The National Football Foundation released its 2013 College Football Hall of Fame ballot on Tuesday, and it’s star-studded.
Among the 77 player and five coaching nominees are some of the most prominent names in college football history, who for various reasons have yet to be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
USA Today‘s Paul Myerberg explains the somewhat convoluted process:
HOF doesn’t use voting results from its 12,000 members as final tally. Merely a reference for its Honors Court, which makes final decision.
— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) March 5, 2013
Former Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommie Frazier is again on the ballot. Frazier’s omission is among the most egregious, a point I have made on this site in the past.
The College Football Hall of Fame only allows one entry per university, per year, and Frazier is paired with a former Cornhusker Heisman Trophy winner. Now, any observer with even the slightest modicum of football knowledge recognizes that Frazier was a better quarterback and had a more profound impact than Eric Crouch.
However, the Heisman Trophy is perhaps the ultimate indicator of individual fame. Logic would dictate Frazier’s outstanding seasons captaining the Nebraska offense would supersede the Heisman, but logic isn’t always the primary factor determining induction.
The one player rule has kept 2013 nominee Tedy Bruschi out. Arizona’s defensive star was held out for former Outland Trophy winner Rob Waldrop, but should get the vote this season. The Wildcats’ rival Arizona State Sun Devils have two worthy nominees on the ballot in linebacker Bob Breunig, a 1974 1st Team All-American and stalwart of the Frank Kush-led teams that led to the birth of the Fiesta Bowl and helped the Arizona schools gain entry into the Pacific Conference.
But also on the ballot is defensive end Al Harris, one of the most celebrated Sun Devils of all-time for his Outland and Lombardi Trophy-winning season in 1978.
Brian Bosworth’s exclusion is a point discussed on this site before, but bears reiterating. His play for the Oklahoma Sooners was transcendent, though marred because of steroid abuse.
One of the earliest breakout stars from a non-power conference in the BCS era was TCU Horned Frogs running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson’s stellar 1999 and 2000 seasons and subsequent star turn in the NFL help put TCU on the map. The Frogs’ notoriety was eventually parlayed into a wildly successful run through the Mountain West Conference, and later an invitation to the Big 12 Conference.
Tomlinson is destined for Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his foundation at TCU deserves similar recognition at the collegiate level.
Other key names on the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame ballot include Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Orlando Pace; UCLA Bruins quarterback Cade McNown; and Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker, the late Derrick Thomas.