FAYETTEVILLE — Darren McFadden is on the ballot for the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame along with former Razorbacks Dan Hampton and the late Brandon Burlsworth.
The College Football Hall of Fame voting is one of the more political honors out there. Part of it is the huge number of candidates nominated, then the sheer number of voters involved, which includes over 12,000 members and current Hall inductees.
It leads to a lot of lobbying and often has as much to do with things not involving what a player did on the football field.
From the press release announcing the nominees on the ballot this year:
While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether the candidate earned a college degree.
It’s hard to find a reason why Eric Dickerson from SMU is not already in the Hall. To be honest, I thought he was.
The guess here is the fact that the Mustangs got the death penalty and the cheating scandals there in the late 1970’s and the 1980’s (yes, there were more than one or two). That shouldn’t take away that the players there were the winningest program in college football over a four-year period from 1981-84.
Just because SMU was blatantly paying players with no qualms whatsoever didn’t mean those players didn’t perform at Hall of Fame levels.
For those not aware with those times, the Mustangs weren’t the only ones doing it and they weren’t paying the most, but they did have alumni that bragged about it more than anybody else and that — combined with bad organization — is what nailed them.
Former Heisman Trophy winners Eric Crouch, Carson Palmer and the late Rashaan Salaam are nominated. Salaam probably should be in just for sheer number of the letter A in one name.
Hampton should have been elected a while back. The Jacksonville native, who developed from his high school performance level to an All-American maybe more than anyone in Razorback history, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Why he’s not in the College Football Hall of Fame is a mystery.
Burlsworth came from a walk-on in Fayetteville to earn All-American honors and is in the same discussion with Hampton as a developmental player. He was killed in a car crash in 1999, just 11 days after being selected in the third round by the Indianapolis Colts.
Both of them should be in the Hall of Fame, but McFadden should be a slam dunk.
He was, quite simply, the best running back in the nation over a two-year period. D-Mac finished second two straight years in the Heisman Trophy balloting
Arkansas has 19 former players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Previous inductees include coach Frank Broyles, Lance Alworth, Loyd Phillips, Ronnie Caveness, Jimmy Johnson, Clyde Scott, Billy Ray Smith Jr., Wayne Harris, coach Lou Holtz and coach Danny Ford.
The 2019 class will be announced on Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif., the site of the College Football Playoff National Championship.