Tag:Orlando Pace
Posted on: February 29, 2012 2:11 pm
 

'12 College Football Hall of Fame ballot released

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The National Football Foundation has released the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame ballot, the pool of 76 former players and eight coaches that will make up the 2012 Hall of Fame class. And not surprisingly, there's several names on the ballot that even a cursory glance would force a That guy isn't in yet? double-take. 

Here's eight of them from our perspective, acknowledging that the Eye on CFB team are too young to have gotten a first-hand look at greats like Notre Dame tight end Dave Casper or Michigan State wide receiver-turned-baseball legend Kirk Gibson. With that disclaimer out of the way, the first eight names we'd tick off on our ballot, in alphabetical order:

Trev Alberts, LB, NebraskaA pulverizing force off the edge for the Huskers in the early '90s, Alberts won the 1993 Butkus and Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year Honors. 

Tommy Frazier, QB, NebraskaJust the best option quarterback we've ever seen who just so happened to lead the Huskers to back-to-back national championships. We wouldn't bother to rank all 76 players 1-76, but if we did, we feel comfortable saying we'd put Frazier at No. 1.

Raghib Ismail, WR/KR, Notre DameOne of the game's true superstars in the late '80s and 1990, "The Rocket"'s highlight-reel returns helped the Irish to the 1990 national title and earned him two-time All-American honors, the Walter Camp Award, and a runner-up finish in the '90 Heisman balloting.

Jimmy Johnson, head coach, Miami, Oklahoma State: Howard Schnellenberger put the Hurricanes on the map, but it was Johnson who made Miami Miami--arguably the most influential college football program in Division I from Johnson's hire in 1984 through their 2001 upset loss to Ohio State in the BCA championship.

Jonathan Ogden, OT, UCLAWon the 1995 Outland, but awards and numbers don't illustrate how Ogden became -- along with the next entry on this list -- the sport's prototype offensive tackle.

Orlando Pace, OT, Ohio StateIt actually makes sense that Pace hasn't been elected yet -- this is his first year on the ballot -- but that really shouldn't remain the case long for the game's only two-time Lombardi Trophy winner.

Vinny Testaverde, QB, MiamiYes, he was an NFL bust, and yes, he flopped in the de facto 1987 national title game vs. Penn State. But that shouldn't overshadow an explosive, thrilling career for the 'Canes that saw him throw for 6,058 yards and win the 1987 Heisman. 

Derrick Thomas, LB, AlabamaHow the FBS's all-time record-holder for sacks in a season -- Thomas had a mind-blowing 27 in 1988, the year he won the Butkus Award -- still isn't in the Hall is a mystery worthy of that Sherlock Holmes guy.

Who else should get a nod? Let us know in the comments or our Facebook page. For a look at the 2011 class -- which, remember, did not include Frazier, Alberts, Thomas, Ismail, or Ogden -- click here.

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 7:05 pm
 

POLL: Who's the most deserving CFB HOF candidate?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

This year's Hall of Fame ballot is out, and like always, it's huge; there are 79 players and nine coaches up for voting, and only a small fraction of those 88 men will be voted in this year. The first-balloters include Tommie Frazier and Derrick Thomas, and both have strong credentials for immediate induction.

And yet, upon even a cursory glance at the list of candidates (PDF), it's readily apparent that there are a lot of guys on this list who not only deserve to be voted in, but probably deserved (and did not receive) first-ballot induction themselves. We found six very worthy players, and we'd like you all to vote on which one is most deserving of joining the greats. And yes, it's worth noting that this is a college football-only Hall of Fame, and there are some guys with long, fantastic NFL careers ... but they were all amazing in college football too! Choose wisely at our Facebook page, and if you need a refresher on any of the six men involved, a quick recap is below.

Brian Bosworth (LB, Oklahoma, '84-'86): Bosworth was the face of college football in the mid-'80s -- a brash, loud, cocky self-promoter who played like a laser-guided tornado. Oklahoma gave up fewer than 10 points per game during the three years Bosworth played in Norman, including an absurd 6.75 ppg in 1986 and a comparatively pedestrian 8.6 ppg in the Sooners' national championship 1985 season. His NFL career quickly flamed out with the Seahawks, as did a fledgling acting career, but for three magical years at OU, Bosworth was on top of the world.

Eric Dickerson (RB, Southern Methodist, '79-'82): 30 years ago, the "Pony Express" was the hottest show in a conference full of them: the SWC. Backfield mates Dickerson and Craig James lit up opposing defenses in their junior and senior seasons, but Dickerson was clearly the better rusher of the two. He would finish with over 1,400 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns his junior year, and he topped 1,600 yards and finished third in Heisman voting as a senior in 1982. Again, all this while splitting carries. Of course, SMU was fraught with illegal behavior that would eventually bring a death sentence down on the program, but the accomplishments of Dickerson and his teammates stay undisturbed in the record books, as they ought to be.

Eddie George (RB, Ohio State, '92-'95): It would be a shame if Eddie George were being punished for relatively light workloads during his first two seasons (including a nightmarish two-fumble 18-16 loss to Illinois as a freshman), because by his senior year, George was one of the most unstoppable tailbacks in the post-Barry Sanders era of college football. George beat out the aforementioned Tommie Frazier for the 1995 Heisman Trophy after a 1,927-yard, 24-touchdown senior season in which George topped 100 rushing yards in every contest.

Russell Maryland (DT, Miami, '86-'90): If something about Nick Fairley's 2010 season with Auburn seemed a bit familiar, it's probably thanks to Russell Maryland's career with the 'Canes; like Fairley, Maryland was a 6'1" DT with freakish disruption and pursuit skills. They've also both got rings as anchors of their respective defensive lines: Fairley last year, and Maryland in '89 (he also won a championship as a reserve in '87). As for Maryland's senior year, he racked up 96 tackles and 10.5 sacks en route to the Outland Trophy and the top spot in the NFL draft.

Jonathan Ogden (OT, UCLA, '92-'95): Ogden was one of the best NFL tackles of his generation, but he was also utterly outstanding at UCLA too, picking up the Outland Award and unanimous first-team All-American decorations his senior year. He gave up just two sacks in his last two years with the Bruins, and more importantly set a new standard for franchise left tackles. Ogden played at a legitimate 6'8", and anywhere from 310 to 365 pounds (though really in the reverse order; he showed up to campus over 350 pounds, but was down to a svelte 318 by the time the NFL combine rolled around). With that unbelievable size came even more freakish athleticism, as Ogden had faster feet than players 50 pounds lighter than him. Think of the high-profile left tackles that have come out of college football since Ogden was drafted: aside from maybe Orlando Pace, the common quality of such players as Robert Gallery, Jake Long, or Joe Thomas is that they may have been good, but they're no Jonathan Ogden.

Deion Sanders (CB, FSU, 1985-1988): If Bosworth owned the mid-'80s in college football, Neon Deion was the immediate successor to the Boz's throne, electrifying college football with his other-worldly speed, coverage, and kick return ability. Everything Sanders did was larger than life: his play on the field, his cocky personality, his short-lived rap career, everything (except the tackling, of course). At the end of the day, though, it's hard to argue with his results: two-time consensus first-team All-American and third-team All-American as a senior at cornerback, the FSU career punt return yardage record, and a retired jersey number (at a powerhouse program, no less) seven years later. 

So who's it going to be? VOTE NOW at our Facebook page!

Posted on: November 11, 2010 1:06 am
 

Lombardi Award list trimmed to four finalists

Posted by Adam Jacobi

There are still four weeks of regular season football left, but the Lombardi Award has evidently seen enough to select four finalists already. The finalists for the Lombardi Award, given annually to the top lineman or linebacker in college football (no linebackers are in the running this season), are listed below.

  • Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
  • Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
  • Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
  • Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU

Clayborn is unlikely to win, as his 2010 statistics aren't nearly at the level of last season; it'll take an Iowa win over Ohio State that prominently features Clayborn in a disruptive role to bring him into the conversation as a potential winner. Even then, it might not do much to the overall narrative.

Nick Fairley was relatively unheralded coming into the season, but he has been an absolute terror on the interior and is easily the defensive MVP for the undefeated Auburn team. His 18 tackles for a loss lead all defensive tackles; he's got to be a unanimous All-American at DT this season.

TCU's offense is rolling, and Jake Kirkpatrick is the presumptive winner of the Rimington Award this season, but an offensive lineman hasn't won the award since Orlando Pace won at Ohio State in 1995 and 1996. Though we mean zero disrespect to Kirkpatrick, he is not the transformative blocking talent that Pace was, and Kirkpatrick will probably be the first to agree (humility is sort of an offensive lineman's "thing"; this usually only intensifies toward the middle of the line).

That leaves Da'Quan Bowers, the star defensive end for Clemson. Bowers leads the nation in both sacks and tackles for loss, and has generally made iife hell for opposing quarterbacks; while the Clemson defense's touchdowns and yards per pass are generally pretty pedestrian, its overall pass efficiency defense is one of the better in the nation. The incompletion percentage and interception percentages, meanwhile, are relatively high. That means one thing: pressured passes ahoy, and plenty of that credit goes to a terrorizing defensive line. Unless Clemson collapses down the stretch, this award is Bowers's to lose, and it would be an honor well-earned.

 
 
 
 
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