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Who's Hot Who's Not

Nov. 23, 2009
Nov. 23, 2009

Table of Contents
Nov. 23, 2009

GOLF PLUS
LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
CHARGERS
  • Feeling good and finally content with a reduced role in the offense, LaDainian Tomlinson is rediscovering the joy of running as San Diego makes its move in the AFC West

COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW
Departments

Who's Hot Who's Not

Who's Hot

This is an article from the Nov. 23, 2009 issue

(OLD) MAN OF COLUMBUS

Ohio State booked passage to Pasadena with a 27--24 win over Iowa (page 34), thanks to 26-year-old Devin Barclay, who took over as the Buckeyes' kicker three weeks ago and nailed a 39-yard field goal in OT. "I'm speechless," said Barclay, who played five seasons in MLS before walking on in Columbus this year.

BRANDON JENNINGS

The Bucks' rookie point guard lit up the Warriors for 55 points last Saturday—after being shut out in the first quarter. The only drawback to his hot hand: few rebounds for teammates. "I could have padded the stats a little bit if he missed one or two," said center Andrew Bogut.

SIDNEY RICE

No one has enjoyed having Brett Favre around more than the Vikings' third-year receiver. Rice had seven catches for 201 yards against Detroit, the third time in four games he's had more than 135 yards. Not bad for a guy whose best game in 2008 was two catches for 31 yards.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

The 22-year-old Djoker won again, beating Gael Monfils in the Paris Masters final after downing Rafael Nadal in the semis. That came a week after he beat Roger Federer to win in Switzerland. "Winning back-to-back titles at this level is a huge achievement," said the Serb.

Who's Not

MEN OF TROY

For the second time in three weeks USC suffered its worst loss of the Pete Carroll era, this time 55--21 to Stanford—a defeat made even more humiliating when the Cardinal tried a two-point conversion with a 27-point lead. It was a bad Saturday all around for Trojans. Troy fell to 7--3 with a 56--20 loss to Arkansas.

HASHEEM THABEET

The big man's learning curve just got steeper. The No. 2 pick, who has scored four points in seven games for Memphis, broke his jaw in a collision with teammate Zach Randolph. Think the woeful Grizzlies—one of eight teams to pass on Jennings—would like a do-over?

JAY CUTLER

The Bears' QB was so bad in a 10--6 loss to the 49ers—five picks, giving him 17 for the year—that the first thing he did after the game was apologize to his defense. Among those piling on Cutler was Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, on a radio show: "I really question whether he can play."

MICHAEL PHELPS

Sixteen records fell at the World Cup in Berlin, and the newly bearded Phelps toppled none of them. Whiskers weren't his only nonsleek feature: He passed on the high-tech suits that will be banned in January. "I am preparing for the next two years, not today," he said.

SI PLAYERS NFL POLL

WHICH TEAM WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO PLAY FOR?

Dallas Cowboys 11.1%

San Diego Chargers 8.5%

Pittsburgh Steelers 7.0%

Miami Dolphins 6.6%

New England Patriots 5.9%

FAST FACTS

Players could not vote for their own team; the poll was conducted in September.... The Cowboys, who moved into a new $1.2 billion stadium this year, are the most popular despite not having gone to a Super Bowl since 1995.... The top five teams have combined for 16 Super Bowl wins, or 38% of NFL titles since 1967.... The Raiders, who had the league's highest payroll last season, ranked 26th.

Based on a survey of 296 NFL players

PHOTOKEITH BIRMINGHAM/ZUMA PRESS INC. (CARROLL)PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (CUTLER)PHOTOANDREW HANCOCK (JENNINGS)PHOTOWOLFGANG RATTAY/REUTERS (PHELPS)TWO PHOTOS