Well, since UH and SMU were the first to let blacks play in the SWC, there are a lot of politics going around. How else was it that Baylor got into the Big 12? Politics. Good ole boy system and all have helped many schools succeed.
As for recruiting, you get the best players you can....no matter what the scenario.
Blue chips do not mean anything....sort of like 1st round draft picks...50/50.
Stoops' first powerhouse team was full of players that were "lower-level" HS players...1 & 2 stars..not the 4&5 stars. Its all in the coaching and how much you can get out of the players. Mack Brown has constantly had top 5 ranked recruiting classes, yet he has always had trouble transferring that talent on the field.....coaching or players??
If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.