I have St Lawrence in Tark.
I have previously coached Skidmore in this very same conference for the first 40 seasons of this world (2 different ID's), so when I came back from my "retirement" I naturally wanted to return to something familiar so I went to the upstate but was unable to get my old school, so I chose one in the same division thinking close enough is good enough for me, right? Wrong. Couldn't have been much more wrong.
The recruiting in St. Lawrence is HORRIBLE, for the reasons you have already stated. The only advantage I have from a recruiting standpoint is that a lot of coaches don't want to waste scouting trip money on Canadian recruits unless their core ratings are very good to start. Myself, being closer to them, I can afford to dabble with them a little more at dirt cheap prices. I am of course captive to the RNG in this advantage, in that most times, a dog, really is a dog. Most of the recruits covered under the FSS are simply too far away from me for me to feel like I'm ever really "secure" in recruiting them, but I have been lucky enough to find some overlooked recruits on the cheap and also some lost and forgotten recruits hiding under the rocks in other less recruited states.
I was pretty shocked by the difference in recruiting between Skidmore and St. Lawrence. I wouldn't have thought there even could be a difference this drastic, but there certainly is a very big difference. Recruiting at St. Lawrence is not for the faint of heart.