NCF Nation: Tommy Kramer

Entering the Hall: Tommy Kramer

May, 15, 2012
Tommy Kramer played quarterback so well that he set records with one team tied behind his back. In his four seasons (1973-76) at Rice, the Owls went 12-31-1 (.284). But Kramer left the Houston school with eight career and single-season records.

If a passer came of age in Texas in the Wishbone Era and wanted to stay in-state to throw the ball, he didn’t have many choices. Kramer went to Rice to play for Al Conover and, in his first four seasons, threw for a total of 2,880 yards. But before 1976, Kramer’s senior season, Homer Rice replaced Conover. Rice, to this day one of the most respected men in college athletics, recognized the talent he had at quarterback and let Kramer loose. The Owls only went 3-8, but oh, how Kramer threw the ball. His 3,317 passing yards led the nation, and fell short of the NCAA career record at the time by 26 yards. His 501 attempts, an average of 45 passes per game, also led all passers.

In a season when Gifford Nielsen threw 29 touchdowns while leading BYU to a 9-2 record, the All-America teams made Kramer a consensus pick. They recognized the difficulty of his task. The Minnesota Vikings, did, too, ignoring the Owls’ results to take Kramer late in the first round. He went on to enjoy 14 seasons in the NFL.

The low profile of the school may explain why it took the College Football Hall of Fame more than 20 years to honor Kramer. That oversight has been rectified.

Non-AQs represented on HOF ballot

March, 23, 2010
Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg posted the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame ballot this morning and I realized I hadn’t posted the non-AQ nominees.

There are six players from the (current) non-AQ schools and two coaches. Navy defensive back Chet Moeller is the only first-time ballot member on the list.

Randall Cunningham, who is known in the NFL for his quarterback play with the Philadelphia Eagles, is up for a Hall of Fame spot as a punter. Cunningham was a two-time All-American punter at UNLV and still holds the school record with a career average of 45.6 yards per kick. He’s also the top passer in school history with more than 8,000 yards passing and 59 touchdown passes in just three seasons.

The FBS Hall of Fame Class will be announced live on May 27 from the NASDAQ Times Square site in New York City during a noon news conference that has previously aired on ESPNEWS. The class will be inducted at The National Football Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7, 2010.

You can check out the whole ballot, and I’ve included the entire non-AQ list below:

* Randall Cunningham, Nevada-Las Vegas, Punter, 1982-84

* Eric Dickerson, Southern Methodist, Running Back, 1979-82

* Luther Elliss, Utah, Defensive Lineman, 1991-94

* Tommy Kramer, Rice, Quarterback, 1973-76

* Chet Moeller, Navy, Defensive Back, 1973-75

* Philip Olsen, Utah State, Defensive End, 1967-69


* Wayne Hardin: Navy (1959-64), Temple (1970-82) and 118-74-5 with a .612 win percentage.

* Billy Jack Murphy: Memphis (1958-71) and 91-44-1 with a .673 win percentage.