The irony of the upcoming matchup between Ohio State and Penn State is that even though there isn't anything to play for from a postseason perspective, there is a lot on the line in regards to recruiting.
Urban Meyer and the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes will travel to University Park, Pennsylvania to take on the 5-2 Nittany Lions in what would once look like a huge Big Ten matchup.
This season the game meaningless from a record and postseason standpoint because of the sanctions both programs are under, but let's not kid ourselves, these teams have a lot of pride on the line.
Technicalities aside, this is still a big game, and it will have a major impact in the recruiting world.
Josh Moyer of ESPN's NittanyNation is reporting that a staggering amount of recruits will be in attendance for this game:
This is Ohio State week. More than 100 prospects -- from Georgia, Maryland, Ohio and numerous states along the East Coast -- will converge on the sideline, and the Nittany Lions' staff must be prepared.
The importance of having a great game not only on the field, but from a hospitable, welcoming atmosphere and likeability standpoint can't be understated for Penn State. The school has a lot of ground to make up within the college football community, and it's games like this that will be a huge part of the process.
For the moment, the Nittany Lions must rely on recruiting, and their ability to impress elite players will hinge on not only winning big games, but on the way they pitch the program as restored, renewed and as a great place for college football players.
Penn State won't be able to compete in the postseason for the next four years and its number of scholarships are reduced. Considering this disadvantage, the program will need to make the most out of every opportunity.
The only way Penn State can remain relevant during these sanctions is to continue recruiting elite players with the available scholarships. Winning a game against an undefeated OSU will be an integral part of that process for the Nittany Lions.
Meyer and the Buckeyes just have to wait out this season to get out from under their sanctions, and then they're back on an even playing field with the rest of the country.
Imagine how much momentum Meyer would gain as not only a coach, but also as a recruiter, if he can lead the Buckeyes to an 11 or 12 win season while his players knew they had no bowl game or national championship to play for?
Ohio State is already a huge recruiting draw, but that kind of season would put them over the top with many elite recruits.
Who needs a win in this game more?
It's ironic how two teams with so little to play for may actually have the most at stake in this epic Big Ten showdown.
This game may not mean much from a record standpoint, but it's going to mean a whole lot in regards to recruiting.