It is inevitable that former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel will be voted into the College Football Hall of Fame. But the question now is when? It could take several years, maybe longer.
For some strange, inexplicable reason, this is the way it works with the college HOF. In the NFL, the elite players usually get voted into the HOF the year they become eligible (like, say, Emmitt Smith, pro football’s all-time leading rusher). That never seems to happen with the college version of the HOF. The elite players sometimes have to wait decades (like, say, Deion Sanders, who had to wait 23 years after his FSU career ended).
Wuerffel became eligible for the HOF in 2006, 10 years after his UF career ended, but he did not make it on the ballot for the first time until this year (how in the world does that happen?). He, of course, was passed over in the voting that was announced Tuesday.
Wuerffel automatically goes on to next year’s ballot, but that guarantees nothing, as former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier found out Tuesday. He somehow was passed over for the second year in a row, while two of the three quarterbacks who were voted in (Steve Bartkowski and Tommy Kramer) had college careers that did not even come close to Frazier’s.
It’s pretty obvious Wuerffel might have to wait a while before he gets that call from the HOF.
The College Football Hall of Fame has a track record of shunning some of the game’s greatest players for years before welcoming them into the club.
Here are a few examples: Steve Spurrier, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1966, did not go into the HOF until 1986; Georgia All-America defensive end Bill Stanfill had to wait 30 years; Roger Staubach, who won the Heisman in 1963, didn’t make it in until 1981; Herschel Walker didn’t get the Hall call until 17 years after he last carried the football for the Georgia Bulldogs.
It makes no sense.
When Wuerffel was passed over Tuesday, some reasoned that it’s because players usually don’t get voted in the first time they’re on the ballot. That’s not true. Former UF All-America wide receiver Carlos Alvarez was on the ballot for the first time last year and he was voted in.
Wuerffel was one of the greatest college quarterbacks to ever play the game. He won the Heisman. He led the Gators to the national championship his senior season (1996). He should not have been voted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday. That should have happened in 2006, the year he became eligible.
The way the College Football Hall of Fame votes in members makes no sense, no sense at all.