Will USC-UCLA affect local recruiting?

LOS ANGELES -- USC and UCLA battle for recruits every year, and there are always a ton of top prospects at every game between the two schools.

Fittingly, dozens of 2013, 2014 and 2015 talents are expected to be at the Rose Bowl for Saturday's 12 p.m. PT game, including four-star safeties Tahaan Goodman (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) and Priest Willis (Tempe, Ariz./Marcos De Niza).

Yet, according to Trojans coach Lane Kiffin, the USC-UCLA winner won't gain any tangible advantage on securing the commitments of the players in attendance.

"I don't think it has a major impact," Kiffin said Thursday, while also acknowledging that the question comes up every year. "It just goes into whatever that formula is of the kid making a decision.

"It's just a small thing in there, and there's so many other things that one game doesn't matter."

Kiffin compared it to the commonly-cited theory that a winning season will get a team a bunch of top recruits that same year. That's not true either, he said.

"Just like when teams are having a great season or a rough season, they don't all of the sudden sign all the players because you're winning all the games, or the other way around," Kiffin said. "You assume that kids go to the teams at the top, but it doesn't always happen like that."

Kiffin added that high-schoolers often see teams having more of a need for them when they're losing some games.