Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish beat Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans 22-13 on their way to a 12-0 regular-season record as well as a spot in the BCS National Championship Game, but what if I told you that Notre Dame could beat USC not once, but twice this season?
That win won't come on the field of course, but there is a possibility that the Fighting Irish can beat their rivals in the realm of recruiting by stealing a few of their recruits. That would certainly qualify as a win.
No commitment is final until National Signing Day, and Kelly and Notre Dame now have a pretty big pitch they can use in the fact that they beat the Trojans on their way to a potential National Championship.
Here are three recruits Kelly and the Fighting Irish should try to steal from Kiffin and USC.
Ty Isaac, 5-star RB, Joliet Catholic Academy (IL)
Ty Isaac is a 5-star running back, so playing at USC would make sense, but Notre Dame may have more to offer the talented back than the Trojans. For one, South Bend is infinitely closer to Joliet, Illinois than Southern California is, so Notre Dame could provide Isaac with the chance to play near home for a program with just as much potential for the future.
The Irish also have a favorable depth chart for the 5-star running back. Both Theo Reddick and Cierre Wood are seniors and the school's 2013 class only has one running back committed in 3-star Jamel James.
Isaac can go to Notre Dame knowing that he'll have the chance to compete for quality time right away. Meanwhile, USC has junior Silas Redd at running back in addition to another talented running back commit for 2013 in 4-star Justin Davis.
Notre Dame can offer Isaac more opportunity than USC at the moment, so it should try to get him to flip. Speaking of offers, the Fighting Irish have made one to the 5-star running back.
Eddie Vanderdoes, 4-star DT, Placer High School (CA)
Out of the six defensive tackles on USC's depth chart right now, five are currently underclassmen. That's not even counting the fact that its 2013 class features 5-star defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow either.
Frankly, significant playing time will be hard to come by early for Vanderdoes, even in a 4-3, but he wouldn't have that problem at Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish have yet to recruit a stud defensive lineman for 2013 and their current nose tackle, Louis Nix, is a junior.
If he puts on a bit more weight (he's currently 6'3'', 302 pounds, according to Rivals), Vanderdoes could easily play the 0-technique in a 3-4 front for Notre Dame. He also has time to grow into the position behind Nix.
The opportunity would be there for Vanderdoes and he wouldn't have to play in the shadow of Bigelow.
The Fighting Irish have already made him an offer, so now they need to seriously try for the steal.
Torrodney Prevot, 4-star OLB, Alief Taylor High School (TX)
The one thing USC has plenty of right now is depth at the linebacker position. The one thing Notre Dame could always use more of, especially with a base 3-4 defense, is outside linebackers and Prevot would fit its system perfectly.
Prevot would be a great fit as an outside linebacker in Notre Dame's 3-4 defensive scheme at 6'3'', 201 pounds (he runs a 4.67 40, according to Rivals) and he'd be able to benefit from competing with 5-star Notre Dame outside linebacker commit Jaylon Smith as well as 4-star outside linebacker commit Alex Anzalone.
Notre Dame has set itself up to be dominant on the defensive front seven for years to come and we've seen how far that has gotten the Irish this year. You can never have enough outside linebackers in the 3-4 scheme, so Prevot could be a big part of their defense, along with Smith and Anzalone.
Prevot could really thrive in their scheme. In fact, it probably suits him better than the 4-3 does, and Notre Dame has made an offer.
A flip would make sense for both sides.