Ty Detmer’s Hall of Fame Selection A No-Brainer; Tommie Frazier, Brian Bosworth Should Join Him


The National Football Foundation announces the 2012 Hall of Fame induction class on Tuesday. One inductee was revealed Monday, 1990 Heisman winner Ty Detmer. The gunslinging BYU quarterback is a worthy candidate, the last non-power conference to win the Heisman Trophy. His inclusion is a no-brainer.

Another no-brain inductee is Tommie Frazier. In 1994 and 1995, Frazier captained Nebraska’s triple option offense masterfully. One writing a curriculum for a college football course could use Frazier’s ’95 season as the quintessential option quarterback campaign.

Leading one of the greatest teams in college football history, Frazier had an impressive 3:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. His improved passing ability further supplemented his outstanding rushing. He broke off more than 7 yards per attempt carrying the ball, and scored 16 touchdowns. That was the cherry on top of a 38 career touchdown sundae.

From the same era on the other side of the ball, Tedy Bruschi was a captain for one of the game’s most revered units. Bruschi tied the NCAA career sack record while leading Arizona’s Desert Swarm. For more, read my column on the blog of the same name.

A defender with Sports writers get a bad reputation for passing judgment from a pulpit of piety — one not necessarily deserved, either.

Brian Bosworth faced problems throughout his career. He’s known for a variety of negatives: failing a drug test while at Oklahoma, his mullet, the box office bomb that was Stone Cold, his NFL career notable known for the time Bo Jackson trucked him.

And none of that should matter a bit when considering his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Bosworth was as feared a defender as college football’s ever had. Among the litany of accomplishments to Boz’s credit is a 22 tackle game against Miami at the pinnacle of Hurricane success. Such standout performances were cornerstones for a career that included two consensus All-America selections and Outland Trophies.

CBSsports.com writer Dennis Dodd penned an excellent column on the continued snubbing of Boz, in which Bosworth says the honor would not “give [him] any more fulfillment.”

That may be the case, but it doesn’t mean those voting are no less in the wrong for letting personality outweigh performance.

Arbitrarily agreed-upon numbers also dictate Hall of Fame votes. I wrote of Howard Schnellenberger’s exclusion from the ballot when it was released this winter. A monument dedicated to college football greatness is less meaningful when it excludes someone that had the impact of Schnellenberger. The same is true for Erk Russell.

Russell was defensive coordinator at Georgia for 16 years, the finale of which was the Bulldogs’ 1980 national championship season. UGa brought a stout defense onto the field week-in and week-out, exhibited when it held Notre Dame to just 10 points title-sealing Sugar Bowl.

But Russell built a legacy elsewhere in the Peach State that is among the greatest in the sport.

Georgia Southern tapped Russell as the man to set a foundation for its relaunched football program, dormant since World War II. That foundation proved to be rock solid, likely exceeding everyone’s expectations.

GSU won its first national championship in just its second year of varsity competition, the first of six. The Eagles became the gold standard for Division I-AA/FCS programs under Russell’s guidance.

Included in his run in Statesboro was the perfect cap to a career. In 1989, GSU became the first 15-0 college football champion at any level. The Eagles’ championship campaign included a playoff defeat of Middle Tennessee State in an honest-to-goodness hurricane. The title game against Stephen F. Austin was a classic.

Russell coached teams embodied the motto he coined, GATA: “Get At Their Asses.”