Notre Dame and USC will meet up to end the regular season with a ton on the line, as the Fighting Irish are vying for an undefeated season and a National Championship bid. The result of this game will also have huge implications for 2013 recruiting as well though.
Imagine how securing an undefeated season and a trip to the National Championship game could boost an already strong recruiting pitch for Notre Dame...
It has always been a draw because of its tradition, prestige and national relevance, but an elite football program is not something that Notre Dame has been able to boast for a while now.
Needless to say, being 12-0 certainly qualifies a program as being elite, and watching them play in the National Championship game would be a huge draw for many elite recruits—and that includes future classes.
While head coach Brian Kelly has already done a phenomenal job with his 2013 class, there still is room for a few more players. The Fighting Irish currently have 22 recruits committed for 2013 according to Rivals.com, and if they bring in even just one or two more elite players, this program can be set up for greatness for years to come.
Much of this could hinge on beating USC...
Some notable names that have Notre Dame high on their interest lists are 5-star cornerback Priest Willis (top four), 4-star cornerback MacKensie Alexander (top four) and 4-star safety Max Redfield (top two). Out of the three, Redfield could be the most interesting prospect, considering that he recently decommited from USC, and Notre Dame is highly considered to be the new leader for his commitment.
The Fighting Irish could perhaps seal the deal with Redfield with a win over the Trojans, and he's not the only big-time commitment that is sure to be watching this rivalry game unfold. Winning this game would mean so much for the Fighting Irish in recruiting, and it could put them over with a ton of interested recruits.
The Fighting Irish may have the most to gain (or lose), but it's going to be an important game for USC as well.
While the Trojans do have the No. 1 overall recruiting class according to Rivals, none of those commitments are safe until National Signing day, and finishing the year on a two-game losing streak against two of their biggest rivals would not be a good look for Lane Kiffin's program.
Kiffin needs to salvage this season somehow, and beating Notre Dame, the current No. 1 team in the BCS, is the best way that he can do it.
He would be able to grab back some momentum, and he and his staff could use a win over the No. 1 team in the nation as a selling point to keep their recruiting class intact. While Notre Dame certainly has the most at stake in this game, there's no doubting the fact that USC will be greatly impacted by its result as well.
It's going to impact the landscape of college football in 2012 as we know it, and that, by its very nature, will impact the recruiting class of 2013.