MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- So blue is the blood that runs through the football programs at Texas and Oklahoma that they can talk to whatever college prospects they want and, if they so desire, offer a scholarship under the premise the player would be flattered and excited by the gesture.
What newcomers to the Big 12 were made to learn last week at the conference media days in Dallas is that the best high school players in Texas - which is to say the best players in the best state for high school football - are the presumed property of the Longhorns and Sooners in the Big 12 and Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference.
The Aggies are new to the SEC this fall and their inclusion has opened the door to Texas for other schools in the league, which figures to further thin the crop. Baylor and TCU, Arkansas and LSU, they all have their successes, but it takes time to reverse a generational pattern, and that time may never come.
This may seem like bad news for West Virginia, which wants to be big and rich in Texas. But really, when have the Mountaineers truly relied upon the Southwest for talent? They do fine recruiting Florida and the Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore area.
That ought to continue, though not exclusively. The Mountaineers are no strangers to Texas, though. What's wrong with talent that comes off the second or third shelf in that state? Who is disappointed with Dustin Garrison and who wasn't intrigued by Jordan Thompson in the spring or Ford Childress when he signed his scholarship?
That's a running back, receiver and quarterback and they had no Big 12 offers when they chose the Mountaineers. WVU's reputation is one for offense, for the players who throw and catch the ball, for an ability to cross that line and dance in the end zone.
It could all be changing, though, thanks to the new affiliation with the Big 12.
"If you prefer a challenge, this is the spot for you," said Texas cornerback Carrington Byndom. "The passing offenses we have and the competition you see with the quarterbacks and receivers, there's no better test."
In short, WVU's ability to recruit defensive backs, and cornerbacks in particular, is going to get better. It better get better, or else.
There are too many offenses to deal with on a weekly basis in the Big 12 not to have elite talent in the defensive backfield
And that's been a problem for WVU in the past several years. Since 2002, the Mountaineers have signed two of those coveted four-star high school cornerbacks.
Baylor had two four-star corners in the last recruiting class. WVU's two both came from the 2011 class, Vance Roberts and Terrell Chestnut. Roberts never played for WVU and since headed to a junior college to get his grades right. Chestnut, while promising, has a big fall camp ahead of him after missing his true freshman year last season with a shoulder injury.
The Mountaineers have Brodrick Jenkins, who seems fine and played pretty well late last season to earn a starting spot.