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TABLE OF CONTENTS

August 16, 2004 | Volume 101, Issue 6

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Skyler  Green Cover - Sports Illustrated August 16, 2004

August 16, 2004 | Stewart Mandel
If Braylon Edwards’s new outlook is any indication, the Wolverines are serious about another Big Ten title

August 16, 2004 | Lars Anderson
The Tigers have retooled their offense--and put the disappointments of last year behind them

August 16, 2004 | Lars Anderson
2003 RECORD 8–5 (5–3, 3rd in SEC West)

August 16, 2004 | Lars Anderson
Stop Brad Smith: It’s the easy answer to beating the Tigers but one of the hardest tasks in college football

August 16, 2004 | Gene Menez
Inspired by LSU’s defense-led national championship, the hard-hitting Hawkeyes are setting their sights high

August 16, 2004 | Mark Beech
The powerful right arm of Charlie Whitehurst elevates the Tigers from also-ran status to ACC contenders

August 16, 2004 | Mark Beech
The ACC’s stingiest defense has lost key personnel, but thanks to D’Qwell Jackson, none of its sting

August 16, 2004 | Mark Beech
2003 RECORD 10–3 (6–2, 2nd in ACC)

August 16, 2004 | Gene Menez
With a strong season from country-boy quarterback Kellen Clemens, the Ducks will make hay in the Pac-10

August 16, 2004 | Gene Menez
Having climbed to the top of the Mountain West, the Utes are now ready to make their BCS push

August 16, 2004 | Mark Beech
The Mountaineers’ skilled and experienced offensive line will clear a path to the Big East’s BCS bowl bid

August 16, 2004 | Mark Beech
2003 RECORD 8–5 (6–1, T1 in Big East)

August 16, 2004 | Kelley King
Change is in the air in Lincoln: The once-grounded Huskers embrace Bill Callahan’s West Coast offense

August 16, 2004 | Kelley King
2003 RECORD 10–3 (5–3, 2nd in Big 12 North)

August 16, 2004 | Richard Deitsch
A prolific passer and a first-class wideout corps headline the most promising Bears team in ages

August 16, 2004 | Richard Deitsch
2003 RECORD 8–6 (5–3, T3 in Pac-10)

August 16, 2004 | Stewart Mandel
A big-bang backfield and a dominant line have the Gophers believing this is their breakthrough season

August 16, 2004 | Stewart Mandel
2003 RECORD 10–3 (5–3, T4 in Big Ten)

August 16, 2004
End of an Era

August 16, 2004
LETTERS

August 16, 2004 | Gene Menez
With a strong line fronting a potent and balanced offense, the Horned Frogs will again be bowl-bound

August 16, 2004 | Stewart Mandel
Record-setting quarterback Bruce Gradkowski pilots a Rockets offense that’s ready to soar into the elite

August 16, 2004 | Stewart Mandel
2003 RECORD 8–4 (6–2, 2nd in MAC West)

August 16, 2004 | COMPILED BY RICHARD DEITSCH
 

August 16, 2004 | JOHN ED BRADLEY
exactly as forecast. A steady mist was falling; the air was cold. The thing about football is, nobody worth a damn ever ran out on the field believing he couldn’t win.

August 16, 2004 | Rick Reilly
HEY, KIDS! HERE ARE COOL PUZZLES TO SOLVE WHILE WE WAIT TO SEE WHICH OLYMPIC MEDALISTS FLUNK DRUG TESTS IN ATHENS

August 16, 2004
OCTOBER 21, 1963

August 16, 2004 | Steve Rushin
To John McEnroe the exotic is commonplace. “I remember going to Mandela’s house in Jo’burg,” he says. “And I shake his hand, and he’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever touched, the closest thing...

August 16, 2004 | Warren St. John
Embrace your inner couch potato: Research shows the best and the brightest are often those who cheer the loudest for their favorite team

August 16, 2004 | Lisa Altobelli
Disgruntled NHL officials accuse their Hall of Fame ex-boss of corruption

August 16, 2004 | Mark Bechtel
$0 Amount anyone named Martha Stewart will be charged to see the Richmond Roosters play for the rest of the season, the independent Frontier League team’s way of showing support for the disgraced...

August 16, 2004 | Mark Bechtel
Another fantasy sports site? No, but it does help NBA general managers turn trade fantasies into reality. Since salary-cap rules are more arcane than string theory, using pencil and paper to see...

August 16, 2004 | Mark Bechtel
Primed To win a third straight Olympic gold medal, the U.S. women’s team, if its 74–58 win over the WNBA All-Stars in a final pre-Athens tune-up at Radio City Music Hall last Thursday is any...

August 16, 2004 | Bill Syken
Traded His fake sport for a real one, former WWE champion and fledgling defensive tackle Brock Lesnar, 27. The 6'3" 285-pounder, who had not played football since high school in Webster, S.Dak.,...

August 16, 2004 | Mark Bechtel
He no longer plies his trade in the U.K., but according to researchers at the University of Warwick, David Beckham has assumed the title of England’s Rose. Sociologist Andrew Parker analyzed...

August 16, 2004 | MATT LAUER
The 46-year-old cohost of Today, which will air live from Athens Aug. 12–27, is covering his fourth Olympics.

August 16, 2004 | BILL SCHEFT
Hey, good news. The boys at BALCO have turned their attention to a new project: developing a glue that actually seals evidence in the Kobe Bryant case.

August 16, 2004 | Mark Bechtel
How will the U.S. men’s basketball team fare at the Olympics?

August 16, 2004 | JULIA MORR
WHAT TO WATCH AND WATCH FOR

August 16, 2004 | Stephen Cannella
•THE POPULAR digital recorder TiVo has ended the tyranny of commercial interruptions and inflexible network schedules. The NFL now fears the service may offer freedom from the league’s decades-old...

August 16, 2004 | Mark Bechtel
In the latest cinematic adaptation of Nick Hornby’s autobiographical book Fever Pitch, the sport has changed but the premise remains the same: girl meets boy who seems normal until his favorite...

August 16, 2004 | Mark Bechtel
Golfer John Daly has signed endorsement deals with Trimspa and Dunkin’ Donuts.

August 16, 2004 | Mark Bechtel
TERRY FRANCONA

August 16, 2004
Ashley Owens, COLORADO SPRINGS

August 16, 2004 | Tom Verducci
The Marlins are counting on newly acquired catcher Paul Lo Duca to spark them to a second-half turnaround

August 16, 2004 | BY PETER KING
The Bills’ Willis McGahee showed flashes of his old form as he put his surgically reconstructed knee to its toughest test yet

August 16, 2004
[This article consists of photographs--see below]

August 16, 2004
WHO SAID YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG? The reigning co–national champions, USC and LSU, show no fear of blooding freshmen and sophomores at key positions and in the most crucial games. In the era...

August 16, 2004 | Austin Murphy
USC football has been revitalized thanks to a wellspring of blue-chip recruits who contribute right away

August 16, 2004 | Kelley King
LSU’s Nick Saban is the master at signing multiskilled athletes and putting them at the right positions

August 16, 2004 | Tim Layden
Jason White has a message for Matt Leinart: Winning the trophy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

August 16, 2004 | GENE MENEZ
HEISMAN WATCH

August 16, 2004
1. USC

August 16, 2004 | Austin Murphy
The loss of a slew of starters doesn’t faze the Trojans, whose remaining stars are aligned for another title

August 16, 2004 | Lars Anderson
Forget those final two games? No chance. Last year’s late collapse has the Sooners more fired up for ’04

August 16, 2004 | Kelley King
Picking up where they left off last year, the Tigers and their dominant defense are rarin’ to geaux

August 16, 2004 | Mark Beech
With wideout Fred Gibson healthy, focused and ready to lead, the Dawgs have the legs for a title run

August 16, 2004 | Kelley King
A quick, powerful offensive line will help push the ACC newcomers to the forefront of the conference

August 16, 2004 | Kelley King
A go-for-broke defense led by a hog-wild linebacker will make Year 3 of the Ron Zook era the best yet

August 16, 2004 | Kelley King
2003 RECORD 8–5 (6–2, T1 in SEC East)

August 16, 2004 | Lars Anderson
The Longhorns’ mission: Beat Oklahoma. If they do, Vince Young could lead them to a Big 12 championship

August 16, 2004 | Stewart Mandel
Spearheaded by a butt-kicking Butkus Award hopeful, the Buckeyes will reassert their Big Ten supremacy

August 16, 2004 | Kelley King
With a healthy one-two punch out of the backfield, the Seminoles look to fight off the ACC’s newcomers

August 16, 2004 | Kelley King
2003 RECORD 10–3 (7–1, 1ST IN ACC)

August 16, 2004 | Lars Anderson
Boasting the nation’s best back, the reigning Big 12 champs (take that, Sooners!) go for two in a row

August 16, 2004 | Lars Anderson
2003 RECORD 11–4 (6–2, 1st in Big 12 North)

August 16, 2004 | Mark Beech
With no veteran passer to bail out the offense, the pressure is on the running game to carry the Vols

August 16, 2004
COLLEGE FOOTBALL 2004 PREVIEW

August 16, 2004 | KENT CAYCE
Rod Pampling won the International by playing smart and swinging hard, as he did on a 182-yard seven-iron shot that set up his critical eagle at 17

August 16, 2004 | Farrell Evans
As a favor to his caddie, Denver native Ron (Bambi) Levin, British Open champion Todd Hamilton took the claret jug to some of Levin’s old haunts during the week of the International, including...

August 16, 2004 | Sal Johnson
5

August 16, 2004
Voting hours at si.com: 7 p.m. EST Sunday to 3 p.m. EST Monday

August 16, 2004 | GORJUS GEORGE LUCAS*
WHISTLING STRAITS is the most contrived course I’ve ever seen. The road into the place has bunkers and mounds, and it’s the only course I’ve ever mapped with tees protected by traps. The most...

August 16, 2004 | TODD HAMILTON
* JOHN DALY The People’s golfer.

August 16, 2004
EVERY YEAR the PGA Tour welcomes its own boys of summer: young, newly-minted pros aiming to play their way onto the circuit. They are allowed to enter seven tournaments via sponsors’ exemptions,...

August 16, 2004
PLUS

August 16, 2004 | Seth Davis
Heartbreakingly close in the first three majors of the season, Ernie Els has one last chance to turn a disappointing year into a great one

August 16, 2004 | Jim Gorant
Chris DiMarco’s Ryder Cup hopes went from lock to longshot in two hellish days

August 16, 2004 | Jim Gorant
Steady Scott Verplank is a lock to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team regardless of where he finishes in the points standings, but John Daly’s only chance is to play his way on.

August 16, 2004 | Jim Gorant
[Up]

August 16, 2004 | GRANT WAHL
As World Cup qualifying kicks off, teenager Eddie Gaven could have the brightest future of any U.S. prospect

August 16, 2004 | GRANT WAHL
Here are three other young U.S. prospects who could have a role by 2006