Pac-12: What the USC vs. Oregon Game Could Mean for Their Recruits of 2013

Shannon HartleyContributor IIIOctober 30, 2012

This past summer, the USC Trojans seemed to rack in just about every top recruit they offered a scholarship to.

They are presently ranked No. 1 by ESPN's Recruiting Nation despite having only 18 scholarships available due to lingering sanctions.

Out of those 18 players, 12 are part of ESPN's Top 150 list. The Trojans may not be getting quantity, but they sure are getting quality athletes with their scholarships.

With the NCAA sanctions coming to an end and a big win over a very good Oregon team in 2011, college football fans around the nation prepared for another era of Trojan dominance.

Many analysts picked the Trojans as their preseason favorite to go all the way, so it's no wonder why a plethora of top recruits hurried to verbally commit to Southern California.

How does Oregon fit into this you ask? Well, let me tell you.

The Ducks and Trojans targeted many of the same top recruits this summer. Some of these players include Kenny Bigelow, Michael Hutchings, Max Redfield and Eddie Vanderdoes.

Each one of these athletes are regarded as a top five player in the nation at their position. They all committed to USC.

Here's the kicker.

So far in the 2012 season, the Oregon Ducks are undefeated and the favorite to beat the two loss USC Trojans on Nov. 3, at the Coliseum. 


If the Ducks win that game and go on to take the Pac-12 championship for the fourth time in a row, what is going to go through the heads of USC's 2013 commitments? 

My guess is that it plants the idea that they will be second best to the Oregon Ducks their entire collegiate career. Nobody likes to lose, especially not athletes who commit to USC.

It doesn't help Lane Kiffin and company that De'Anthony Thomas has become a phenom after decommitting from USC and signing with Oregon in 2011. It may give a few of those top five athletes the same idea.

In terms of recruiting, Saturday's game plays an important role for the future of both teams. In the weeks to come it will be interesting to watch the decision made by each recruit that has received offers from both USC and Oregon.