This is an article from the Aug. 31, 2009 issue
Best college team ever? Florida was the top pick on 58 of 60 ballots in the first AP poll of the season, making the Gators the most emphatic preseason No. 1 ever. Tim Tebow's path to a second BCS title in a row (and Florida's third in four years) won't be easy: Four other SEC schools are ranked in the top 13.
Convinced that her Andretti Green team is changing for the better, auto racing's It driver told SI.com she's spurning a move to NASCAR and staying put. "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know," said Patrick, who is fifth in the IndyCar standings.
At Bristol, NASCAR drivers picked music for their introductions for the first time. Aussie Marcos Ambrose used Down Under, and Scott Wimmer picked the Knight Rider theme. The most popular song: Three racers used AC/DC's Thunderstruck. Rock on, boys.
The Yankees' leftfielder had four homers and nine RBIs as New York took two of three at Fenway. The dingers helped the Yankees stretch their lead in the East to 7½ games—and let Matsui, 35, rest his balky legs. "I don't have to run so hard," he said. "It's easy on my knees."
The worst pro team ever sank a little lower. Before being drubbed 27--10 by the Browns, Lions TE Carson Butler and DE Dewayne White fought in warmups. Surely they learned their lesson? "We'll probably have to go at it one more time, when we're not playing a game," said White. "Next week sometime." Oh.
The controversy over the gender of the 18-year-old South African who won the women's 800 at the worlds swirled. As the IAAF initiated a gender test, her dad insisted, "She's my little girl." England's Mirror had other ideas, pointing out her name is an anagram of A secret man? Yes.
Toronto's Brett Cecil tossed a scuffed ball into the dugout—without calling time first. Boston's Jason Bay went from first to third, then scored on a hit through a drawn-in infield, opening the floodgates in an 8--1 loss. "I've never seen anything like [it]," said Blue Jays pitcher Jon Lester.
The Mets' leftfielder killed a rally in historic fashion. Down 9--7 to the Phils with two on and no outs, manager Jerry Manuel started the runners. Francouer promptly lined to second baseman Eric Bruntlett, who turned the second game-ending unassisted triple play in history.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
WHICH PLAYER IS THE CHATTIEST ON THE FIELD?
Orlando Hudson, Dodgers 2B 39%
Kevin Millar, Blue Jays 1B 11%
Nick Swisher, Yankees OF 9%
Mike Sweeney, Mariners DH 3%
A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox C 2%
Miguel Tejada, Astros SS 2%
Sweeney can chat with a wide range of players: He speaks Spanish fluently.... Justin Speier (released by the Angels on Aug. 11) was the highest-ranked pitcher.... One player voted for Alex Rodriguez, who in 2007 caused Toronto's Howie Clark to drop a pop-up by yelling at him while running the bases.
Based on a survey of 380 MLB players