The Lineup

December 13, 2004

Departments

8 Leading Off

14 Catching Up With ...

16 Letters

19 Air and Space

Coaches and players, you're on The Gong Show. No honeymoon, no margin of error by Steve Rushin

20 Scorecard

• Who'll turn down the Irish next?

• We put Kurt Busch on the grill

• The Browns' growing pains

30 Faces in the Crowd

35 Players

118 Life of Reilly

If Barry Bonds says he didn't know what the "creams" and "clears" were, I believe him. Sure I do by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

107 The NFL

• Panthers back in the hunt

112 The NBA

• Raptors want to deal Carter, Rose

114 College Basketball

• Illini crush Wake, vault to No. 1

116 Tennis

• U.S. bows to Spain in Davis Cup

50

S T E R O I DS C A N D A L

BALCO BLOWS UP

Grand jury testimony about Barry Bonds (left) and Jason Giambi using steroids and new charges by BALCO's founder raise doubts that baseball can clean up its mess

by George Dohrmann

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

56 A Perfect Trip

Unbeaten USC got past UCLA and heads to the Orange Bowl

by Austin Murphy

PRO BASKETBALL

66 I'm Fine Without You

Former Mavericks teammates Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki are playing even better apart

by Ian Thomsen

PRO FOOTBALL

74 Stepping Out

The Chargers closed in on their first playoff berth in nine years

by Michael Silver

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

82 Small Wonder

Dunking over the skeptics, 5'9" Nate Robinson has hoisted Washington

by Kelli Anderson

SKIING

88 Mountain Man

On new skis, Bode Miller is taking the World Cup by storm

by Tim Layden

SPORTS CITIES

96 Why Not Vegas?

Can a professional franchise thrive in the gambling capital of the U.S.? You bet

by Ian Thomsen

Cover

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN W. MCDONOUGH

(BACKGOUND EXTENDED BY SI IMAGING)

INSET PHOTOS: Agence Zoom/Getty Images (Miller); Andrew Malana/Icon SMI

COVER FLAPS: Bill Frakes (Auburn); Damian Strohmeyer (Oklahoma); David Bergman (Virginia Tech)

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COLOR PHOTOCARL YARBROUGH (MILLER) BODACIOUS Bode Miller turned on dimes at Beaver Creek (page 88). COLOR PHOTOJUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES (BONDS)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
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