Auburn players eligible for College Football Hall of Fame
June 4, 2022
On Wednesday, the National Football Foundation announced that the ballot for the Class of 2023 College Football Hall of Fame candidates would be revealed at 10 a.m. CDT on Monday.
More than 80 players are on the 2023 ballot for NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and there are some questions about whether there are any Auburn players on it.
The College Football Hall of Fame has enlisted eight Auburn football players. However, there hasn't been a new candidate for the Tigers Hall of Fame since Ed Dyas was added in 2009.
24 Auburn athletes will be eligible for the ballot in the Class of 2023, but this number does not include 22 Auburn graduates who meet the first criteria for College Football Hall of Fame candidacy but are currently ineligible. That's a total of 46 Auburn players who have the potential to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
College Football Hall of Fame player's eligibility
A player must have been chosen for the first team of All-American honors by at least one of the NCAA's organizations to be eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame.
The NCAA involves the American Football Coaches Association, the Associated Press, the Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation in the selection process. The number of selectors that the NCAA uses has fluctuated over the years, ranging from two up to ten at its highest point.
It takes a player 10 years after their final season to be eligible for consideration for selection into the College Football Hall of Fame. In addition, they are also not considered while they are still playing for the NFL.
Nine Auburn players are likely to meet the All-American standard, but they are not yet eligible. This is because their final season with the Tigers occurred in 2013 or later, or because they are still active in the NFL.
Players are also not considered for the ballot if their collegiate careers end more than 50 years. Hence, any player who finished their tenure with the Tigers before 1973 is not eligible for the 2023 ballot. Two notable examples are Jim ‘Red’ Phillips and Zeke Smith, two Auburn athletes who met the All-American criteria but are over the 50-year career end.
Unanimous All-American and Consensus All-American
A player is considered a unanimous All-American if they were chosen for the first team by each of the organizations that the NCAA consulted to determine the consensus All-American team for that season.
Moreover, a player is deemed a consensus All-American if they were chosen for the first team by at least half of the organizations that were utilized by the NCAA in the process of compiling the consensus All-American team. It can be selected as a consensus All-American without making it onto at least half of the first teams. It is also feasible, albeit implausible, to not be chosen as a consensus All-American while being selected to at least half of the first teams.
Players do not need to be consensus All-Americans to be considered for the College Football Hall of Fame; instead, the correct selector's vote is sufficient.
In 1957, Phillips was a unanimous All-American. In 2019, Derrick Brown was a unanimous All-American selection. Besides Brown, Brent Fullwood, Ed King, and Ben Tamburello are all Auburn unanimous All-Americans. Still, they are not entitled to participate on the ballot.