Friday December 12th, 2014

Here is a roundup of SI.com's 10 most popular stories this week. Be sure to read to the bottom for a bonus story from the SI Vault.

2014 Sportsman of the Year

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner had one of the greatest performances in MLB postseason history as he helped his team win its third World Series in five years. But Bumgarner's magic on the mound starts with a close connection to homeBy Tom Verducci.


Tom Brady isn't going anywhere

Winslow Townson/SI

The three-time Super Bowl winner was named Sportsman of the Year at age 28. Brady is 37 years old now, but the Patriots quarterback isn't showing signs of slowing down -- in fact, he might be getting betterBy Greg Bishop.


The Buckeyes celebrate

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Ohio State trounced Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten Championship, but the team's spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff was far from certain even after the convincing victory. Step inside the room where Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer found out his team's fateBy Pete Thamel.


2014 Inspiration of the Year

Steven Senne/AP Photo

We're still a long way from finding a cure for ALS. But former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who inspired this year's Ice Bucket Challenge, and former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason have moved us a few steps closerBy Emily Kaplan.


Farewell, Landon

Robert Laberge/Getty Images

American soccer icon Landon Donovan played his final professional game last weekend, winning his sixth MLS Cup as the LA Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution 2-1. SI's soccer writers share what it was like to cover a U.S. legend.


South Side surprise

Brad Mangin/Sports Illustrated

The White Sox have lost 188 games over the past two seasons, the most in any two-year period for the team since 1970 and 1971. But with recent acquisitions like Jeff Samardzija and Adam LaRoche, the White Sox have been MLB's most surprising team this winterBy Tom Verducci.


How Marcus Mariota compares

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota appears to be on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy, following dual-threat winners like Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel. The numbers show Mariota belongs in that elite groupBy Zac Ellis.


Looking for a QB?

SI; Getty

Optimistically, around 20 NFL teams will be content with their quarterback situation heading into 2015. But for those teams looking to upgrade under center, there's no shortage of options who could be available this offseasonBy Chris Burke.


The All-Atrocious Team

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images

A team that makes even the 76ers look good. SI.com reveals its second annual All-Atrocious Team, the worst possible lineup of NBA starters. By Ben Golliver.


Your perfect bowl season

Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Watching all 39 bowl games would be a praiseworthy achievement, but understandably it isn't easy to make time for every game. Instead, check out the 20 bowl games you have to watch this year to ensure you have a perfect college football postseasonBy Martin Rickman.


SI Vault: Hank Aaron 's record night

Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

This story -- one of 60 iconic stories being republished, in full, in honor of Sports Illustrated's 60th anniversary -- describes the night Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's longstanding career home runs record. Remarkably, it was written on deadline and ran as the cover story of the issue that closed just hours laterBy Ron Fimrite.

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