It's rather understated, but does anyone besides me feel the modest angst in this writer's acknowledgment that football power Nebraska lost a recruit they were genuinely recruiting to Kentucky?
We've seen a bit of this over at Corn Nation recently. Now, I don't want to go off the reservation here and classify this as "alarm bells." Let's get real — the main attraction for Kentucky right now is the fact it is in the SEC. Let's not forget that in football, UK is at the very bottom of the SEC.
Consider this piece by Bud Elliot over at Tomahawk Nation:
Despite the strong recruiting effort so far, some fans in the comments section and on twitter are feeling down. I sense that this is because FSU simply isn't being mentioned by some top prospects, who simply won't play outside the SEC. FSU tried to get into the SEC last year, and it was denied. There's little FSU can do to combat the conference recruiting war. It needs to continue to win at an excellent clip on the field and sell itself. FSU will continue to be a target of negative recruiting simply because it is not in the SEC, and that is something every SEC school competing against FSU, especially Florida, will continue to sell. We've covered this before, but it's an ongoing issue that is unlikely to change in the direction desired by FSU fans, at least not any time soon. [my emphasis]
This sounds like a lament to me, combined with a call to arms. The thing is, though, that the SEC is hurting "lesser" conferences with it's panache and success in the NFL draft, and it's enabling lesser teams, like Kentucky and Vanderbilt, to recruit somewhat competitively with programs that, on reputation and record alone, ought to get the nod every time.
This is the upside to being in the SEC, of course. The downside is obvious — a killer schedule every year that makes it harder and harder even to eke into a minor bowl game. With that said, Kentucky under Mark Stoops is making some moves in recruiting that few of us thought possible, and I'll be the first to admit that I was one of them.
It's nice to be wrong, sometimes.