2008 College Football Hall of Fame Class
UCLA QB Troy Aikman
UCLA QB Troy Aikman
Posted May 1, 2008

The National Football Foundation announced the 2008 College Football Hall of Fame Class, led by UCLA's Troy Aikman. But are the right players going in? CFN ranks all the nominees and points out where the voting went wrong.

CFN Ranks the 2008 College Football

Hall of Fame Announced

From the national ballot of 75 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees, Archie Manning, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, announced the 2008 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) Class, which includes the names of 13 First Team All- America players and two legendary coaches.

To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a First Team All-America by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least ten years prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football. Coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach; won at least 60% of their games; and be retired from coaching for at least three years; be retired from coaching and over the age of 70 (no waiting period); or over the age of 75 (active coaches eligible). In both cases, the candidate's post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.

Below are the nominees and where they rank as far as worthiness, according to CFN. Here's our criteria: how good were they based on what they did in their college careers. This has nothing to do with pro production or sheer talent. How much of an impact did they make? How legendary, however you want to define the term, were they?

2008 College Football Hall of Fame Class

- QB, UCLA (1987- 88)
BILLY CANNON - HB, LSU (1957- 59)
JIM DOMBROWSKI- OT, Virginia (1982- 85
PAT FITZGERALD- LB, Northwestern (1994- 96)
WILBER MARSHALL- LB, Florida (1980- 83
RUEBEN MAYES- RB, Washington State (1982-85)
RANDALL McDANIEL- OG, Arizona State (1984-87)
DON McPHERSON- QB, Syracuse (1984- 87)
JAY NOVACEK - TE, Wyoming (1982- 84)
DAVE PARKS- SE, Texas Tech (1961- 63)
RON SIMMONS- NG, Florida State (1977- 80)
THURMAN THOMAS- RB, Oklahoma State (1984- 87)
ARNOLD TUCKER- QB, Army (1944- 46)

JOHN COOPER- 192-84-6 (.691) -- Tulsa (1977-84), Arizona State (1985-87), Ohio State (1988- 2000)
LOU HOLTZ- 249-132-7 (.651) -- William & Mary (1969-71), North Carolina State (1972-75), Arkansas (1977-83), Minnesota (1984-85), Notre Dame (1986-96), South Carolina (1999-2004)

The write-ups were done by the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame. The rankings are only the opinion of CollegeFootballNews.com; the NFF has nothing to do with these.

So here they are. The nominees for the Hall of Fame and where CFN ranks them as far as worthiness.

75. Randall Cunningham, Nevada-Las Vegas- Punter-Named First Team All-America as a punter in 1983 and Second Team All-America as a punter and Honorable Mention as a quarterback in 1984... Led UNLV to their first-ever Bowl game... Broke 18 UNLV records.

74. Scott Woerner, Georgia-Defensive Back- Named First Team All-America, All-Conference and team Most Valuable Back in 1980... Twice named Georgia's Outstanding Special Teams Player of the Year (1977, 1980)... Led team to the 1980 National Championship.

73. Hal Bedsole, Southern California-Split End- Helped lead USC to an undefeated season (11-0) and National Championship in 1962... Two-time First Team All-Conference selection... First Trojan to have 200 receiving yards in a single game.

72. Jess Lewis, Oregon State-Defensive Tackle- Named First Team All-America in 1967... Played in the College All-Star Game, East-West Shrine Game and Coaches All-America Bowl in 1970... Two-time First Team All-Conference selection (1967, 1969).

71. Luther Ellis, Utah-Defensive Lineman-1994 consensus First Team All-America... Led Utes to 1992 Copper Bowl and two consecutive Freedom Bowls (1993, 94)... 1994 WAC Defensive Player of the Year.

70. Tom Nowatzke, Indiana-Fullback-Named First Team All-America in 1964... A two-time All-Conference selection (1963-64), he led the Big Ten in rushing in 1963... Played in the East/West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl and Coaches All-American Game.

69. Gabe Rivera, Texas Tech-Defensive Lineman- 1982 consensus First Team All-America... Leading tackler among Tech's down linemen for four straight years, averaging 80 tackles per season... 1982 First Team All-SWC pick.

68. Paul Martha, Pittsburgh-Running Back-1963 consensus First Team All-America... Member of the 1963 team that went 9-1... By career's end, ranked 10th all-time at Pitt in career scoring with 104 total points and recorded 17 career touchdowns.

67. Bob Novogratz, Army-Guard-Named First Team All-America and Lineman of the Year by the Los Angeles Times in 1958... Played in the East-West Shrine Game in 1958... Blocked for three Hall of Famers, running backs Bob Anderson and Pete Dawkins and receiver Bill Carpenter.

66. Ed Dyas, Auburn-Fullback-Named First Team All-America and All-Conference in 1960 at Fullback... Set numerous NCAA records for his placekicking... Led Auburn in rushing and scoring in 1960. NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 1960... Three-time Academic All-Conference selection.

65. Marlin McKeever, Southern California-Tight End-Named First Team All-America in 1959... A three-time All-Conference selection (1958-60) and MVP of the USC/UCLA game in 1960... Two-time AP and Sports Illustrated Lineman of the Week.

64. Bob Berry, Oregon-Quarterback-Guided the Ducks to three consecutive winning seasons... First Oregon quarterback to surpass 1,000 yards in two different seasons...16 TD passes in 1963 and 39 career touchdowns passes were school records for 20 years.

63. Ron Rivera, California-Linebacker-1983 consensus First Team All-America... Lombardi Award finalist in 1983 and named East-West Shrine Game Most Valuable Player... Selected as Pac-10 Co- Defensive Player of the Year in 1983... Led team in tackles from 1981-83.

Billy Ray Adams, Mississippi-Fullback-1961 First Team All-America... Helped lead Ole Miss to a share of two National Championships (1959-60)... Led team to 1960 SEC title, topping the SEC in touchdowns (10) and ranking second in rushing (575 yds.) in 1961.

61. Willie Gault, Tennessee-Wide Receiver-1982 First Team All-America... Led Vols to three bowl berths... Set six conference and 12 school punt / kickoff return records... Tied NCAA record for most touchdowns by kick return in a single season (3) in 1980.

60. Al Harris, Arizona State-Defensive End- Named unanimous First Team All-America and Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy finalist in 1978... Named First Team All-Conference, he set an ASU record with 19 sacks in 1978

59. Dick Jauron, Yale-Running Back-Named First Team All-America in 1972... A three-time First Team All-Conference selection, he received the Asa S. Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League's Player of the Year... Holds Yale's career rushing record with 2,947 yards.

58. Jay Novacek, Wyoming-Tight End-1984 consensus First Team All-America... Holds the NCAA record for highest average gain per reception by a tight end in a single season (22.6 in 1984)... Amassed 33 receptions for 745 yards and four touchdowns in career.

57. Don Trull, Baylor-Quarterback-Named consensus First Team All-America and led the nation with 22 touchdowns in 1963... Named First Team All- Conference, he set a school record with 174 completions in 1963... Twice named First Team Academic All-America.

56. Bobby Douglass, Kansas-Quarterback-1968 First Team All-America and finished seventh in the 1968 Heisman Trophy voting... 1968 Big Eight Player of the Year... Held nearly every KU offense/passing/rushing record by career's end.

55. Randy Cross, UCLA-Offensive Guard-Named First Team All-America in 1975... Helped lead UCLA to a victory over top-ranked Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl... First Team All-Conference selection in 1975... Starter in 28 of 34 career games including his final 23.

54. Paul Naumoff, Tennessee-Linebacker- Named First Team All-America and All-Conference in 1966... Named team MVP in 1966... Played in the College All-Star Game and Senior Bowl in 1967.

53. Pervis Atkins, New Mexico State-Running Back-Named First Team All-America in 1960... Twice led the nation in all-purpose yards (1959-60)... Led the nation in rushing yards (971) and punt return yards (241) in 1959... Two-time First Team All- Conference selection

52. Dave Butz, Purdue-Defensive Tackle-1972 consensus First Team All-America... Finalist for the Lombardi Award in 1972 and named First Team All- Conference... Named Defensive MVP of the Senior Bowl.

Rueben Mayes, Washington State-Running Back-Named consensus First Team All-America in 1984... Two-time All-PAC-10 selection (1984-85)... Leads WSU in single-season (1,632) and career rushing yards (3,519)... Set NCAA single-game rushing mark with 357 yards vs. Oregon.

50. Ken Norton, Jr., UCLA-Linebacker-1987 First Team All-America, leading Bruins to four consecutive bowl wins... Member of the 1985 conference championship team... Led team in tackles in 1986 (106) and in 1987 (125) and ranks sixth in school history with 339 career tackles.

49. Steve Bartkowski, California-Quarterback- Named consensus First Team All-America in 1974... Led the nation in passing with 2,580 yards (1974)... Ranks 10th in school history with 4,434 passing yards and 8th in single-season yardage.

48. Dave Parks, Texas Tech-End-Named First Team All-America and played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl in 1963... Two-time First Team All-Southwest Conference selection... Established numerous Texas Tech records and was team tri-captain in 1963.

47. Ronnie Caveness, Arkansas-Center-Named First Team All-America in 1964... Named Outstanding Lineman of the 1965 Cotton Bowl... Member of the 1964 Arkansas National Championship team... Holds the school record for most tackles in one game (29).

46. Steve McMichael, Texas-Defensive Tackle- 1979 unanimous First Team All-America... Key member of the 1979 UT defense that allowed less than nine points per game and finished career as school leader for most career tackles (369) and most career sacks (30)... Three-time All-SWC.

45. Dave Casper, Notre Dame-Tight End-Named 1973 consensus First Team All-America... Played on 1973 National Championship Team... 1973 ND Offensive MVP and recorded 21 receptions for 335 yards and four touchdowns in career .

44. Bobby Majors, Tennessee-Defensive Back- 1971 unanimous First Team All-America... Led Vols to wins in 1971 Sugar Bowl and 1972 Liberty Bowl... Holds school records for punt returns in a career (117 for 1163 yards, 4 TDs) and season (42 for 457 yards, 2 TDs).

43. Jerry Stovall, Louisiana State-Halfback-1962 unanimous First Team All-America and 1962 Walter Camp Player of the Year... Finished second in 1962 Heisman Trophy voting... Led Tigers to consecutive postseason wins in the Orange Bowl (1961) and Cotton Bowl (1962).

42. George Mira, Miami (Fla.)-Quarterback- Named First Team All-America in 1962 and finished fifth in Heisman voting that year... Broke nearly every Miami passing record and currently ranks eighth in Miami history in pass completions (368), passing yardage (4,633) total offense (5,135).

41. Darryl Talley, West Virginia-Linebacker- Named unanimous First Team All-America in 1982... Considered the most prolific tackler in school history holding the school's record for career tackles (484)... Member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.

40. Kirk Gibson, Michigan State-Wide Receiver- Named First Team All-America, led Big Ten in receiving in league play and helped the Spartans to a Big Ten Co-Championship and a No.12 national ranking in 1978... Played MLB for 17 seasons.

39. Jim Seymour, Notre Dame-Wide Receiver- Two-time First Team All-America selection (1967- 68)... Led the team in receiving from 1966-68... Holds Notre Dame's receiving record for pass receptions in a game (13) and receiving yards in a game (276).

38. Paul Palmer, Temple-Running Back-1986 unanimous First Team All-America... Led the nation in rushing yards (1,866), rushing yards per game (169.6) and all-purpose yards (2,633) in 1986... Set 23 school records and was named ECAC Player of the Year in 1986.

37. Art Monk, Syracuse-Wide Receiver-Named First Team All-America in 1979... Holds the Syracuse record with 14 receptions in a game... Fourth on school's all-time all-purpose yards list with 3,899 (1,150 rushing and 1,644 receiving).

36. Chuck Cecil, Arizona-Defensive Back-1987 consensus First Team All-America... Named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 1987... Set school records for career passes defended (38), interceptions in a single-game (four) and career interceptions (21).

35. Pat Tillman, Arizona State-Linebacker-1997 First Team All-America... Led Sun Devils to two consecutive bowl berths... First-ever ASU player named Defensive Player of the Year (1997) and led team to 1996 Pac-10 title... Two-time First Team Academic All-Pac-10.

34. Percy Snow, Michigan State-Linebacker-1989 unanimous First Team All-America and 1989 Butkus Award winner... Led MSU to 1987 Big Ten title and Rose Bowl win... Ranks second all-time in career tackles (473).

33. Zeke Smith, Auburn-Defensive Guard-Two- time First Team All-America, garnering consensus honors in 1958... 1958 Outland Trophy winner... Named SEC Lineman of the Year in 1958 and two- time First Team All-Conference selection.

32. Tony Mandarich, Michigan State-Offensive Tackle-1988 consensus First Team All-America... Finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1988... Helped the Spartans to three bowl game appearances and a victory in the 1987 Rose Bowl.

31. Don McPherson, Syracuse-Quarterback- Named unanimous First Team All-America in 1987... Finished second in 1987 Heisman voting and won 18 Player of the Year honors... 1988 Sugar Bowl MVP... Holds or shares 11 Syracuse football records.

30. Jim Dombrowski, Virginia-Offensive Tackle- Named unanimous First Team All-America in 1984... 1985 Lombardi Finalist... Two-time recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the ACC's best offensive lineman (1984-85).

29. Alfred Williams, Colorado-Linebacker-Led Buffs to 1990 National Championship and three consecutive bowl berths... 1990 Butkus Award winner, two-time Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year and CU's all-time leader in QB sacks (35)... Led CU to two Big Eight Championships

28. Larry Station, Iowa-Linebacker-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1984-85) - unanimous in 1985, consensus in 1984... A three-time First Team All-Conference selection, he was named team captain and MVP in 1985... Iowa's all-time leader in tackles with 492.

27. Gino Torretta, Miami (Fla.)-Quarterback-In 1992, he earned unanimous First Team All-America honors, won the Heisman Trophy, Davey O'Brien Award, Maxwell Award and was named Walter Camp Player of the Year... Led Miami to the 1991 National Championship.

26. Will Shields, Nebraska-Offensive Guard-1992 unanimous First Team All-America and 1992 Outland Trophy winner... Key to three Huskers' NCAA rushing titles (1989, '91, '92)... Led team to four bowl berths and back-to-back Big Eight titles in 1991 and 1992.

25. Curt Warner, Penn State-Running Back- Named First Team All-American in 1981 and led PSU to 1982 national championship... Most Outstanding Offensive Player in 1980 and 1982 Fiesta Bowls... Finished career with 11 season, 10 career, 14 bowl and 42 school records.

24. Robert Lytle, Michigan-Running Back-Named consensus All-America in 1976... Finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting... Named Big Ten MVP in 1976 and led UM to two conference championships.

23. Jim Otis, Ohio State-Fullback-Named consensus First Team All-America in 1969... Member of the 1968 National Championship team... Named First Team All-Big Ten conference in 1969 and led the Buckeyes to two conference titles... Led the team in rushing three times.

22. Trev Alberts, Nebraska-Linebacker-Named unanimous First Team All-America, BIG-8 Defensive Player of the Year and Academic All-America in 1993... Recipient of the 1993 Butkus Award and two-time First Team All-Conference pick... NFF National Scholar- Athlete in 1993.

21. Rod Shoate, Oklahoma-Linebacker-1973 consensus and 1974 unanimous First Team All- America... Finished seventh in the 1974 Heisman Trophy voting and twice named Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year... Ranks third in school history with 420 career tackles.

20. Sam Cunningham, Southern California-Running Back-Named First Team All-America in 1972... Rushed for 1,579 yards and 23 touchdowns during career... Named 1973 Rose Bowl Player of the Game (four touchdowns)... Member of the 1972 National Championship team.

Ray Childress, Texas A&M-Defensive Lineman-1984 First Team All-America and two- time All-Southwest Conference pick... Holds the Texas A&M record for tackles by a defensive lineman (360)... Upon leaving A&M, ranked second all-time in career sacks (25).

18. Randall McDaniel, Arizona State-Offensive Guard-Two-Time First Team All-America (1986- 87) - consensus in 1987... Named PAC-10's Top Offensive Lineman (1987); Led ASU to their first-ever Rose Bowl appearance and victory in 1987... Two-time All Conference pick.

17. Wilber Marshall, Florida-Linebacker-Two-time consensus All-America... Three-time First Team All-SEC and holds school record for tackles for loss in a career (58)... Member of first UF senior class to play in four bowl games.

16. Troy Aikman, UCLA-Quarterback-Named consensus First Team All-America in 1988... Received the Davey O'Brien Award and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1988... Named PAC-10 Player of the Year in 1987 and led UCLA to two bowl game victories.

15. Jake Scott, Georgia-Defensive Back-Named consensus First Team All-America in 1968... 1968 SEC Most Valuable Player... Twice led the SEC in interceptions and still holds the SEC record with two interceptions returned for a touchdown in a single game.

14. Otis Armstrong, Purdue-Running Back- Named consensus All-America in 1972 after accumulating 3,315 career rushing yards, a school and Big Ten record... Named Big Ten MVP in 1972.

13. Woodrow Lowe, Alabama-Linebacker-Three- time First Team All-America pick, garnering consensus honors in 1974... Led Alabama to four consecutive SEC titles and four consecutive bowl berths... Holds school record for most tackles in a single season (134).

Grant Wistrom, Nebraska-Defensive End-Two- time unanimous First Team All-America... Led Huskers to three National Championships (1994, 1995, 1997)... 1997 Lombardi Award winner and two- time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Ron Simmons, Florida State-Noseguard- Two-time consensus First Team All-America selection (1979-80)... Three-time All-South pick (1978-80)... Set school records for quarterback sacks in a career (25) and season (12) in 1979... Ranks second on FSU all- time tackles list (483).

10. Thurman Thomas, Oklahoma State-Running Back-Two-time First Team All-America selection (1985, 1987) - consensus in 1985... Twice named Big 8 Offensive Player of the Year and finished seventh in the 1987 Heisman Trophy voting.

Major Harris, West Virginia-Quarterback- Named First Team All-America in 1989... Finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1989 and fifth in 1988... Became the first player in NCAA history to rush for more than 2,000 career yards and pass for more than 5,000.

8. Mark Herrmann, Purdue-Quarterback-Named unanimous First Team All-America, Big Ten MVP and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1980... A First Team All-Conference selection, he broke NCAA career records for passing yards (9,188) and completions (707).

7. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern-Linebacker-Two- time consensus First Team All-America in 1995-96... Two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik Award... Two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year... Led NU to back-to-back Big Ten titles.

6. Eric Dickerson, Southern Methodist-Running Back-Named unanimous First Team All-America and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1982... Twice named SWC Player of the Year, he holds 14 SMU records including career rushing yards (4,450).

5. Tim Brown, Notre Dame-Wide Receiver-Two- time First Team All-America (1986-87) - unanimous in 1987 and won 1987 Heisman Trophy... 1987 Walter Camp Player of the Year... Set 19 school records during his four-year career.

4. Billy Cannon, Louisiana State-Running Back- 1958 unanimous First Team All-America and 1959 consensus All-America... 1959 Heisman Trophy winner... Led LSU to a perfect season and National Championship in 1958.

3. Chris Spielman, Ohio State-Linebacker-Two- time First Team All-America selection (1986-87) - unanimous in 1987, consensus in 1986... The recipient of the 1987 Lombardi Award, he is a three- time First Team All-Conference selection and a member of two Big Ten title teams.

2. Lawrence Taylor, North Carolina-Linebacker- Named unanimous First Team All-America and ACC Player of the Year in 1980... Recorded 16 sacks his senior year... Totaled 95 tackles and caused seven fumbles in 1979.

1. Deion Sanders, Florida State-Defensive Back- Two-time unanimous First Team All-America in 1987 and 1988... 1988 Jim Thorpe Award winner... Returned four interceptions for touchdowns in career... Holds school records for most punt return yards in a season and in a career.


8. Wayne Hardin-Navy (1959-64), Temple (1970-82) - Led Navy to a No. 2 ranking in 1963 and Temple to a No. 17 ranking in 1979... Ranks third in wins (38) all-time at Navy and beat Army in five of six seasons... Temple's all-time leader in wins (80), he led them to their only 10-win season and the Garden State Bowl in 1979.

7. William "Lone Star" Dietz-Washington State (1915- 17), Purdue (1921), Louisiana Tech (1922-23), Wyoming (1924-26), Haskell Indian Institute (Kan.) (1929-32), Albright (Pa.) (1937-42) -Coached 19 seasons as a head coach in addition to a highly successful assistant coaching career with Pop Warner among others... Guided Washington State to a Rose Bowl victory in 1915.

6. Darryl Rogers-Cal State-Hayward (1965), Fresno State (1966-72), San Jose State (1973-75), Michigan State (1976-79), Arizona State (1980-84) -Took Fresno State to two bowl games. Achieved an unprecedented national ranking at San Jose State... Was BIG TEN Coach of the Year in 1977 and National Coach of the Year by Sporting News in 1978... Won the BIG TEN title in 1978.

5. Billy Jack Murphy-Memphis (1958-71) -All- Time winningest coach in Memphis history... Had 11 winning seasons and retired as the 15th winningest coach in the nation... Member of the Memphis Hall of Fame and Mississippi State Hall of Fame.

4. Dick MacPherson-Massachusetts (1971-77), Syracuse (1981-90) -Named National Coach of the Year in 1987 while leading the Orangemen to an undefeated season... Led Massachusetts to four conference titles in seven years... Ranks third all-time at Syracuse in most wins (66) and seasons coached (10)... Made six bowl game appearances in his career - won four and tied one.

3. John Cooper-Tulsa (1977-84), Arizona State (1985-87), Ohio State (1988-2000) -Led his teams to at least a share of nine conference championships and 14 bowl game appearances, including two Rose Bowls... Coached Ohio State to a Top 25 finish in 12 of 13 seasons... Coached 21 First Team All-Americas.

2. Lou Holtz- William & Mary (1969-71), NC State (1972-75), Arkansas (1977-83), Minnesota (1984-85), Notre Dame (1986-96), South Carolina (1999-2004) -Ranked eighth among all-time coaches in career wins (249)... Only coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to bowl games and four different programs to final Top 20 rankings... Led Notre Dame to 1988 national championship.

1. John Robinson-Southern California (1976-82, 1993-97), Nevada-Las Vegas (1999-2004) -Led USC to 1978 national championship and three Pac-10 titles... Ranks first in highest bowl-winning percentage among coaches with at least five bowl appearances (89%)... 1979 National Coach of the Year, two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, 2000 Mountain West Coach of the Year.