The 2012-13 college football bowl schedule has a slew of great matchups that figure to be entertaining football games. The bowl season is a part of what makes major college football so special, and this year figures to be another good bowl lineup.
Recruits do watch bowl games. With their seasons being over, they have a little more time to catch up on things. Many recruits will also be taking visits during bowl season, and coaches will have to balance their time between bowl preparations and recruiting.
Looking at this year's bowl schedule and leveraging it with the current state of 2013 recruiting, here are five programs whose bowl matters the most with regard to recruiting.
Bowl: BBVA Compass
The Rebels have a good class in the works and figure to nestle somewhere in the Top 25 rankings. Hugh Freeze is also trying to build some momentum going into 2013, and a bowl win to close out his first year in Oxford would be huge.
Look for Ole Miss to try to get a win and close out with a national signing day flurry of landing Robert Nkemdiche, Laquon Treadwell and Antonio Conner.
Bowl: Allstate Sugar
OK, Charlie Strong, you turned down Tennessee, signed an extension, got Louisville into a BCS bowl and now you're playing Florida. This is where your program could take the next step, on the field and in recruiting too.
Strong's 2013 recruiting class isn't a world beater, but with wide receiver James Quick looking on, a win would go a long way for this year's cycle and beyond.
Clemson is trying to regain some momentum on the recruiting trail, and what better way to do that than beating mighty LSU?
Dabo Swinney would love to top Les Miles' program, and this could put a jolt in Clemson's recruiting as the Tigers have DT Montravius Adams, CB Mackensie Alexander and OG Tyrone Crowder in their sights.
Bowl: Capital One
UGA is in the running for many top recruits, including DE Robert Nkemdiche, RB Alvin Kamara and OT Laremy Tunsil, among others.
Losing to Nebraska in the Capitol One Bowl would not reflect well on the program. This bowl game has big implications for the Dawgs.
Bowl: Discover BCS National Championship
This is a huge game for Notre Dame for several reasons. Just a few years ago, we were saying the Irish couldn't compete with USC or the SEC because they lacked speed and athleticism.
The program was considered to be stuck in the old days, but beating Alabama would officially signal the Golden Domers are back.
A win would get many future prospects' attention, who normally wouldn't consider the Irish (i.e. Greg Bryant already). If Notre Dame wins this game, we could see a recruiting juggernaut reborn right before our eyes.
Edwin Weathersby is the college football recruiting analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a college football and NFL draft magazine.