Four years later, it certainly looks like Texas A&M made the right move. Since joining the SEC, the Aggies have built a state-of-the art facility in Kyle Field while the Big 12 is eroding day by day.

It would appear that the move has played a role in the SEC’s contribution to a fading Big 12, Oklahoma’s run to the College Football Playoff semifinals notwithstanding.

However, it is clear that the talent level between the two conferences has shifted significantly towards the SEC. Just look at the recent talent that the SEC has sent to the NFL over the last two years. The SEC had 34 players chosen over the first two rounds of the 2014 and 2015 NFL drafts.

That’s far and away the most of any conference. Conversely, the Big 12 was a distant last among the Power Five conferences, with just six. That ties both the American Athletic Conference and the Mountain West.

The Big 12 isn’t getting the talent it once enjoyed. The SEC is partly to blame. Of course, the hotbed for Big 12 recruiting has always been the state of Texas. The addition of Texas A&M into the SEC has figuratively opened the floodgates for SEC schools to harvest what was once the Big 12’s bumper crop of athletes.

Following Wednesday’s National Signing Day – and based on rankings – the Texas Longhorns were the highest ranked team in the Big 12, with a recruiting class ranked No. 11. It’s the third time in the four years since Texas A&M has moved to the SEC that both Texas and Oklahoma have been shut out of the top 10 in the same season.

The dropoff since 2012 is significant across the board, although both Baylor and TCU made big improvements this season and Texas has done marginally better the last two seasons.

Big 12 in the 247Sports Composite
Team   2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Texas 2nd 20th 20th 10th 11th
Oklahoma 12th 13th 11th 14th 20th
Baylor 25th 25th 27th 36th 17th
TCU 29th 34th 48th 42nd 23th

Much of that has to do with the SEC grabbing its share of talent from the state of Texas. Of the 68 four- and five-star athletes from the class of 2016 that graduated from Texas high schools, the Big 12 came away with 28 of those while the SEC carried off 26.

Adding Texas A&M to the SEC has allowed the conference to brand a Texas-sized footprint in the state. It was evident once again with the 2016 class. Ole Miss signed the state’s top talent, five-star OT Gregory Little. The Rebels also pulled S Deontray Anderson, the state’s No. 5 overall talent.

The SEC grabbed eight of the state’s top 15 players. Six different SEC teams shared in that haul. Only Texas and Baylor put up any sort of competition for the state’s top talent. TCU landed the state’s No. 16 and No. 24 athletes while Oklahoma’s best catch was at No. 27. Oklahoma used to dominate recruiting in Texas, but that’s not the case any longer.

Florida was able to flip No. 8 Tyrie Cleveland from up-and-coming AAC champion Houston, which did sign the state’s No. 2-rated player, DT Ed Oliver.

Granted, recruiting rankings aren’t the definitive gauge, however it remains a very telling stat that since 2013 the highest any Big 12 team has been ranked in recruiting was the 2015 Texas Longhorns, who finished 10th.