LINEUP

January 09, 2012

DEPARTMENTS

2 Leading Off

8 Letters

11 Scorecard

Long-distance allegiances: Why some fans fall for teams far, far from home

20 Faces in the Crowd

23 Just My Type

Kevin Love lets his game do the talking

BY DAN PATRICK

26 Inside ...

The NBA

The 66-game grind

College Basketball

BYU's new point guard

The NHL

Midseason awards

80 Point After

Coaching kids in the post-Sandusky world

BY PHIL TAYLOR

FEATURES

NFL

34 PLAYOFF PREVIEW

The teams with elite (and determined) quarterbacks will be the ones to beat

By Peter King

40 SCOUTING REPORTS

Breakdowns of all 12 teams, plus key stats and players on the spot

BCS

60 LSU-ALABAMA

Three SEC assistants analyze how the rematch will play out in New Orleans

By Lars Anderson

67 BY THE NUMBERS

Everything you need to know about the title-game teams

Compiled by Gene Menez

74 TOM BRADY

AS YOU FORGOT HIM

The hard times that made him the premier postseason performer of his generation

By Michael Rosenberg

"Alabama coach Nick Saban likes to use Brad Smelley like Bill Belichick uses his tight ends in New England. He could be the most important player in the rematch."

—An SEC assistant on key players in the Jan. 9 BCS championship game, including Smelley (left)

P. 60

Please Recycle This Magazine Remove Inserts or Samples Before Recycling

THIS WEEK SI HAS FOUR REGIONAL COVERS OF NFL PLAYOFF QBS (CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT): AARON RODGERS, TOM BRADY, BEN ROETHLISBERGER AND DREW BREES

ON THE COVER

PHOTOGRAPHS BY AL TIELEMANS (RODGERS); DAMIAN STROHMEYER (BRADY, ROETHLISBERGER); TOM DIPACE (BREES)

PHOTOMARVIN GENTRY/US PRESSWIRE (SMELLEY) PHOTODAVID BERGMAN (GIANTS)WALL-TO-WALL FOOTBALL BIG D-FEAT A four-yard fourth-quarter touchdown by Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks on Sunday night sealed a 34--14 win over the Cowboys and the final playoff berth. PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (BRADY) FOUR PHOTOS

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)