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Sports Illustrated Ranks Arkansas #12

For the most part this is standard national preview fare, with a nice Q&A with John L. Smith thrown in. Feel free to read through, and also check out previews of Arkansas' top opponents.

Behanan Among Impact Sophomores Returning Next Season

Luke Winn continues to garner favor with the Cardinal faithful. On SI.com, Winn names Chane Behanan as one of the sophomores who will have the most impact on the NCAA basketball scene next season. Now we just gotta keep Chane from going too "Hollywood."

Brandon McCarthy Takes Over Hot Clicks

Our own "ace" starter shows off his wit...and his wife! on Sports Illustrated's Hot Clicks segment. Insights and opinions on Spring Training, Twitter, etc.

FINALLY, IT'S HIP TO BE A CLIP

Still think L.A.'s other team is a joke? A savvy G.M. (with help from David Stern) made the Clippers instant contenders. More impressive: Now stars want to join the club, not flee -- by Lee Jenkins Pretty awesome article from Sports Illustrated.

...failing to live up to expectations: Tayshaun Prince

Tayshaun Prince, SF, Detroit Pistons Prince still has those long arms on defense and the ability to give you a little bit of everything on offense, but he’s contributing just a little bit less of everything for a confused Detroit team. His shooting is cold (41.6 percent after consistently hitting around 46 percent to 48 percent for his career), but the non-scoring numbers that get at the 31-year-old’s activity level are more worrisome — and perhaps indicate age is finally catching up to him. Prince’s assists, rebounds and free throws are all way down, and he just hasn’t been as dynamic a presence on defense this season. Some of this is due to the context in Detroit, where rookie guard Brandon Knight has added yet another ball-handler with whom everyone must share, Greg Monroe is snagging boards and assists all over the place and the team is struggling badly in general. Prince is on a reasonable contract (four years, $28 million), and he provides a veteran presence. But he’s also standing in the way of some young guys, especially Austin Daye, and he’d be more valuable in a limited role on a good team. http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/01/20/some-failing-to-live-up-to-expectations/

SI's Zach Lowe on Greg Monroe's monster season

Greg Monroe is having a monster season. The numbers are ridiculous: • Monroe is fifth in the league in Player Efficiency Rating, and one of the guys ahead of him (Manu Ginobili) will soon fall off the leader board due to a lack of minutes. • He is shooting 59.7 percent from the floor. Only Nene shot better last season. • He has rebounded 14.4 percent of Detroit’s misses, an offensive rebounding rate that would have led the entire league last season. • He has assisted on 19.4 percent of Detroit’s baskets while on the floor Among players 6-foot-9 or taller, only Hedo Turkoglu and Brad Miller posted higher assist rates last season. One of those guys isn’t a traditional big man, and the other barely eked out 1000 minutes. http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/01/13/big-man-greg-monroe-has-quietly-become-a-force-in-detroit/

Eli officially "great"

This is an interesting article about the cost of ATL's Julio Jones trade and the role of wide receivers on any team. But the thing that struck me the most is in their brief description of Victor Cruz, the writer admits that Cruz is "productive because he's paired with a great quarterback." This is the first time I remember seeing any 3rd party editorial call Eli "great" in some sort of matter-of-fact way like it's finally become common knowledge. Just more validation. Eli is not only "great," he's "Eli-te".

SI.com: Biggest NFL Stories of 2011

Sports Illustrated's NFL columnist Don Banks posted his picks for the biggest NFL stories of the year recently. You'll be a bit surprised at what he thought was in his top ten, and the top one was not even on the football field. A few others were of great teams, terrible teams, new players and players who didn't even play in 2011. Check it out!

Rookie Miller the quiet motor behind Broncos' recent success

And in other non-Tebow news from Denver ... Rookie linebacker Von Miller's a keeper, and while the mania over Tim Tebow's play is the talk of the Rocky Mountain region, the Miller-led Broncos defense is the real reason why they've been able to come back late in scintillating games. And if the 5-5 Broncos are to stay in the AFC playoff race in the last six weeks, they'll need more of what Miller did against the Jets last week, starting Sunday in San Diego.

S.I. Roundtable on ESPN

Officially a roundtable discussion on college football coverage in general, this Sports Illustrated feature centers on ESPN's coverage of the sport due to the virtual monopoly the Wordwide Leader holds over it. Stewart Mandel, Andy Staples, George Schroeder, and Richard Deitsch discuss various aspects of college football coverage with surprising frankness.

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