Big college football games have the ability to sway big college football recruiting names, and there are a few match-ups in 2012 that will impact the recruiting landscape of the class of 2013.
There are still a number of elite recruits out there who are undecided between a handful of schools, and when two of those potential schools meet up to play, the winner may gain an advantage in said recruits eyes.
When you can prove to a prospect that your school can offer them everything they want off the field, while at the same time producing winning results on it, you've got yourself a leg up over the competition from a recruiting standpoint.
These five games will have a major impact on the 2013 college football recruiting scene:
Florida State vs. Miami: Saturday, Oct. 20.
The big name that could potentially be intently watching this game is 5-star outside linebacker and 247sports top 10 prospect Matthew Thomas. It's worth noting that Thomas is from Miami Florida, and he's currently got Florida State on top of his list, followed by Alabama and then Miami.
It's safe to say Florida State is the favorite to win this game (they are currently ranked No. 6), but if Miami could pull off an upset, I can only imagine what it would do for their chances of snagging the hometown prospect.
A FSU win could really solidify their spot on top though, so there is a ton at stake here.
Texas A&M vs. LSU: Saturday, Oct. 20.
Ricky Seals-Jones is a 5-star athlete that's considered the best athlete prospect in nation by 247Sports.
He's got a favorites list that includes the likes of Texas and Texas A&M (he's from Sealy, TX), but at the top of his list is the LSU Tigers.
Locking up a player of Seal-Jones' caliber would be huge for the SEC's newest team in A&M, and if they can steal him away from the powerhouse of LSU, that could be even bigger from a recruiting standpoint.
A win would be huge here for the Aggies. Conversely, LSU may be able to seal the deal.
South Carolina vs. Georgia: Saturday, Oct. 6.
Not only is this game one of the SEC's biggest rivalry games, but there could potentially be a very big name player at stake if his decision is at all swayed by who wins the matchup.
At 6'2, 290 pounds Griffin could provide some much needed SEC size for either program, so now this game has an extra layer of intrigue added to it. Griffin is from Georgia, so the Gamecocks could score a huge player away from Bulldogs territory, but the actual game itself will take place in South Carolina.
If the Gamecocks can beat their rival at home and simultaneously show off their incredible football atmosphere, they may be able to win Griffin over. If Georgia can go into South Carolina and steal a win, they could potentially steal a prospect from the Gamecocks as well.
Alabama vs. LSU: Saturday, Nov. 3.
This is a huge game for many obvious reasons, and there's a good chance some big time poll positions will be at stake for either team.
There's also redemption on the line, as I can only imagine LSU has not forgotten how Alabama shut them down in last season's BCS championship game.
Alabama is the hot ticket in college football and the SEC right now, and they can prove their dominance with another win over the Tigers. LSU on the other-hand can go a long ways towards evening out the playing field and perhaps winning over a few prospects that could be deciding between the two SEC powerhouses.
Michigan vs. Michigan State: Saturday, Oct. 20.
Michigan fans might not like admitting that this game is almost as big as their showdown with Ohio State, but let me assure you, this match-up means a whole lot in the State of Michigan as far as recruiting is concerned.
Mark Dantonio and the Spartans are trying to build a program that can compete for not only Big Ten championships, but national championships. Meanwhile, Michigan and Brady Hoke are doing a great job of rebuilding a program that was once a national powerhouse.
Once upon a time Michigan was the hands-down favorite to nab the biggest recruits, but now the Spartans have the respect and track record needed to attract big time players.
If MSU can beat Michigan yet again, it could really help out with recruiting. If the Wolverines can finally get Sparty off their back, Hoke may be able to reel in those final few prospects in an already fantastic class.