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TABLE OF CONTENTS

August 16, 1999 | Volume 91, Issue 6

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LaVar Arrington Cover - Sports Illustrated August 16, 1999

August 16, 1999 | Tim Layden
Steve Spurrier's guys may think of themselves as underdogs, but other teams who do risk getting Gator-bit

August 16, 1999 | Tim Layden
Schedule strength: 19th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Tim Layden
For the first time in his tenure with the Gators, Spurrier has a club that is mildly suspect and inexperienced. And he's loving it. This could be the surprise team of the year.

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
No longer intimidated by high-ranked opponents, the Aggies and their fierce defense should strike fear in others

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
Schedule strength: 50th of 114

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
The Aggies are capable of winning the Big 12 championship game and going to a major bowl.

August 16, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
The powerful Yellow Jackets have with it takes to make history repeat

August 16, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
Schedule strength: 54th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
Hamilton can carry the team only so far. If the defense can't improve on last season's shaky performance, the Yellow Jackets will be spending New Year's at home.

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
Gary Barnett knows he must toughen up the Buffaloes if they're to return to glory

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
Schedule strength: 55th of 114

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
Moschetti and a swarming defense will put Colorado in contention in the Big 12, but unless the Buffaloes somehow discover a running game, they will go no further.

August 16, 1999 | Tim Crothers
All eyes will be on Ron Dayne as he goes for the NCAA career rushing record

August 16, 1999 | Tim Crothers
Schedule strength: 65th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Tim Crothers
The lack of an established passing game will prevent the Badgers from returning to the Rose Bowl.

August 16, 1999 | Marty Burns
The success of a new option offense will determine the pluck of these Irish

August 16, 1999 | Marty Burns
Schedule strength: 20th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Marty Burns
Jackson and the defense will keep the Fighting Irish in most games, but they will be hard-pressed to match last season's 9-3 record.

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
The Hurricanes are stoked for the likes of Ohio State, Penn State, and Florida State

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
Schedule strength: 32nd of 114

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
The schedule is challenging, but the Hurricanes have the talent and depth to compete. A New Year's Day bowl may be in the cards.

August 16, 1999 | Richard Deitsch
The Bruins have the nation's top receivers, but who will throw them the ball?

August 16, 1999 | Richard Deitsch
Schedule strength: 6th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Richard Deitsch
This is a year for the Bruins' young talent to develop. UCLA will put a scare in some good teams, but it won't be a serious national championship contender until next year.

August 16, 1999 | Ian Thomsen
The Wolverines are loaded up front but must avoid early-season stumbles

August 16, 1999 | Ian Thomsen
Schedule strength: 3rd of 114

August 16, 1999 | Ian Thomsen
Back-to-back meetings with Penn State (away) and Ohio State (home) will be too big a hurdle for the Wolverines to clear.

August 16, 1999 | Mark Bechtel
With a one-two punch at quarterback and running back, the Tide should be up

August 16, 1999 | Mark Bechtel
Schedule strength: 5th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Mark Bechtel
The Crimson Tide might win the SEC West crown but won't get past the SEC East winner in the conference championship game.

August 16, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
A freshman quarterback could put some flash in the Hokies' offense

August 16, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
Schedule strength 70th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
If Vick helps the offense catch up with the defense, Virginia Tech will be looking at 10 wins this season.

August 16, 1999 | Lars Anderson
These Dawgs'll hunt if they can surround their young quarterback with some talent

August 16, 1999 | Lars Anderson
Schedule strength: 43rd of 114

August 16, 1999 | Lars Anderson
A weak nonconference schedule will prove to be fool's gold. Georgia could match last year's 9-3 record; improving upon it is unlikely.

August 16, 1999 | Richard Deitsch
The Trojans ride in with an eclectic mix of offensive weapons and a retooled D

August 16, 1999 | Richard Deitsch
Schedule strength: 12th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Richard Deitsch
A more experienced Palmer and an improved running game will help the Trojans challenge for the Pac-10 championship. Winning that crown, however, will be another story.

August 16, 1999 | Lars Anderson
Ricky who? The Longhorns won't be shot on talent despite losing Williams

August 16, 1999 | Lars Anderson
Schedule strength: 25th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Lars Anderson
Sans Williams, the Longhorns won't win any championships this season, but it's only a matter of time before the nation's top recruiting class turns Texas into a power.

August 16, 1999 | Tim Layden
The Boilermakers got fat on a light schedule but now must play the big boys

August 16, 1999 | Tim Layden
Schedule strength: 8th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Tim Layden
Give Brees a ground game, win two of four in October, and Purdue will be playing in a bowl.

August 16, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
It took a Nutt to lead the Razorbacks out of the wilderness and into bowls

August 16, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
Schedule strength: 47th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
Stoerner and his teammates, have the talent and motivation to go where they could have gone in '98: the SEC championship game and a BCS bowl.

August 16, 1999 | Mark Bechtel
An inexperienced offense means the Wildcats will have to score with defense

August 16, 1999 | Mark Bechtel
Schedule strength: 68th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Mark Bechtel
K-State is no one-year wonder and could go to a New Year's Day bowl, but its best chance to win a national title came—and went—last year.

August 16, 1999 | Richard Deitsch
The Thundering Herd may play at a small school, but it has big ambitions

August 16, 1999 | Richard Deitsch
Schedule strength: 113th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Richard Deitsch
The Thundering Herd has a shot to be undefeated and will go as far as Pennington's golden right arm carries it.

August 16, 1999 | Gene Menez
The Sun Devils hope their offense can cover up sins committed by their defense

August 16, 1999 | Gene Menez
Schedule strength: 10th of 114

August 16, 1999 | Gene Menez
With a healthy Redmond and an improved defense, the Sun Devils should earn their third bowl berth in four seasons.

August 16, 1999 | Compiled by John Walters
OUR RANKING, FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

August 16, 1999
Conferences are listed in order of strength. Each team's SI national ranking is in parentheses

August 16, 1999
Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, at PasadenaJan. 1 Orange Bowl, at MiamiJan. 2 Fiesta Bowl, at Tempe, Ariz.Jan. 4 Sugar Bowl, at New Orleans

August 16, 1999 | Compiled by B.J. Schecter
LOWER DIVISION RANKINGS

August 16, 1999
THE NBA

August 16, 1999 | Jackie MacMullan
Brink of DisasterThe Clippers made some nifty late moves to plug a looming talent drain

August 16, 1999 | Jackie MacMullan
NEW COACH Doc Rivers lobbied hard to keep Penny Hardaway, but by the time Magic ownership relented, Hardaway had made up his mind to go to the Suns. Rivers also wasn't thrilled with the package...

August 16, 1999 | Stephen Cannella
Strong ArmedUnderappreciated starters have kept the injury-plagued Astros on top

August 16, 1999 | Stephen Cannella
Tigers manager Larry Parrish says he's considering giving rookie righthander Jeff Weaver a month off to rest his arm and regain his early-season form. Weaver, who began the year 6-3 with a 2.89...

August 16, 1999 | Jeff Pearlman
Young slugger Erubiel Durazo has added razzmatazz to the Diamondbacks

August 16, 1999 | Ed Hinton
Fingers CrossedAfter two near misses, Team Yates has a Winston Cup title in sight

August 16, 1999 | Ed Hinton
213%The increase in Pontiac's top five finishes on the Winston Cup tour thus far this season (25) compared with last season (eight). Pontiac's four wins are already double last season's total.

August 16, 1999 | Rick Reilly
Congratulations, Los Angeles, you're the worst sports city in the country! Arsenic for everybody!

August 16, 1999 | B.J. Schecter
September 4, 1989

August 16, 1999
David Robinson may have been blessed with size and talent, but his values are what I respect the most.—DAN EASTMAN, Baton Rouge

August 16, 1999
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer. They may be mailed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, New York,...

August 16, 1999 | John Walters
DON'T MISS

August 16, 1999 | John Walters
6.9Rating for the made-for-prime-time Showdown at Sherwood, showing up USA's ultrapopular WWF Raw and WWF War Zone by 65%.

August 16, 1999 | John Walters
Like his Up Close predecessor Chris Myers, ESPN's Gary Miller found himself interviewing an NFL rushing legend with an alleged history of spousal abuse. As Myers did with O.J. Simpson, Miller last...

August 16, 1999 | Steve Rushin
The U.S. victory in the Women's World Cup has the media on a gender bender

August 16, 1999 | Kevin Cook
It's time for baseball to rethink its decadelong ban on Pete Rose

August 16, 1999 | Kevin Cook
•That Dimitrius Underwood realizes a football fortune could fill a lot of collection plates.

August 16, 1999

August 16, 1999
6Hours that famed Cubs fan Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers shouted his trademark "Sosa woo! Grace woo!" from a Schaumburg, Ill., condo balcony before police arrested him.

August 16, 1999
Get Chummy With SharksIf the fright flick Deep Blue Sea has you itchy for a jaw-dropping outing, call San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions. For $260 a day owner Paul Anes ferries scuba-certified...

August 16, 1999
Say this for Brady Anderson: He's got admirers. Anderson's speed and power appeal to baseball purists, and his looks have helped make the Orioles' outfielder an idol to teen girls and something of...

August 16, 1999
A memorabilia dealer is selling so-called DiMaggio deathbed balls, priced between $1,200 and $1,500, that the Yankee Clipper signed shortly before he died.

August 16, 1999
FELIPE ALOUExpos manager, on Youppi, the mascot the team's ads call the biggest Expo: "If he was the best, we would have traded him by now."

August 16, 1999
Cedrick Banks, ChicagoBasketballCedrick, 17, was named tournament MVP after scoring 37 points to lead the Illinois Hawks to the national AAU boys' championship. Cedrick, a 6'2" guard, scored 23 of...

August 16, 1999 | Tom Verducci
In this longball era, there was nothing cheap about run to his 500th home run, which confirmed his place among the game's power-hitting elite

August 16, 1999 | Tom Verducci
Graphic Evidence suggests that Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey Jr. have the upward mobility to overtake Hank Aaron as baseball's career home run leader. Griffey is on the fastest track of all time,...

August 16, 1999 | Gary Smith
During a three-day footy-fest in Sydney, the author didn't have much luck convincing two mates that the NFL game measured up to two Australian brands.

August 16, 1999 | John Walters
Whoa, Nellie! Expect the unexpected—even when it involves familiar faces—in what promises to be a wild and woolly year

August 16, 1999
Blessed with the speed, power and skills to play on Sunday right away, these magnificent performers remain Saturday's heroes-at least for this year

August 16, 1999 | David Fleming
This Miami tight end, only a junior, has left lasting impressions on would-be tacklers

August 16, 1999 | David Fleming
If his surgically repaired knee holds up, the Tennessee back will be hard to bring down

August 16, 1999 | David Fleming
Grandma knew best when she nudged this Florida State defensive end into football

August 16, 1999 | David Fleming
After carrying Wisconsin to a Rose Bowl win, this power back will bowl over the drafters

August 16, 1999 | Tim Layden
A quarterback from Texas is marked for greatness and leading a turnaround at, of all places, Purdue

August 16, 1999 | Devid Fleming
Add this big, quick tackle to the list of Alabama's storied offensive linemen

August 16, 1999 | David Fleming
This Louisville quarterback is smart and tough—like an old Cardinal named Unitas

August 16, 1999 | David Fleming
This Penn State defensive lineman makes regular stops in the opponent's backfield

August 16, 1999 | David Fleming
This superlative Florida State wideout is, like Mark McGwire, a constant home run threat

August 16, 1999 | Tim Layden