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The Ten Best Recruiting Destinations

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On this matter of recruiting, it would be difficult for me (for anyone really) to get inside the heads of these kids to see what truly matters most to them. Rivals did a pretty interesting anecdotal study on what recruits like to hear from coaches but that’s just one of a legion of factors that go into this combustible, moving target that is recruiting analysis.

So let’s do this instead. How about if I was a recruit, a speedy defensive back or a monstrous offensive lineman for example, where in the Big 12 would I want to go right now and why? Here are my ten destinations in a very particular order:

10. Kansas
Pros: Uhh, your coach used to touch Tom Brady’s back side every other day or so.
Cons: You have a track encircling your field, nobody can take you seriously outside of hoops, and your AD let the best thing he had going walk out on him.
Verdict: I go here if my other call is from Dennis Franchione at Texas State.

9. Texas Tech
Pros: Your coach used to coach in the nation’s best conference, QBs from your school hold 998 of the top 1000 total passing yards in a game totals in NCAA history.
Cons: You gave up 66 points twice last season.
Verdict: If you’re a QB or aspiring western actor, sure, anybody else can find six better schools in the state to attend.

8. Iowa State
Pros: You’re going to be on ESPN a LOT. Sure it might be in the background of a Paul Rhoads speech, but still..
Cons: Currently has three fewer NFL players than Hampton, the same number as Harvard, and one more than Idaho State.
Verdict: Paul Rhoads is the real deal. If I was a middling two or three star* and could either sit at Iowa or play at Iowa State, I’m headed to Ames.

7. Baylor
Pros: More Heisman trophies since 2000 than everyone in the league but OU…combined.
Cons: More losses since 2000 than everyone in the league…by far.
Verdict: Art Briles is the real deal and with A&M ousted, Baylor and TCU have risen to second string in the state for all of Texas’ leftovers.

6. TCU
Pros: Total defense rank the past five years: 32-1-1-1-15. Seems adequate.
Cons: You have to do this for four years.
Verdict: If you’re a top-flight defensive player and you see Patterson’s record…why wouldn’t you go there?

Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

5. Kansas State
Pros: You apparently don’t have to be that intelligent to play the skillz positions in Manhattan, or so say Michael Bishop’s Wonderlic results.
Cons: Your coach is quadruple your age.
Verdict: I’m not sure anyone can handle purple Kansas, save Snyder (see Prince, Ron). And Snyder can’t coach forever. But still, for the next four or five years you’re probably going to at least have a shot at one (or more) Big 12 titles and you get to play in front of some of the best fans in the country.

4. West Virginia
Pros: You could sacrifice a live animal on campus during your first day of class and your coach wouldn’t even blink.
Cons: If you ever lose a game, your coach might sacrifice you on campus. Live.
Verdict: You could pick about 115 worse offenses to play in over the next five years. The BCS games will wane, but (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) WVU is one of the more stable destinations for anyone wanting to play in the Big 12 because they’re recruiting kids from West Virginia, Pennsylvania etc. that other schools can’t reach.

3. Oklahoma State
Pros: Best facilities in the league, only team to win a Big 12 title besides the two ahead of it since 2003, you get to fraternize with a billionaire.
Cons: Stillwater isn’t exactly, um, Austin, still doesn’t have a big time stadium (attendance-wise), you have to fraternize with a billionaire.
Verdict: You get the big time college football experience without all the unfulfilling media frills that come with it (for now). And possible BCS bowl wins.

2. OU
Pros: Stoops is outstanding, NFL factory, high-paying summer jobs.
Cons: Bowl games.
Verdict: It’s no longer the #1 draw in the state, but it’s pretty hard for a kid to come watch 85,000 people watch and scream for his future teammates and then say “nahhhh, I’m good.”

Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

1. Texas
Pros: Best uniforms in the league (and possibly country) and if you’re a QB and can throw it over 10 yards in the air, you have a chance to start.
Cons: Expectations. 9-3 in Waco equals illicit drinking. 9-3 in Stillwater equals sold out bowl game. 9-3 in Austin equals WTF happened?!
Verdict: It’s still Texas, and if Mack calls, you come. Just hope your relatives are amongst the dozens of Longhorn Network subscribers. There are dozens of us!

* – Not sure what a “middling three star” is…

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