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The recruiting implications of Northwestern's season opener at Cal

After seeing the palatial football-purposed edifice Oregon released to awe-struck gazes en masse (and rightfully so) last week, I’m not sure there’s a reason to follow Brandon Lee’s recruitment anymore. But rest assured, if the rest of his listed top five (Virginia Tech, Cal, Northwestern and Louisville) still holds a fair stake in his recruitment, August 31 will be a very important day for Lee.

That’s when he travels to Berkeley, California, for an official visit to the Golden Bears’ campus. It’s also when, as you likely already know, Northwestern will face Cal in its 2013 season opener. The potential implications need no explanation: Want to impress the four-star linebacker? Win.

Nudging ahead in the race to land Lee is less important, obviously, than the simple matter of starting the season 1-0, and it’s no guarantee Lee will be more inclined to attend the school that wins the game. It’s totally possible the Wildcats drub Cal, for instance, and Lee winds up committing to the Bears a month later. Recruiting is inherently unpredictable and rarely conventional.

But for the Wildcats recruiting diehards out there – the message board information gatherers, the weekly commitment prognosticators – week 1 will have an interesting subplot to follow.

Seriously, though, how could you turn this down?