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Flipping Part of Recruiting Game

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Picture yourself 18 years old again.

Now—and you will have to stretch your mind a little on this one—imagine that you are one of the most sought after football recruits in the country.

One night, Nick Saban, the head coach of the BCS national champion Alabama Crimson Tide, is in your living room. Neighbors are congregating outside your house to snap a picture of the three-time BCS-winning coach that will find its way to Facebook and Twitter before you can say “Roll Tide.” Saban is telling you how he needs you. You see your future—a national championship, TV exposure, the NFL.

You’re ready to commit.

Two days later, you’re flying cross country for an official visit to USC, where Lane Kiffin greets you and rolls out the proverbial red carpet. Kiffin is hip; he’s L.A. The Trojans have a deep tradition...

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