November 26, 2007

Big time bowls bring a recruiting bump: Rod

Of all the things that going to a BCS and/or national championship bowl will guarantee, the most certain is upward mobility in the recruiting rankings, according to head coach Rich Rodriguez.

"The biggest thing you have to overcome if you're not at several of the programs which are used to winning national championships is recruiting. Playing for and winning a national championship impacts recruiting. Lots of schools sell tradition. We do, too, because we play for championships here.

"But the benefit in playing in a BCS bowl, if you start playing for them, it assists your recruiting. This is particularly true for us at West Virginia, because we are in a small state with a small population. We have to draw our roster from everywhere. Lots can be overcome when you get to the elite level."

Rodriguez will be taking his second team in three years to a BCS bowl this January, the question now remains-which one? A victory over Pitt Saturday in the 100th edition of the Backyard Brawl will tie up a bid to the national championship game against either Missouri or Ohio State.

When Rod's team upset Georgia 38-35 in the 2006 Sugar Bowl in Atlanta, he saw a recruiting jump. Since that game, he has secured brand names like Noel Devine, maybe the country's best high school back when he came out in February; and linebacker Pat Lazear, who was a Washington Post All-Met as a junior.

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