Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

HAYS, THE MAGNIFICENTLY INACCURATE

Your humble seer is in dire straits. Since Atlanta couldn't hold its huge lead over Seattle, I took a 1-2-1 week, leaving me 51-52-2 on the season. The only way I'll make it over .500 is to win both my picks this week and the Super Bowl.

San Francisco (minus 4 points) at Atlanta: The 49ers were incredibly impressive last week, but I'm taking Atlanta. Getting four points and a deafening crowd, not to mention an excellent offense, is too good for me to pass up. Matt Ryan took a huge step forward last week. Atlanta's Mike Smith is a gifted defensive coach and will scheme Colin Kaepernick much more effectively than the Packers did.

Baltimore (plus 9) at New England: The Ravens present problems for New England's defense, because they can hit the deep ball with Torrey Smith and grind out yards on the ground with Ray Rice. Joe Flacco can also keep the chains moving in the intermediate passing game with Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta. Baltimore is familiar with New England and will play close enough to cover.

2 CENTS

SEC TEAMS SUCCESSFUL IN GETTING NEW SIGNEES INTO SCHOOL EARLY

The Southeastern Conference has a firm grip on the national championship race after winning the last seven.

The conference powers aren't slowing down either.

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M brought in a combined total of 45 early-enrollee signees this month. The Bulldogs have a stunning 13 true freshmen in the 2013 class arriving to school a semester early. Alabama and Texas A&M have nine, while UF and LSU have eight and six respectively.

Early enrolling benefits both parties. The adjustment period is easier for the athlete as he gets a six-month head start on the rest of the signing class. The schools are obviously thrilled to have the player in the weight program and eligible to participate in spring practice. If a player comes to school recovering from an injury sustained during his senior year, he can rehab it under the care of the team's medical staff. …

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