Lineup

December 05, 2005

DECEMBER 5, 2005
VOLUME 103, NO. 22

FEATURES

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
48 Horns of Plenty
Texas is one victory from a shot at its first national title in 36 years thanks to great talent and Mack Brown, who learned there's more to life than coaching football
by Tim Layden

PRO FOOTBALL
56 Class of '96
Ten seasons later, members of the most bountiful draft of wideouts in NFL history are still among the best playmakers and biggest newsmakers
by Michael Silver

PRO BASKETBALL
64 Detroit Loves Larry
When coach Larry Brown returns to face his former team, he'll find flourishing players who bear him no ill will. The same can't be said (yet) of his Knicks
by Jack McCallum

PRO HOCKEY
70 On New Ice
A trade to Ottawa helped Dany Heatley put a tragic crash and injury behind him. Now he's leading the first-place Senators and the NHL's most exciting line
by Michael Farber

HIGH SCHO0L HOOPS
Talk of the Town
North College Hill, Ohio, has embraced its two young stars
BY GEORGE DOHRMANN

PLUS
Best Players • Top 20 Teams
Best Team in Every State
PAGE 74

Departments

11 Contributors

14 Leading Off

22 Letters

25 Air and Space
Everybody loves a winner--and there's nothing wrong with a jam-packed bandwagon
by Steve Rushin

28 Scorecard
• Cash infusion fuels baseball deals
• Remembering George Best

38 Faces in the Crowd

41 Players

96 Life of Reilly
The Texas high school football coach who decided not to field a high school team
by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

88 The NBA
• Paul Pierce at peace in Boston
• Four players likely to be dealt

93 The NFL
• An unsung threat in the AFC
• Why Brett Favre won't rest

ON THE WEB
SI.COM
GO TO SI.COM DAILY FOR SCORES, STATS AND BREAKING NEWS

•How close will the voting be among USC's Reggie Bush (right) and Matt Leinart and Vince Young of Texas for this year's Heisman Trophy? Get Gene Menez's final assessment before the Dec. 10 announcement at SI.com/collegefootball.

•Who are the top 10 high school basketball players in the nation? For a photo gallery that includes 7-footer Greg Oden, who will attend Ohio State next season; Washington signee Spencer Hawes; and North Carolina recruit Wayne Ellington (bottom left), go to SI.com/highschool.

•When the Cowboys' Keyshawn Johnson (below) was taken with the No. 1 pick by the Jets in 1996, he entered the NFL at the head of what would become the greatest receivers' class of alltime. What are the best draft classes by position? Find out at SI.com/nfl.

•Which teams will earn berths in BCS bowls and which ones will be shut out? For complete analysis, read Stewart Mandel's Insider as well as a ranking of all 28 bowl games at SI.com/collegefootball.

•Check out Luke Winn's College Basketball Power Rankings, Tracy Schultz's Women's College Basketball Rankings, Grant Wahl's Mailbag and Seth Davis's Hoop Thoughts at SI.com/collegebasketball.

•Can the Knicks turn their season around? Read Jack McCallum's five-step plan to fix the team, as well as Dave Hollander's Q&A with New York coach Larry Brown, at SI.com/nba.

Cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY DARREN CARROLL
INSET PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): Kevin Terrell/WireImage.com; Thomas Croke/WireImage.com; Jamie Squire/Getty Images; Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI; Brian A. Westerholt/WireImage.com; James D. Smith/Icon SMI; Scott D. Weaver/Icon SMI; Ian McVea/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/KRT/ABACA; Jeff Zelevansky/Icon SMI; Tom Cammett/WireImage.com; Michael J. LeBrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography

SI Extra
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PHOTOBOB ROSATO (MUHAMMAD) 56
10 YEARS AFTER Bears wideout Muhsin Muhammad, a second-round pick in 1996, had four catches against the Bucs on Sunday.
PHOTOMICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (BASKETBALL) PHOTOAL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (HOPKINS) X MAN - Bernard Hopkins, who is set to fight middleweight champ Jermain Taylor on Saturday in Las Vegas, is one of 22 boxers who posed for Al Bello. His portraits can be seen in Leading Off and at SI.com/photos. THREE PHOTOSLISA BLUMENFELD/GETTY IMAGES (ELLINGTON); ROBERT BECK (BUSH); JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (JOHNSON)

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