Publish date:



FOR DEC. 26, 2016


Four's Company

How many teams does a college football playoff really need? Should the postseason field be expanded? Is it fair that under the current four-team format, at least one Power 5 conference champion will be left out? (Is it, Penn State fans?) As we head into the College Football Playoff, matchups between No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Washington in the Peach Bowl, and No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl—both on Dec. 31—SPORTS ILLUSTRATED senior writer Michael Rosenberg makes the case for why four is actually the perfect number of teams for a playoff. Go to to read Rosenberg's essay and to get our prediction for each playoff game.


Photographer Michael J. Le Brecht II used the Moto Z™ Droid with Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod™ to snap Dwayne Johnson for the cover of our Dec. 5 issue, the first shot with a smartphone. To see Johnson's cover, behind-the-scenes content and more, go to


Digital Bonus

Modeled on a Myth

From the SI Vault: Dec. 29, 1997--Jan. 5, 1998


Eddie Eagan outdid his hero, Frank Merriwell, with gold in boxing and bobsled

By Brad Herzog

To read this and other stories from the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED archives, go