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College Football Hall of Fame Selections Remain Frustrating for Alabama: All Things CW

By Christopher Walsh,


The ballots for the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2024 were released on Monday, and like usual they included a slew of names that made a lot of people react with "How has he not been inducted yet?"

There are 78 players and nine former coaches on the ballot at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, and 101 players and  32 coaches on the divisional ballot. Among those who stood out include quarterback Michael Vick, wide receivers Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald, running back Marshawn Lynch, and defensive standouts Julius Peppers and Terrell Suggs.

Two of Nick Saban's former players at other schools, Michigan State tackle Flozell Adams, and LSU linebacker Bradie James, were listed. Current Tennessee coach Josh Heupel is up for the honor from his quarterback days at Oklahoma, when he finished second for the 2000 Heisman Trophy to Chris Weinke.

The coaching category includes Larry Blakeney (the all-time winningest coach in Sun Belt Conference history at Troy), former Michigan State coach and Saban assistant Mark Dantonio, and, yes, Tommy Tuberville.

What you won't find on the ballot are any players from Alabama during the Saban era. We're still a long way from that happening, even through the coach has been here since 2007.

The lone Crimson Tide name on the ballot is cornerback Antonio Langham, although that may be by design. If voters can consider just one Alabama player he may have a better chance of being elected. Last year, he and tackle Chris Samuels were on the ballot, and the year before had Shaun Alexander.

Langham won the Jim Thorpe Award, is still the Crimson Tide's all-time leader in interceptions (19) and was a key part of the 1992 national championship team.

In general, the selection process for Crimson Tide fans remains an extremely frustrating experience for a variety of reasons, but mostly due to simple numbers.

Overall, Alabama has the most national championships that have been recognized by either the final Associated Press or coaches poll, which is loosely considered the modern era of college football. It has 13, with Notre Dame stuck on eight. Even in claimed titles the Crimson Tide has a significant edge in 18-11.

Yet Alabama only has the 10th-most players in the College Football Hall of Fame. Overall, it has 22 inductees among players, less than half of Notre Dame's 48. Of course it didn't hurt that South Bend was the previous home to the Hall of Fame before moving to Atlanta in 2014, but Southern California has 35 and Michigan 32.

The Crimson Tide's last inductee was Sylvester Croom, who played under Paul W. "Bear" Bryant from 1972-74. The same class included Michael Crabtree, who was at  Texas Tech in 2007-08.

Hall of Fame Class of 2022

LaVar Arrington – LB, Penn State (1997-99)
Champ Bailey – DB, Georgia (1996-98)
Michael Crabtree – WR, Texas Tech (2007-08)
Sylvester Croom – C, Alabama (1972-74)
Mike Doss – S, Ohio State (1999-2002)
Chuck Ealey – QB, Toledo (1969-71)
Kevin Faulk – AP/RB, LSU (1995-98)
Moe Gardner – DT, Illinois (1987-90)
Boomer Grigsby – LB, Illinois State (2001-04)
Mike Hass – WR, Oregon State (2002-05)
Marvin Jones – LB, Florida State (1990-92)
Andrew Luck – QB, Stanford (2009-11)
Mark Messner – DT, Michigan (1985-88)
Terry Miller – RB, Oklahoma State (1974-77)
Rashaan Salaam – RB, Colorado (1992-94)
Dennis Thomas – C, Alcorn State (1971-73)
Zach Wiegert – OT, Nebraska (1991-94)
Roy Williams – DB, Oklahoma (1999-2001)

The Class of 2023, which will be honored during the upcoming season, included Tim Tebow, Reggie Bush and Eric Berry.

College Football Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Class of 2023

Eric Berry – DB, Tennessee (2007-09)
Michael Bishop – QB, Kansas State (1997-98)
Reggie Bush – RB, Southern California (2003-05)
Dwight Freeney – DE, Syracuse (1998-2001)
Robert Gallery – OT, Iowa (2000-03)
LaMichael James – RB, Oregon (2009-11)
Derrick Johnson – LB, Texas (2001-04)
Bill Kollar – DT, Montana State (1971-73)
Luke Kuechly – LB, Boston College (2009-11)
Jeremy Maclin – WR/KR, Missouri (2007-08)
Terance Mathis – WR, New Mexico (1985-87, 1989)
Bryant McKinnie – OT, Miami [FL] (2000-01)
Corey Moore – DL, Virginia Tech (1997-99)
Michael Stonebreaker – LB, Notre Dame (1986, 1988, 1990)
Tim Tebow – QB, Florida (2006-09)
Troy Vincent – DB, Wisconsin (1988-91)
Brian Westbrook – RB, Villanova (1997-98, 2000-01)
DeAngelo Williams – RB, Memphis (2002-05)

In fairness, the disparity in years can be partly explained by the College Football's criteria for induction. It isn't easy for anyone to qualify, much less be nominated.

Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Requirements for College Football Hall of Fame consideration

  1. A player must have received major first team All-America recognition.
  2. A player becomes eligible for consideration 10 years after his last year of intercollegiate football played.
  3. Football achievements are considered first, but the post-football record as a citizen is also weighed.
  4. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.
  5. The nominee must have ended his professional athletic career prior to the time of the nomination.
  6. Coaches must have at least 10 years of head coaching experience, coached 100 games, and had at least a .600 winning percentage.

(Note: That last one is being heavily discussed as Mike Leach died with a winning percentage of .596).

College Football Hall of Fame

Alabama is going to eventually start catching up and see the ridiculous gap with Notre Dame narrow, with so many players being enshrined that College Football Hall of Fame officials many want to consider a Saban wing to the building.

The only question is will any of us still be alive to see it?

SEE ALSO: No Way Around It, Alabama Baseball's NCAA Seeding Was Beyond Bad: All Things CW

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