"I think it's always going to be that way," FSU recruiting coordinator John Lilly said.
"Obviously, because of the type of student-athletes that Miami recruits and we recruit, speaking not only in our own state, but nationally I think it's going to have implications with a lot of people in a lot of places."
FSU's recruiting focus over the years has been primarily Florida and the Southeast. The Seminoles' roster features 50 players from the Sunshine State and 15 from Georgia. California (seven) and Texas (five) headline the other 14 states represented.
Lilly admits the FSU-UM winner could help sway the minds of undecided recruits who rank the pair among their finalists. Additionally, this year's game is looming as one of the nation's top early showdowns.
If UM beats West Virginia on Thursday, the Seminoles and Hurricanes will both be in the Associated Press top five for the game. That hasn't happened in the storied rivalry since 1993. ESPN's Game Day crew of Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit is expected to be in town, and ABC will show the game nationally.
"I would agree with you that probably the vast majority of prospects are not going to pick a school based on one game, one win, one loss," Lilly said.
"But I think it does have an effect and I would probably be kidding myself if I said there won't be a couple of guys out there -- whether they end up picking that school or not -- whoever wins this game is going to go a long way towards where they are going to strongly consider, at least at this stage in the process.
"I really believe sometimes where the game is played has a big part in it, too. If you are playing at home and it's a great atmosphere and you play really well, that can have a big impact. It can have an adverse impact if you are playing at home and it's not a great atmosphere. Obviously, our fans can control that a little bit this year."
After a two-year slide, FSU is again ranked among the nation's elite. Players and coaches realize the UM game offers an opportunity to prove that's not an aberration.
"If you asked anybody on our staff. … normally you're 12, 13 days before a ballgame, you are looking towards that game but you are not excited about it from the standpoint of not caring how much you sleep and those kind of things," Lilly said.
"I think that's the way it is here now, and that's the way it always is when you are getting ready to play a Top 10 team and a team like Miami that, I think, has lost one regular-season game in three years and has a phenomenal winning streak on the road and all those kind of things. It's a tremendous program.
"And fortunately, a place like Florida State is a place where you want to be because you get the opportunity to be in, not only one of those games every several years, but probably two or three in one year if we are doing what we are supposed to do."
So far, the Seminoles have done exactly that in fashioning a 5-0 record. But, as coach Bobby Bowden likes to say, plenty of schedule remains.
"We still kind of sit there and talk about where we are. I think the great thing about that is nobody really thinks we're nearly as good as we can be right now," Lilly said.
"You start looking at the mistakes we are making, be it fundamentals or missed assignments or whatever the case may be, but we have a lot of room to continue to get better. That's the thing we have to do each week and every day out in practice. If we are sitting there after five games and feel like we are as good as we can be, we are not going to finish up where we want to this year. I think that's the biggest thing.
"We have guys who feel like they still have to get better and are coming to work every day. And went to work every day in the off season and all that. I don't think there's any sense that anybody has arrived yet. And I think there's probably a little bit more hunger. There's a lot of guys here who have not experienced the success that Florida State is used to annually since they've been here. Especially guys who maybe juniors and played as true freshmen, which we had a large group of those. I think that's a big part of it and hopefully we can continue that."
Winning, of course, also helps in recruiting. And a victory over the Hurricanes just might be the difference in the minds of some recruits.
FSU, which has struggled signing players from the Miami area in recent years, continues to stress the South Florida area under first-year coach Kevin Steele and veteran Odell Haggins.
Bowden says the Seminoles will always have a strong presence in South Florida.
"I don't think we really slacked in that area," Bowden said.
"We have not signed as many players out of there, but what you must realize is that Miami climbed back to the top, and therefore a lot of those kids decided to go to Miami. Before they were hitting their stride, which was, you know, back when they were on probation, we'd get a lot more kids out of there. But then, when they got themselves all straightened out, naturally, many of the kids from Miami wanted to go to Miami. Well, as soon as they tell us that, we're not going to recruit them if they're going to go to Miami. I remember one year, we went after three kids down there and got two of them. That's not bad. Maybe we didn't go after the numbers.
"But you have to realize, Miami's up here trying to get (Antonio) Cromartie, too. Miami's up here trying to get Pat (Watkins). If all the players are down there, why are they up here? We're getting good kids from a lot of places. We're going to put two people in Miami to be sure that we thoroughly cover it. But we're not as empty as it might seem."