Luck returns to the top
Just last week, freshman Johnny Manziel topped the Cross-Sport Power Rankings for the second time in his brief career. Now it's rookie Andrew Luck duplicating the feat, as the Colts quarterback was selected as the top performer in the week of sports by our panel for the second time in a month. Luck threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns, the last of which came with no time on the clock, giving the Colts a win at Detroit.
Luck edged out SEC championship game MVP Eddie Lacy, who rushed for 181 yards to help Alabama beat Georgia and clinch a spot in the BCS National Championship Game for the second consecutive year. Lacy was followed closely by Montee Ball, who ran all over Nebraska in leading Wisconsin to a Big Ten championship game victory and a spot in the Rose Bowl.
Rounding out the top five were LeBron James, who's kept the Heat unbeaten at home with some incredible clutch play, and Luck's fellow NFL rookie sensation Robert Griffin III.
That's how our panel ranked them, but do you agree? Let your voice be heard in the comments, and if you impress the panel, you could be chosen as a guest ranker for next week.
2012 Cross-Sport Power Rankings panel: Sara Walsh, John Buccigross, Robert Flores, Michael Smith, Bram Weinstein, Mike Hill, Jorge Andres, Charissa Thompson, DJ Gallo, Jim Basquil, Kevin Connors, Jeff MacGregor and Steve Weissman
Cross-Sport Power Rankings: Nov. 27-Dec. 3
|Andrew Luck threw two of his four touchdown passes in the final 2:39 of the fourth quarter, leading the Colts to a 35-33 come-from-behind win over the Lions. It was his fifth game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime this season -- Vince Young (five in 2006) and Ben Roethlisberger (six in 2004) are the only other rookies with that many game-winning drives since the merger.|
|Alabama executed its ground-and-pound style of play to a tee with a SEC championship game-record 350 rushing yards in a 32-28 win over Georgia. Eddie Lacy led the way for the Crimson Tide with 181 of those yards and two touchdowns and for his efforts was named the game's MVP. Next up is a BCS Championship Game matchup with undefeated Notre Dame.|
|Wisconsin ran away with the Big Ten title behind 539 total rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, to defeat a heavily favored Nebraska team 70-31. Badgers senior running back Montee Ball racked up 202 of those rushing yards and three of their scores, extending his FBS career TD record to 82 and earning the game's MVP honors.|
|LeBron James averaged 22 points in wins over the Spurs and Nets last week, extending his consecutive games streak of at least 20 points to 15, matching his longest single-season scoring streak of at least 20 points since joining the Heat. King James was also named SI Sportsman of the Year for leading the Heat to an NBA title, winning league MVP, Finals MVP and a gold medal at the London Olympics.|
|Robert Griffin III
|Robert Griffin III threw for 163 yards and ran for 72 more out of the pistol offense as the Redskins snapped their NFL-record 10-game home losing streak on "Monday Night Football." In the win, RG3 set the NFL record for rushing yards by a rookie quarterback with 714, a record set by Cam Newton last season and helped Washington pull within a game of the Giants in the NFC East standings.|
|Jordan Lynch and the Northern Illinois offense were pretty close to perfect in their MAC championship game win over Kent State. Lynch finished with 372 total yards and four touchdowns and the record for most rushing yards by an FBS quarterback in a single season with 1,771. Another plus: The Huskies earned their first BCS berth and will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl.|
|The old saying "Offense wins games, defense wins championships" still reigns. Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was unstoppable in the second half of their 3-1 MLS Cup victory over the Dynamo, notching 11 interceptions and 15 clearances, and a 10-minute period in which he won a series of headers off free kicks and crosses. As a reward for his defensive tenacity, Gonzalez was named the game's MVP.|
|Barcelona continues to roll through La Liga, winning 13 of 14 games this season and posting the best start to a Spanish season ever. In their latest win Lionel Messi netted two goals, one in each half, bring his total to 83 goals this calendar year. Messi can tie or even break Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record of 85 goals in a calendar year when Barcelona meets Benfica on Wednesday.|
|Adrian Peterson is making a strong case for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. The Vikings running back racked up 210 yards and a touchdown in Week 12, his sixth straight game of at least 100 rushing yards and a score. He continues to lead the NFL in rushing with 1,446 yards and in rushing yards per game with 120.5.|
|Not many people knew the name Austin Trout before Saturday night, but they will take notice after his unanimous win over Miguel Cotto at world-famous Madison Square Garden. Trout never faltered, even with the pro-Cotto New York crowd against him from the opening bell, as he kept his unbeaten record intact and defended his junior middleweight title.|
The Cross-Sport Power Rankings week runs from Tuesday to Monday, covering all sporting events in that seven-day span.
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CROSS-SPORT POWER RANKINGS 2012
Cross-Sport Power Rankings compares the best athletes across all major sports. Check out the rest of our individual sport power rankings.