The National Football Foundation has unveiled 77 players and five coaches from the FBS who are on this year's ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Big Ten is well represented.
Here are the candidates who played or coached at current Big Ten schools:
Trev Alberts, LB, Nebraska: Named unanimous First Team All-America, BIG-8 Defensive Player of the Year and Academic All-America in 1993…Recipient of the 1993 Butkus Award and two-time First Team All-Conference pick…NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 1993.
Erick Anderson, LB, Michigan: 1991 Butkus Award winner who led Wolverines to four bowl games and top 10 finishes all four seasons of career… 1991 Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year and only player in UM history to lead team in tackles all four seasons.
Larry Burton, WR, Purdue: Named Outstanding College Athlete of America in 1974 and a First Team All-Big Ten selection…Led the team in receiving in both 1973 and 1974… Named team captain and team MVP in 1974.
Dave Butz, DT, Purdue: 1972 consensus First Team All-America… Finalist for the Lombardi Award in 1972 and named First Team All-Conference…Named Defensive MVP of the Senior Bowl.
Tom Cousineau, LB, Ohio State: Two-time consensus First Team All-American and three-time All-Big Ten performer… Recorded 572 career tackles, ranking second all-time in OSU history… Held nine school records at career’s end, still holding six.
Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska: 2001 Heisman, Walter Camp, and Davey O’Brien Award winner who led Huskers to 2001 national title game…Holds NCAA record for career rushing TDs by a quarterback (59)…Led team to 42-9 record and four bowl berths.
Ron Dayne, RB, Wisconsin: All-time leading rusher in FBS history who won the 1999 Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp, Maxwell and Doak Walker awards…Three-time First Team All-American…First player in college history to rush for more than 7,000 yards in career.
D.J. Dozier, RB, Penn State: Named 1986 consensus First Team All-America and led PSU to perfect 12-0 season and national championship (1986)… Finished eighth in 1986 Heisman voting… First PSU back to lead the team in rushing for four consecutive seasons.
Jumbo Elliott, OT, Michigan: Two-time First Team All-American (consensus-’87)… Two-time All-Big Ten First Team selection and member of 1986 Big Ten Co-Champions…Paved the way for Jamie Morris, who had three-straight 1,000-yard seasons.
Tommie Frazier, QB, Nebraska: 1995 consensus First Team All-America and Johnny Unitas award winner… 1995 Heisman trophy runner-up and Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year… Led Huskers to back-to-back perfect national championship seasons in 1994 and ’95.
Kirk Gibson, WR, Michigan State: Named First Team All-America, led Big Ten in receiving in league play and helped the Spartans to a Big Ten Co-Championship and a No.12 national ranking in 1978…Played MLB for 17 seasons.
Robert Lytle, RB, Michigan: Named consensus All-America in 1976…Finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting… Named Big Ten MVP in 1976 and led UM to two conference championships.
Tom Nowatzke, FB, Indiana: Named First Team All-America in 1964…A two-time All-Conference selection (1963-64), he led the Big Ten in rushing in 1963…Played in the East/West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl and Coaches All-American Game.
Jim Otis, FB, Ohio State: Named consensus First Team All-America in 1969…Member of the 1968 National Championship team…Named First Team All-Big Ten conference in 1969 and led the Buckeyes to two conference titles…Led the team in rushing three times.
Orlando Pace, OT, Ohio State: Two-time unanimous First Team All-American and first player in history to win Lombardi Trophy twice…1996 Outland Trophy winner who led Buckeyes to share of 1996 Big Ten title… Did not allow a sack during his last two seasons.
Antwaan Randle El, QB, Indiana: 2001 First Team Consensus All-American…First player in FBS history to pass for 6,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards in career…Rushed for more yards than any QB in FBS history upon conclusion of career.
Percy Snow, LB, Michigan State: 1989 unanimous First Team All-America and 1989 Butkus Award winner… Led MSU to 1987 Big Ten title and Rose Bowl win… Ranks second all-time in career tackles (473).
Bob Stein, DE, Minnesota: 1967 First Team All-American… Two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who led Gophers to co-share of the 1967 Big Ten title…1969 NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
Andre Tippett, DE, Iowa: 1981 Consensus First Team All-American who led Hawkeyes to 1982 Rose Bowl berth…Two-time First Team All-Big Ten performer, leading Iowa to 1981 Big Ten championship…Holds Iowa record for TFL yardage (153 yards/20 TFL).
Lorenzo White, RB, Michigan State: Two-time First Team All-America, earning unanimous (’85) and consensus (’87) honors…Led State to 1987 Big Ten title and Rose Bowl win…Led nation in rushing (1985), first MSU player to lead team in rushing four-straight seasons.
Steve Wisniewski, OG, Penn State: 1988 First Team All-America…Member of 1986 12-0 national championship team…Helped Blair Thomas rush for 1,414 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1987 and D.J. Dozier attain First Team All-America honors in 1986.
Darryl Rogers, coach at Cal State-Hayward (1965), Fresno State (1966-72), San Jose State (1973-75), Michigan State (1976-79), Arizona State (1980-84): Took Fresno State to two bowl games. Achieved an unprecedented national ranking at San Jose State…Was Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1977 and National Coach of the Year by Sporting News in 1978…Won the Big Ten title in 1978.
The ballot was mailed to more than 12,000 National Football Foundation members and current Hall of Famers, whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s 14-member Honors Court, which deliberates and selects the class.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a first team All-American by a major organization; played their last year of college football at least 10 years ago; played within the last 50 years and not currently be playing professionally. Coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach; won at least 60 percent of their games; and be retired from coaching for at least three years.
This year's Hall of Fame Class will be announced on May 7 in New York City.
It's hard to believe guys like Frazier, Pace and Dayne aren't already in the Hall of Fame, and there are many other worthy candidates on this list. Maybe this will be their year.