College Football Playoff and predict which teams are likely to be in it? Even before we know who will be coaching where and all the players who will declare for the NFL draft, SI.com writer Martin Rickman presents The Way-Too-Early Top 25. Go to SI.com/cfb for Rickman's rankings of college football's best-teams-to-be.
SI TABLET EXTRA
Trail Blazers phenom Damian Lillard (page 44) is just one of many basketball stars from Oakland. Check out a gallery of the city's top NBA players, including Hall of Famer Bill Russell, who won 11 titles with the Celtics (including two as a player-coach) during his 13-year NBA career.
With the announcement of the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, SI.com takes a look at the HOF also-rans, including catcher Mike Piazza, who in his second year on the ballot finished with 62.2% of the vote, just a bit shy of the 75% threshold.
Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason discusses why Johnny Manziel's presence in the 2014 draft will make the NFL must-see TV next season and why he thinks Johnny Football could lead a team to the Super Bowl.
From now through the Super Bowl, as well as during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will regularly feature the most intriguing on-the-climb athletes. This week's Rising Star is Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who threw for 3,357 yards and 26 touchdowns during the regular season and now has Seattle one win away from the Super Bowl. To see a video about Wilson, go to SI.com/risingstars
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY NICOLE ZIGMONT; CHRIS KEANE FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (WINSTON); JEFF HAYNES FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MILLER); AL TIELEMANS/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (YELDON, WILSON); SIMON BRUTY/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MARIOTA); BILL FRAKES/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (FIELD); JASON PARKHURST FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (STADIUM CROWD)
JOHN IACONO/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PIAZZA)
DARREN CARROLL FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MANZIEL)
DICK RAPHAEL FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (RUSSELL)