When you put it like this…
“If you look at a map of where the Big 12 is, there’s not a lot of high school football in some of these states,” Casazza said. “In fact, I just did some research… Texas, for example, had about 1,100 schools that played (11 on 11) high school football. The Big 12’s other four states — Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and West Virginia — had fewer than 900 combined. There’s four Big 12 schools in Texas. You really can’t change the fact that 40 percent of your league plays in the bottom 20 in the country of high school football teams.”
On where the talent is spread and why the SEC has an advantage:
“The top four states in the past five years for four and five-star recruits are Georgia, Florida, California and Texas. Georgia, Florida and Texas… the SEC has nine schools in those states.”
… that paints a pretty bleak demographic picture. There ain’t enough spread offense imaginable to bridge that gap.
Bottom line: if the recruiting glass is big enough, it doesn’t matter if it’s half empty. But it’s hard to quench your thirst drinking out of a thimble.