The National Football Foundation released its ballot for the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class on Thursday, and six former FBS coaches made the list.
Two (or possibly three, but most likely two) coaches will be chosen to the Hall of Fame class, which will be announced in May. The Hall of Fame class will be voted on by the NFF's Honors Court and by the NFF's nation-wide membership. The 2014 class will be a special one in Hall of Fame lore, as it will be the first class enshrined into the sparkling new Hall of Fame in Atlanta set to open this fall.
The finalists are...
Mike Bellotti - Chico State (Calif.) (1984-88) and Oregon (1995-08) - The winningest coach in Oregon history, Bellotti kickstarted the once-doormat program into the national powerhouse it is today. He led the Ducks to the first four 10-win seasons in school history, two Pac-10 titles, a dozen bowl games, including an 11-1 campaign in 2001 capped by a Fiesta Bowl win and a No. 2 final ranking.
Jim Carlen - West Virginia (1966-69), Texas Tech (1970-74) and South Carolina (1975-81) - The 1973 National Coach of the Year, Carlen took three programs to eight bowls and 13 winning campaigns in his 16 seasons as a head coach. He was a three-time winner of the Southwest Conference's Coach of the Year honor.
Pete Cawthon, Sr. - Texas Tech (1930-40) - Now more than 70 years gone from the South Plains, Cawthon's .693 winning percentage is still the best in Texas Tech history. He guided the Red Raiders to four Border Conference championships in his 11 years at the helm, including the school's first Cotton Bowl appearance and a 10-0 campaign in 1938.
Danny Ford - Clemson (1978-89) and Arkansas (1993-97) - The top coach in the modern era of Clemson football, he led the Tigers to the 1981 national championship, five ACC championships, four of the five winningest seasons in school history and a school-record 41 consecutive weeks inside the AP Top 20. At Arkansas, he shepherded the Razorbacks from the Southwest Conference to the SEC and helped the Hogs claim the 1995 SEC West championship.
Billy Jack Murphy - Memphis (1958-71) - The winningest coach in Memphis history and the 15th-winningest coach in college football history at the time of his retirement, Murphy pushed the Tigers to 11 winning seasons in his 15 years at the school. Murphy is already a member of the University of Memphis and Mississippi State halls of fame.
Darryl Rogers - Cal State-Hayward (1965), Fresno State (1966-72), San Jose State (1973-75), Michigan State (1976-79), Arizona State (1980-84) - A success across the nation, Rogers took Fresno State to two bowl games, managed to push San Jose State into the national polls, led Michigan State to a Big Ten title and was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1977 and the Sporting News National Coach of the Year a year later.
Additionally, 27 coaches were named to the Divisional Hall of Fame ballot...
Bill Bowes - New Hampshire (1972-98)
Paul Durham - Linfield (Ore.) (1948-67)
Jim Feix - Western Kentucky (1968-83)
Howard Fletcher - Northern Illinois (1956-68)
Ross Fortier - Minnesota-Moorhead (1970-92)
Morley Fraser - Albion (Mich.) (1954-68)
Frank Girardi - Lycoming (Pa.) (1972-2007)
Rudy Hubbard - Florida A&M (1974-85)
Art Keller - Cartage (Wisc.) (1952-82)
Glenn Killinger - Dickinson (Pa.) (1922), Rensselaer (N.Y.) (1927-32), Moravian (Pa.) (1933) and West Chester (Pa.) (1934-41, 1945-59)
Larry Korver - Northwestern College (Iowa) (1967-94)
Dick Lowry - Wayne State (Mich.) (1974-79) and Hillsdale (Mich.) (1980-96)
James Malosky - Minnesota Duluth (1958-97)
Don Tiller - Trinity (Conn.) (1967-98)
Jerry Moore - North Texas (1979-80), Texas Tech (1981-85) and Appalachian State (1989-2012)
Charles Murphy - Middle Tennessee (1947-68)
Jim Ostendarp - Amherst (Mass.) (1959-91)
Forrest Perkins - Wisconsin-Whitewater (1956-84)
Bill Rasmeyer - Wilmington (Ohio) (1972-90) and Virginia's College at Wise (1991-2001)
Dwight Reed - Lincoln (Mo.) (1949-71)
Pete Schmidt - Albion (Mich.) (1983-96)
Clyde "Buck" Starbeck - Northern Iowa (1936-42, 1945-57)
Jim Tressel - Youngstown State (1986-2000) and Ohio State (2001-10)
John Whitehead - Lehigh (1976-86)
Alex Yunevich - Alfred (N.Y.) (1937-41, 1946-76)
Allen Zikmund - Nebraska-Kearney (1955-71)