Who's Really Worthy Of The Hall Of Fame?

Posted Mar 23, 2013

It's a big 2013 ballot full of legends - who did Fiu vote for?

Fiu's 2013 Hall of Fame Vote

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2013 Hall of Fame Ballot Rankings
- Slam Dunk Hall of Famers | The Coaches 
- Hall of Worthy, But Not Quite | Hall of Maybe | Hall of the Very Good

The 2013 College Football Hall of Fame ballot is always mystifying.

There are always several legendary college football players who seem like they should be no-brainer, first-ballot, obvious Hall of Fame choices – if you win a Heisman, you should automatically have your ticket punched – but have hung around the ballot for years. There are always other famous players who can't seem to get through for whatever reason, but certainly have better college careers than many of the ones who end up getting the call.

So here's the official criteria just to get in the running, simplified from the official long form rules.

- A player must have received First-Team All-America recognition from an organization recognized by the NCAA for its own consensus All-America team.

- Post-football citizenship is a factor. "He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country." However, they don't specify which country.

- Players must have played their last season within the last 50 years. Pro players and coaches aren't eligible until after they retire.
- A coach becomes eligible three years after retirement or immediately if he's over 70. Coaches become eligible no matter what at 75. Coaches must have been a head coach for a minimum of ten years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.

Voters get to pick 11 players and two coaches on the ballot. In order of how worthiness and how fast it took me to pick, here were my choices.

1. Ron Dayne, RB Wisconsin
Throwing the forward pass effectively is a relatively new concept in the long and storied history of college football. This has almost always been a running game with the backs the marquee stars throughout the decades. While Herschel Walker would've posted an almost unreachable mark had he stayed for his senior season, Dayne is the one who holds the college football's equivalent of the home run record. The 1999 Heisman winner was the first player in college football history to run for more than 7,000 yards.

2. Danny Wuerrfel, QB Florida
There might have been more talented quarterbacks in the Steve Spurrier era at Florida, but no one meshed better with the Ball Coach. Remember, Spurrier only won one national title, and it was because he had an unflappable leader whose shotput style throwing motion got the job done well enough to win the 1996 Heisman along with the national championship.

3. Tommie Frazier, QB Nebraska
This is an absolute travesty. He has been on the ballot year after year after year, and even though he didn't win a Heisman and despite putting up career passing numbers that look embarrassing by today's standards, he was the leader of a two-time national champion and came within a missed field goal of winning a third. Along with the national championship, he won the 1995 Unitas and finished second in the Heisman voting.

4. Orlando Pace, OT Ohio State
A good case could be made that he was the greatest lineman in the history of college football. The term pancake was invented for the two-time Lombardi winner for his ability to flatten everyone in his path, but he was an even stronger pass blocker – he didn't allow a sack in his two award-winning seasons.

5. Vinny Testaverde, QB Miami
Win a Heisman and you should be in. Unfortunately, he'll be remembered for the meltdown game in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl loss to Penn State and for somehow not winning a national title during Miami's heyday, but he threw for over 6,000 yards and came up with a signature win over an elite 1986 Oklahoma team in one of the signature regular season games of the 1980s.

6. Brian Bosworth, LB Oklahoma
There might be several easy reasons to keep The Boz out, but on the field he was the biggest defensive star of the 1980s both for his play and his personality. Despite all the Hollywood parts to his persona, he got the job done on the field as a tackling machine and a two-time Butkus winner. He also was a key part of a dominant defensive puzzle that led the way to the 1985 national title.

7. Eric Dickerson, RB SMU
SMU might be known more in death than for what it did as a living, breathing killer of a Southwest Conference program, but no matter how it all happened, Dickerson was a special talent and star finishing third in the Heisman race in 1982 and finishing his career with 4,450 yards. Throw another 2,000 on that if Craig James didn't take away so many carries.

8. Derrick Thomas, LB Alabama
His pro career and untimely passing overshadowed just how unstoppable and amazing he was at Alabama. The 1988 Butkus winner set the SEC record for sacks in a season with 27 and was dominant when it came to getting behind the line with 74 career tackles for loss.

9. Raghib Ismail, WR Notre Dame
The most electrifying player of the 1980s, Rocket was a premier home run hitter on the biggest stage averaging 7.7 yards per carry and 22 yards per catch to go along with his abilities as a kick and punt returner. He might have only caught 71 passes for 1,565 yards and four scores in his career, but the Irish offense was totally geared around the ground game; Ismail's presence alone made a huge difference in how defenses focused.

10. Mike Ruth, DT Boston College
Arguably the strongest defensive anchor of the mid-1980s. Some Flutie guy might have been the signature star of the era for Boston College, but Ruth was just as dominant on the defensive side winning the Outland in 1985. A great all-around interior star, he came up with 29 career sacks to go along with 344 tackles.

11. Eric Crouch, QB Nebraska
It killed me to leave off Ted Brown, Ted Bruschi and Jerome Brown, who all need to be in at some point, but I have to stick with my personal Heisman rule. While Crouch threw just 29 touchdown passes and 25 picks, he set the record for the most career rushing scores by a quarterback with 59 including 51 over the last three seasons.

And then there were the coaches. I wasn't exactly doing backflips over any of the choices on the ballot, but I have to pick two.

1. Bill McCartney, Colorado
This was easy. McCartney won a national title and turned Colorado into a real live college football superpower. There might have been some problems during his run, but the results were terrific for a program that spent too much time in the Big 8 being known as a doormat for Oklahoma and Nebraska.

2. Billy Jack Murphy, Memphis
The best of a mediocre lot, I voted for him because he spent his entire career at Memphis from 1958 to 1971, finishing up as the 15th winning coach of all-time. The other coaches on the list bounced around a bit.