- Jay Corbin, ESPN RISE
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Full disclosure: I was never a top football recruit. I played a little ball in my day, but I never would have been an ESPNU 150 recruit. If we extended the list to the ESPNU 1,500, maybe.
Even though I never had BSC contenders knocking down my door, that doesn't mean I can't fantasize about it and think through what it'd take for a school to win my services. So, with Saturday's tradition-heavy USC-Notre Dame and Texas-Oklahoma matchups on tap, I spent some time trying to figure out where I'd go if my decision came down to those four schools.
USC vs. Notre Dame
Uniforms: Although USC's maroon and gold look great, Notre Dame's navy and old gold scream tradition and success. Advantage: Notre Dame
Tradition: The modern era has belonged to USC hands down, but Notre Dame is like the New York Yankees of college football. Advantage: Notre Dame
Extracurricular activities: Show me movie stars, 80-degree weather and a beach in Indiana, and I'm sold. Until then, it's all about SoCal swagger. Advantage: USC
Coach: USC's Pete Carroll is a winner at this level, plain and simple. Charlie Weis may have won a Super Bowl ring as an offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, but in college that really doesn't mean a thing. Give me Carroll and his national titles. Advantage: USC
Fans: It's easy to get crazy and root for a team in great weather, but when the mercury drops and the snow starts to fall the Irish faithful turn the heat up on the opposition. Advantage: Notre Dame
Mascot: The Trojan soldier riding in on a horse beats the cart-wheeling leprechaun at Notre Dame. Advantage: USC
Alumni: USC has recent stars like Matt Leinart, Troy Polamalu and Reggie Bush, while Notre Dame has greats like Jerome Bettis, Joe Montana and Rocket Ismail. Advantage: Notre Dame
And the winner is ... Notre Dame
Texas vs. Oklahoma
Uniforms: The Oklahoma crimson and cream may be traditional, but you've got to love the burnt orange and white. Advantage: Texas
Tradition: Texas has always been a great football school, but when it comes to OU you're talking seven national titles and five Heisman Trophy winners. Advantage: Oklahoma
Extracurricular activities: I don't know too much, but I heard everything is big in Texas. So is the fun. Advantage: Texas
Coach: Mack Brown and Bob Stoops are good, but they've each delivered only one national title. Advantage: Push
Fans: I know diehard OU fans can get loud, but when you have tens upon tens of thousands of fans decked out in orange yelling, "Hook'em Horns," it's pretty hard not to be intimidated Advantage: Texas
Mascot: The Sooner Schooner can't hold a candle to Bevo, a gigantic steer that's been part of UT since 1916. Advantage: Texas
Alumni: Texas had Ricky Williams, Cedric Benson, Earl Campbell and Vince Young, while Oklahoma housed Billy Sims, Roy Williams, Jason White and The Beast, Adrian Peterson. Advantage: Oklahoma
And the winner is ... Texas
Jay Corbin is the lifestyle editor for ESPN RISE Magazine.
6hBy Ian O'Connor