Other conferences / schools are beginning to attempt to figure out the SEC's dominance, at least more earnestly, and they're now working far more earnestly and actively to solve it. Apparently, seeing how quickly (and crudely) this could turn into a "10" has caused some concern, and sense of urgency. 1. It's all about the line of scrimmage The South is not just the largest, deepest and overall best recruiting grounds for football players in the country, it is particularly and uniquely adept at producing players at the two positions which most (rightfully) believe to be of preeminent importance: offensive and defensive linemen. In fact, and as recent memory can attest, no other region of the country produces as many, or as overwhelmingly good, as those who hail from the south. While this fact has been no secret to most, it hasn't been the nearly universally acceptable truth that it has recently become, and to which so many coaches now readily agree. For years, while many could admit that the the SEC produced both more and higher quality players at these positions than other regions, few were willing to admit that they were appreciably better than players from other regions. That sentiment has not so much changed via adoption, but through a process of transplantation via coaches who leave the SEC to go to outside conferences, and who have first-hand experience in the distinct advantages which access to that caliber of player affords, and who know the immense difference between a 5-star defensive lineman from Georgia, Florida, Louisiana - and another from elsewhere, like Michigan, Texas or California. Understanding all of this, these coaches have not only acknowledged this fact, but have now set about (in earnest) to do something about it. Simply, if you are going to consistently compete with the SEC, you had better be able to match them along the line of scrimmage. Period. The truth is often painful. 2. How to stem the Tide (pun, fully intended) Alabama's Nick Saban has become the poster-child for exploiting this talent-based advantage, and whom many more coaches now realize who they are competing against, both in the SEC and beyond. Who might those others be? Well, here are the best 3 examples I can think of: Pelini, Kiffin and Urban. One served with Saban, the other competed against him, and the final one simply ran in fear - first to retirement, and then to the Big 10, ostensibly, where he not only rid himself of Saban, but resumed hating his deep-seated hatred for his family (if he left to spend more time with them because he loved them, how can you draw any other conclusion upon his subsequent decision to return?). And from their personal and first-hand experiences, these coaches know that if you must first beat Saban on National Signing Day, if you are to have any hope of doing so in a BCS title game. And that's exactly what they are setting about to do, as indicated by the recent addition of certain staff members (coaches and/or administrator types) who can gain comparable in-roads to the same Southern pipelines which he (and other SEC schools) now so abundantly enjoy. Meyer at Ohio State: Soon after having arrive in Columbus, Meyer hired two of his former - and best - support staff members away from Florida, each with direct ties to recruiting, and as Tom Lemming stated that they, "....led the Gators' recruiting efforts for the past two years, and his organization is why Florida often started recruiting top players before most other schools." (link: Urban Meyer's Ohio State hires could impact Florida Gators' recruiting - Tampa Bay Times) And this is in addition to the southern recruiting prowess which Urban himself will bring to the table. Kiffin at USC: While Ed Orgerron often appears to be a one-man recruiting team, the reality is that even he has some limitations in this area - first, his greatest in-roads are in Louisiana, where even he will struggle to pull recruits out of insofar as LSU remains at any point of prominence, and secondly, the longer he stays in LA, the more disconnected he becomes to the rest of the region, no matter how many Red Bulls he drinks, shirts he shreds, guttural grunts / moans he purports to be any combination of nouns, verbs and adjectives, or number of times that he tells Jo-Jo about it. Enter Tee Martin - inarguably one of the best young (read: hungry) recruiters in the South, and who has already begun to distinguish himself, so much so that Saban doggedly pursued Tee for his own staff, before he was lured away to the new Sodom. Hailing from Alabama, revered in Tennessee and having been on Kentucky's staff ensures that he is both well and widely known throughout the South, and advantage which Kiffin will undoubtedly rely upon both to make entree, and to help seal the deals. Tee is going to land several players that Kiffin and Co. simply could not have otherwise landed, nor would have even probably pursued had be landed in Tuscaloosa, instead. And the fact that the Volunteer state will actually produce a bevy of highly sought-after recruits in this next signing class was not likely lost on Kiffin in making this hire, as he knows that many of them will love and admire Tee from the get-go, if only for what he did while at Tennessee. And who better to make the argument that leaving Tennessee for USC is not an act of betrayal to your in-state school, but that is sometimes the smartest move to make, than Tee Martin? Nobody, that's who. So, consider this to be a fair-warning to all Tennesseans who love their mattresses, as an urging to be on the lookout for any angry mobs who either closely follow college football recruiting or are suspected arsonists. [YOUTUBE]HX7wzhMvbzo&feature[/YOUTUBE] It never gets old. Literally. Pelini hires Joseph to Nebraska - Of all of the many and easily justified knocks on Coach Dooley, bringing Terry Joseph to Knoxville isn't one of them. During his time at Tennessee, Joseph served as the lead recruiter, and who was not only instrumental to holding onto the recruits in the wake of Kiffin's abrupt departure, but who also orchestrated two additionally solid classes for Tennessee, and in spite of some of the most challenging circumstances one could imagine - the NCAA investigation, being the third coaching staff in 3 years, the turmoil of this past season, etc. etc. Like Tee, Joseph has distinguished himself as an more than capable recruiter, and as importantly, will immediately bring those relationships to Lincoln, upon his arrival. 3. The move makes as much sense for Joseph as it did for Tee, here's why: These three coaches are unique in that they each serve as both their team's head coach, but additionally as the defacto coordinators, as well - and again, just as Saban now does and deftly uses to his advantage. You see, when a coach can serve in more than one capacity, such as Kiffin being head coach / o-coordinator / QB coach , it affords them with the ability to "afford" to bring a younger and less experienced coach on staff, but who have shown themselves to be excellent recruiters. The trade-off is that the young coaches acquire a position on a staff that their coaching resume could never singlehandedly secured, alone. In turn, the young coach will be primarily (or even solely) responsible for contributing on the recruiting side of things until such time as they gain the necessary coaching skills and experiences to more fully grow into the position, and which allows them to greatly accelerate their careers, far more than if they had their original schools, instead. I understand that some may disagree that there is much more at play here than a straight quid-pro-quo sort of relationship, but there really isn't. As my first example: If you think that Tee Martin was the best available WR's coach that Kiffin could have hired, or that he chose to hire him for his coaching experience, alone, you haven't been paying attention. And, for anyone who believes that Joseph isn't being hired for the exact same reason on Pellini's staff as Tee was at USC, then that can only lead me to one of two conclusions - either you haven't watched our secondary over the course of the previous two seasons, or your psyche has just erased it from immediate memory as a means to protect your small foothold on what's left of your sanity. Personally, it's easier for me to recall those plays when an opposing team's WR was actually somewhat covered, instead of simply streaking down the field, uncovered, unopposed and unaccounted for, as these were distinguished by their own rarity. So, now you know why Joseph left, the intended purposes for which he was sought after and why he was ultimately lured away to Lincoln. Allegedly.