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LINEUP

Dec. 31, 2012
Dec. 31, 2012

Table of Contents
Dec. 31, 2012

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
BEST MOMENTS OF 2012
  • HOW DO YOU MEASURE A YEAR IN SPORTS? IN MIRACLE COMEBACKS, IN LAST-SECOND SHOTS, IN VICTORY LEAPS, IN MIND-BLOWING LAPS. ONCE AGAIN WE ASKED SI'S FACEBOOK FANS TO PICK THE YEAR'S MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT. AN ALLTIME OLYMPIAN'S FINAL ASCENT TO THE PODIUM STOOD ABOVE THE REST, BUT THERE WAS PLENTY MORE TO CELEBRATE—AND TO MARVEL AT

  • SIX TEAMS, EIGHT HOURS, THREE OVERTIMES, 10 LEAD CHANGES AND 206 POINTS: HOW ONE EVENING IN NOVEMBER SHAPED THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP AND BECAME, EASILY, THE BEST DAY OF SPORTS IN 2012

  • By Ed Feng

    WHO WILL WIN? OUR ANALYTICS EXPERT, AN ENGINEERING PH.D. FROM STANFORD AND THE BRAINS BEHIND THEPOWERRANK.COM, WENT INSIDE THE TENDENCIES OF BOTH CONTENDERS THIS SEASON TO CREATE A SIMULATION THAT MAY BE CLOSER TO REALITY THAN REALITY ITSELF

  • FOR ONE MAGICAL APRIL AFTERNOON, PHILIP HUMBER WAS FLAWLESS. BUT THAT RANDOM SMILE FROM THE PITCHING GODS CAME WITH A HEAVY BURDEN: THE PRESSURE TO LIVE UP TO A STANDARD NO ONE CAN MEET

  • GRINNELL'S JACK TAYLOR IS THE LATEST MEMBER OF A TINY FRATERNITY OF PLAYERS WHO SCORED AT LEAST 100 POINTS IN A COLLEGE OR NBA GAME. THE QUESTION IS, AT WHAT COST?

  • A BOWLER AND SEVERAL BRAWLERS, COACHES AND A CARD SHARP, TWO SLUGGERS AND A TACKLE WHO SLUGGED A HORSE—LUMINARIES OF ALL SORTS PASSED AWAY IN 2012

Departments

LINEUP

BEST MOMENTS OF 2012

This is an article from the Dec. 31, 2012 issue

FEATURES

YEAR IN REVIEW

22 The Year In Sports

We asked SI's Facebook fans to choose the most memorable moment of 2012—but there was plenty more to celebrate

BY STEVE RUSHIN

NCAA FOOTBALL

26 The Best Day

Six teams, three OTs, 10 lead changes. How one evening in November shaped the BCS championship matchup

BY CHRIS NASHAWATY

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP

32 Who Will Win?

Our analytics expert went inside the tendencies of both contenders to create a simulation that may be closer to reality than reality itself

BY ED FENG

BASEBALL

42 Philip Humber

For one afternoon, the White Sox' pitcher was flawless. But perfection came with pressure to live up to a standard no one can meet

BY ALBERT CHEN

NCAA BASKETBALL

48 A Lonely Number

Grinnell's Jack Taylor is the latest player to score at least 100 points in a college or NBA game. The question is, at what cost?

BY JUSTIN HECKERT

IN MEMORIAM

60 The Farewells

The sports world said goodbye to luminaries of all sorts in 2012

BY MARK BECHTEL

DEPARTMENTS

2 SI Digital

4 Leading Off

10 The Mail

12 Scorecard

A year of living dubiously

19 Faces in the Crowd

20 Just My Type

What athletes were thinking

BY DAN PATRICK

72 Point After

A chance to speak out about guns

BY GARY SMITH

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED WILL NOT PUBLISH NEXT WEEK BECAUSE OF THE HOLIDAYS. THE NEXT ISSUE WILL BE DATED JANUARY 14, 2013.

ON THE COVER: Photograph by Heinz Kluetmeier (Phelps); Al Tielemans (Alabama cover)

PHOTOOTTO GREULE JR./GETTY IMAGES (HERNANDEZ)CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT The Mariners' Felix Hernandez made history on Aug. 15, when he gave MLB its first season with three perfect games.PHOTO