Recruiting, like real estate, is a field dominated by three L's -- location, location, location.
With the exception of conference newcomer West Virginia, which has typically looked for players in the mid-Atlantic region, the Big 12 rankings for the 2012 recruiting cycle correlate fairly highly with proximity to Texas, the football mad hot-bed that provides the conference with most of its best players.
That's why schools like Kansas and Kansas State, which finished right outside the top 75 nationally according to 24/7 Team Sports and at the bottom of the Big 12 according to most of the national recruiting services, have had to pursue contrarian schemes and philosophies to defeat Texas and Oklahoma, who once again finished in the top 10 nationally.
SB Nation Dallas has an in-depth and the Longhorns star-studded class here.
In Manhattan, Bill Snyder once again stocked up on junior college recruits, as 7 of his 19 commitments have previous college experience. And while the rest of the conference has fallen in love with the spread offense, Snyder's commitment to a ground-based attack led the Wildcats to an unexpected second-place finish in the conference and a berth in the Cotton Bowl.
For a full look at Kansas State's class, check out this stream.
And while Synder has proven his ability to out-scheme his Big 12 competitors, Kansas fans will have to hope Charlie Weis, a former NFL offensive coordinator who boasted of "the decided schematic advantage" his Notre Dame teams would have, can live up to his bluster.
Weis, an ace recruiter at South Bend, didn't make a huge impact on the recruiting trail, but he did reel in two former five star QB's -- Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps -- looking for a fresh start after transferring as well as a chance to be molded into NFL QB's.
This stream has more on Weis' first run on the Big 12 recruiting trail.
But before either program can think about consistently matching up with the Goliaths that have won 9 of the Big 12's last 12 conference titles, they'll need to jump a huge bunch of teams who finished inside the top 50 -- Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Baylor and conference new-comers TCU and West Virginia.
SB Nation Dallas has full coverage of TCU's recruiting class as well as Baylor's.