Tommie Frazier, other college football legends snubbed by needless rule

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

We can make it simple: Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier was the best player on the best college football team of the past 25 years, and possibly the greatest college football team of all time.

Or we can make it slightly more complicated, as fellow Eye on CFB blogger Tom Fornelli does here:

And even that argument doesn't full encapsulate the impact of highlights like this one, which just-so-happened to come in the 1995 national championship game:


Honestly, what can we say? "Tommie Frazier should be in the College Football Hall of Fame" is the kind of statement that's so obvious that building an argument on its behalf seems pointless.

If 17 years after he concluded his Cornhusker career, Tommie Frazier still isn't good enough for the College Football Hall of Fame, then why even have a College Football Hall of Fame? No disrespect to the outstanding 14 players and 3 coaches enshrined Tuesday, but if the entire point of your Hall of Fame isn't to honor a player exactly like Frazier -- who dominated the sport like no other player of his era and was first-and-foremost a college football player who mastered a college football system -- that what, exactly, is the point?

Reportedly, the point is not to elect players from the same school in consecutive seasons after Nebraska lineman Will Shields was honored in 2011. But if that's the case, why even include Frazier (and fellow Cornhusker legend Trev Alberts) on the ballot? Why not make it clear up front that votes for Nebraska players won't be counted? And it doesn't change the point: if your Hall of Fame is going out of its way to keep Tommie Frazier out of it, you're doing it wrong.

Frazier wasn't the only high-profile nominee snubbed thanks to the "no players from the same school in consecutive class" rule, though. Here's a few other no-brainer candidates that didn't make it:

Derrick Thomas, LB, Alabama. Arguably the most fearsome pass-rusher in college football history, the late Thomas holds the FBS record with 27 sacks in a single season and won the 1988 Butkus Award. That he remains outside the Hall 24 years after his career ended and 12 after his death is in many ways an even bigger injustice than Frazier's exclusion. Alabama's Marty Lyons was elected in 2011.

Orlando Pace, OT, Ohio State. Only one player has ever won the Lombardi Trophy twice, and that's Pace. But Eddie George entered the Hall last year, so no dice.

Vinny Testaverde, QB, Miami. A Heisman winner and a defining player for the 1980s' defining team, Testaverde threw for 6,058 yards. But Hurricane defensive tackle Russell Maryland made it in 2011.

Brian Bosworth, LB, Oklahoma. As Dennis Dodd writes, Bosworth is the game's only two-time Butkus Award winner and his exclusion appears to be due in large part to his off-field transgressions. Regardless of voters' feelings on Bosworth, though, Sooner running back Clendon Thomas was elected last year.

Raghib Ismail, WR/KR/PR, Notre Dame. We're guessing the "no players from same school in consecutive classes" has a "no two players from same school in the same single class" corollary, which would explain why Irish tight end Dave Casper was elected while the "Rocket" -- national title winner, two-time All-American, Heisman runner-up, transcendent superstar -- was not.

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