Anonymous User wrote:I think your chances are better than what some have led on. Think about clerkships in mega-flyover places like El Dorado, Arkansas (Bobby Shepherd), Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Jane Kelly), and Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Roger Wollman). These are judges just in the Eighth Circuit, and there are many other circuits with similar places. If you have two professors or a judge make a call, I think your credentials are enough to get at least one interview, and that's all it takes.
ETA: Accidental anon - floridacoastalorbust
I'm a current CA8 clerk, and I would agree that OP's chances are good with certain Eighth Circuit judges if the T2 or the SSC is somewhere in the Eight Circuit or if OP has ties to the region, but otherwise I think it's too optimistic. These judges will hire from T2 schools, but usually only if they're local schools. For example, lolwat is correct about Shepherd: his current clerks are all from WUSTL and the University of Arkansas. I don't see them hiring anyone from a random T2 across the country just because two professors make a call, especially if the judge doesn't know them.
That said, OP should still apply broadly and see what happens.