Eight Big 12 teams make ESPN.com's relegation top 40

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

All right Big 12 fans, don't say that the ESPN.com football pundits didn't keep you on the edge of your seat.

Pat Forde, Mark Schlabach and Ivan Maisel attacked an interesting proposition, choosing the top programs if the FBS was being winnowed to 40 members.

The Big 12 finished with eight teams selected, including three of the final four picks. Don't say that we at ESPN.com don't enjoy a little finely-crafted drama from the live chat from their 40-team draft, which played out at this link.

Here are the Big 12 teams and where they were picked in the draft.

3. Oklahoma

4. Texas

12. Nebraska

25. Texas Tech

26. Oklahoma State

37. Missouri

38. Kansas

39. Texas A&M

And for the fans of the other four schools -- Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State and Kansas State -- I wish my deepest sympathies. And please send the irate e-mails to the panel members and not to me.

The late run enabled the Big 12 to have the second-most schools picked in the relegation game than any other conference, trailing only nine picks from the SEC. The Pac-10, Big Ten and ACC had six schools apiece, two from the Mountain West and one each from the WAC, Big East and from the independents.

I wasn't surprised that the three power teams in the Big 12 were picked as high as they were. And South Division powers Texas Tech and Oklahoma State were actually picked a tad earlier than I might have expected. And the run of the three late schools might have showed that the esteemed panel might have been using some collective notes.

But having eight teams picked in this game is a pretty good indication of the Big 12's stature among national powers.

Truthfully, it's one or two more Big 12 schools than I expected would be picked.