Monday BYU quarterback Ty Detmer was officially announced as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012, and was joined by 13 other players as well as three head coaches join him in this year’s class.
Unfortunately, it was a player not among the 14 that will likely overshadow those who were (rightly) inducted.
At a ceremony in New York City, the National Football Foundation announced the 17-person class, which had been whittled down from a pool of 76 finalists earlier this year. The complete list is as follows:
Charles Alexander – TB, LSU (1975-78)
Otis Armstrong – HB, Purdue (1970-72)
Steve Bartkowski – QB, California (1972-74)
Hal Bedsole – SE, Southern California (1961-63)
Dave Casper – TE, Notre Dame (1971-73)
Ty Detmer – QB, BYU (1988-91)
Tommy Kramer – QB, Rice (1973-76)
Art Monk – WR, Syracuse (1976-79)
Greg Myers – DB, Colorado State (1992-95)
Jonathan Ogden – OT, UCLA (1992-95)
Gabe Rivera – DT, Texas Tech (1979-82)
Mark Simoneau – LB, Kansas State (1996-99)
Scott Thomas – S, Air Force (1982-85)
John Wooten* – OG, Colorado (1956-58)
(* Selection from the FBS Veterans Committee)
Phillip Fulmer – 152-52-0 (74.5%); Tennessee (1992-08)
Jimmy Johnson – 81-34-3 (70.0%); Oklahoma State (1979-83) and Miami (Fla.) (1984-88)
R.C. Slocum – 123-47-2 (72.1%); Texas A&M (1989-02)
“We are extremely proud to announce the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said NFF chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss, in a statement. “Each year the selection process becomes increasingly more difficult, but Gene Corrigan and the Honors Court do an amazing job of selecting a diverse group of the most amazing players and coaches in our sport’s rich history. This class is certainly no exception, and we look forward to honoring them and celebrating their achievements throughout the year ahead.”
Not to slight any of those members of this year’s class, but Tommie Frazier being excluded for a second straight year is, to quote many a response on Twitter, a travesty.
All the Nebraska quarterback did from 1992-95 was lead the Cornhuskers to two national championships, four Big Eight titles, a 33-3 record as a starter and account for 82 touchdowns rushing/passing. He was a two-time Orange Bowl MVP (1994 & 1995), Fiesta Bowl MVP in 1996, consensus All-American and Johnny Unitas winner in 1995.
If that is not a first-ballot Hall of Famer, then they may as well shutter the doors on the Hall as it’s a pointless endeavor. And this rule that prevents players from the same school being elected in back-to-back seasons (former Nebraska guard Will Shields was elected in 2011)? That makes Frazier’s exclusion for two years running even more asinine and ridiculous.
If they are preventing players from the same school in consecutive years from being inducted, then why even have their names on the ballot? Yes, Frazier will eventually take his rightful spot alongside the sport’s other greats, but a process that, one, doesn’t make Frazier a first-ballot HOFer in the first place and, two, prevents the first snub from being rectified the next year is flawed and, by extension, makes a mockery of the Hall and what it hopes to accomplish: honoring the greatest players in the history of college football.
(Writer’s note: yes, I’m very much aware that players such as Derrick Thomas, Brian Bosworth — don’t laugh — Danny Wuerffel, Lorenzo White and many, many others belong in the Hall. Frazier just happens to be the most glaring and egregious example.)