It's been a meteoric fall upward for Lane Kiffin, who was 12--21 as a head coach before bolting Tennessee for USC. As a kiss-off, he raided the Vols of his defensive-coordinator dad, Monte, and recruiting guru Ed Orgeron. And the six NCAA violations he accrued in Knoxville? He kindly left those behind.
Reggie Wayne broke ground on a $16 million entertainment complex in Katrina territory and broke the end zone against Baltimore. Haitian-American Pierre Garçon (page 20) gave his ravaged fans some cheer with a 40-yard chase-and-strip of Ed Reed.
With marquee snipers Steve Nash and LeBron James looking on, the Hawks' Jamal Crawford and NBDL call-up Sundiata Gaines of the Jazz coolly drained game-winning treys for their clubs. Said Gaines, who earned a second 10-day deal, "I love pressure."
The Syracuse men matched their best start in a decade (17--1) with their fourth offing of a top 13 team, West Virginia; the women reached 15 wins sooner than ever, thanks largely to senior Nicole Michael, who is closing in on the program's career scoring record.