The Sports Illustrated Cover curse or jinx has been around since the 1950’s, although it doesn’t seem to effect the really successful individuals like Michael Jordan (49 covers) or other Super Bowl, Heisman Trophy and College Football champions. As for the 2013 season BCS race? It seemed like Marcus Mariota, A.J. McCarron and finally Braxton Miller were very effected by appearing on the cover.
November 4, 2013: The Oregon Ducks are posting incredible numbers and they rip their way through the Pac-12. Three days before their most important game of the season against Stanford, the same rival that denied them a perfect 2012 season and reaching the national championship game, quarterback Marcus Mariota appears on the SI cover. The result? Oregon lose for the first time this season (26-20) and once again fall behind Stanford, while Mariota has his weakest performance of the season up to that point, hurting his Heisman trophy chances. It has to be said that Oregon found themselves in the lead of the Pac-12 north shortly afterwards after Stanford lost again, but the Ducks blew it on the road against Arizona.
November 20, 2013: Alabama enter the Iron Bowl as a wire-to-wire (well, almost) #1 in every poll and ranking system. Quarterback A.J. McCarron appears on the cover 10 days before the game against Auburn, carrying a legacy of back to back national championships with the Crimson Tide. He has a very good game against Auburn, but it’s not enough as the Tigers stun the Tide on the final play with a field goal miss return to win the game, eventually the SEC and go to the national title game.
Braxton Miller suffers from the same fate a week later. Ohio State are 24-0 in 2012 and 2013 as they head into the Big Ten championship game, facing Michigan State, a one loss team. The Buckeyes lose 33-24, as Miller produces an awful passing display (8-21, 101 yards) as the Buckeyes drop in the rankings, ending up in the Orange Bowl instead of a national championship game.