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TABLE OF CONTENTS

October 22, 2012 | Volume 117, Issue 16

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Tyrann Mathieu Cover - Sports Illustrated October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012
It's a shame how the average American sports fan—who thinks that the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in the world and that the World Series sparks interest beyond a handful of...

October 22, 2012 | LUKE WINN
As college hoops practices get under way, we offer a primer for the 2012--13 season

October 22, 2012 | LUKE WINN
During the NHL lockout the Montreal Gazette is playing out the Canadiens' season on EA Sports's NHL 13, game by game, and publishing news stories off the results of the simulated matchups.

October 22, 2012 | RICHARD HOFFER
Alex Karras was from the generation of NFL foot soldiers: faceless linemen, doomed to anonymity, in a game that hadn't quite captured the public's fancy. He was good, better than good; he nearly...

October 22, 2012 | RICHARD HOFFER
For a gallery of photos of Alex Karras on and off the field go to SI.com/photo

October 22, 2012 | Rebecca Shore
A powerful new documentary follows the moves of an inner-city school's championship chess team

October 22, 2012 | Rebecca Shore
"That's just the Brady Bunch. This is a defense."

October 22, 2012
NOT: OH, NO, CANO

October 22, 2012 | DAVID SABINO
After back-to-back 100-yard receiving games Mike Williams, whose fantasy star burned so bright during his rookie year of 2010, is shining again. Williams scored 11 touchdowns in '10 but only three...

October 22, 2012 | Edited by Alexandra Fenwick
DREW WOLITARSKY

October 22, 2012 | Edited by Alexandra Fenwick
Were it not for the NHL lockout, Bruins coach Claude Julien would have been in Philadelphia last Thursday for his team's opener against the Flyers. Instead he made a surprise visit to the Blue...

October 22, 2012 | Lars Anderson
After Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s number 88 Chevy was hit hard twice during the 25-car crash on the last lap at Talladega on Oct. 7, he kept rubbing his head as he spoke to reporters in the garage. He...

October 22, 2012 | DAN PATRICK
HEART OF TEXANS

October 22, 2012 | DAN PATRICK
SAY WHAT?

October 22, 2012 | Andy Staples
THE FALCONS, MAYBE? BUT LET'S HUMOR OURSELVES AND ATTEMPT TO DIVINE AN ANSWER. THERE'S NO PERFECT CHOICE, BUT WE MAKE THE CASE FOR THE GATORS, IRISH AND DUCKS. LET THE JAWING BEGIN

October 22, 2012 | Andy Staples
The points won't come easily, but the Gators' bruising identity is well suited to a Tide showdown

October 22, 2012 | ANDY STAPLES
Like the Gators, the Irish play the punishing defense necessary to stay with the defending champs—if they survive a punishing second-half schedule

October 22, 2012 | STEWART MANDEL
The Ducks, contrary to their reputation, have an underrated defense, and they have the playmakers who can get to the edge

October 22, 2012 | STEWART MANDEL
See who else has a puncher's chance against the Tide.

October 22, 2012 | ANDY STAPLES
The Tide is the favorite to win it all; there can be no doubt about that. But what of the rest of the BCS labyrinth? Circumstances—remaining schedule, poll position—will dictate the road to Miami....

October 22, 2012 | Thayer Evans
TYRANN MATHIEU FOUND OVERNIGHT FAME LAST YEAR, BUT ITS SPOILS HAVE LED TO COMPARISONS WITH HIS IMPRISONED FATHER, REHAB, EXILE FROM THE LSU FOOTBALL PROGRAM AND, POSSIBLY, NCAA VIOLATIONS

October 22, 2012 | Thayer Evans
Listen to Pete Thamel's podcast detailing his research on the Tyrann Mathieu story, at SI.com/mag

October 22, 2012
COLLEGE FOOTBALL

October 22, 2012 | Alexander Wolff
FOR YEARS, AS HE BECAME THE MOST DOMINANT CYCLIST IN HISTORY, LANCE ARMSTRONG VEHEMENTLY DENIED DOPING. HERE ARE SOME OF HIS MOST STRIDENT ASSERTIONS, ANNOTATED WITH THE NOW UNDENIABLE EVIDENCE...

October 22, 2012 | L. Jon Wertheim
CHRIS KLUWE HAS SEEN IT ALL IN MINNESOTA—THE LOVE BOAT SCANDAL, THE STARCAPS SAGA AND A 2012 SURGE—BUT THE NFL'S NERDIEST PLAYER REALLY GETS HIS KICKS BY BATTLING ORCS AND OGRES

October 22, 2012 | Steve Rushin
MONTANA OR MANNING? SANDERS, PAYTON AND BROWN, BUT IN WHAT ORDER? A NEW SI BOOK TAKES ON THE GREAT GRIDIRON DEBATES, AND HERE FANS WEIGH IN WITH THEIR PICKS WHILE THE EXPERTS TACKLE A FEW MORE

October 22, 2012 | Steve Rushin
1 BEST QUARTERBACK

October 22, 2012 | Steve Rushin
6 BEST TEAM LOGO

October 22, 2012 | CHRIS BALLARD
Deep in the heart of Maryland, not far from Baltimore and Washington, there was another story of baseball magic, this one mixed with tragedy—two deaths, three years apart—that ended with the...

October 22, 2012 | CHRIS BALLARD
Watch a segment about Zach Lucas (above, left), Brendon Colliflower (right) and the tragedies and triumph of the Williamsport High baseball team, scheduled for Sports Illustrated, Nov. 3, at 2:30...

October 22, 2012 | Tom Verducci
Epic series, unlikely heroes, unprotectable leads, shredded cuticles and history—lots of history: Welcome to the 2012 postseason

October 22, 2012 | PHIL TAYLOR
Maybe Taco Bell is the secret. That's always Justin Verlander's cuisine of choice the night before he pitches for the Tigers. His order—three crunchy taco supremes, a cheesy gordito crunch and a...