Eight from Big 12 on Thorpe Award list

Eight Big 12 players made the watch list for the Thorpe Award, which is given annually to college football's top defensive back.

Only 48 players made the list, but I was surprised to see a few from the Big 12 not make an appearance. West Virginia's defensive issues last season were obvious, but sophomore safety Karl Joseph has a case as one of the Big 12's best safeties and should be due for a huge year after topping 100 stops as a true freshman last season.

Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert had a disappointing junior year in 2012, but he's as physically gifted as any corner in the league and if he bounces back, could crack the All-Big 12 first team.

Still, players are eligible for the award even if they don't make the watch list.

Mississippi State's Johnathan Banks won the award last season. Texas' Aaron Ross (2006) was the last Big 12 player to win it.