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Five coaches named to College Football Hall of Fame ballot

Danny Ford2

In the past five years, the College Football Hall of Fame has inducted, among others, the following coaches: Mike Bellotti, Lloyd Carr, Fisher DeBerry, Phillip Fulmer, Jimmy Johnson, Bill McCartney, R.C. Slocum, Bill Snyder and Jim Tressel. That's a lot of star power.

So it should come as no surprise that the 2016 class will lack the wattage of previous classes. Announced Tuesday, the five following coaches are up for the FBS ballot:

- Jim Carlsen: West Virginia (1996-69), Texas Tech (1970-74) and USC (1975-81). Posted 13 winning seasons and eight bowl games in 16 campaigns as a head coach. Won a 1973 national coach of the year award and claimed the Southwest Conference's coach of the year honor three times in five years.

- Pete Cawthon, Sr.: Austin College (1923-27), Texas Tech (1930-40). Helped the Red Raiders win four Border Conference titles in 11 seasons, including a 10-0 mark and the program's first Cotton Bowl trip in 1938.

- Danny Ford: Clemson (1978-89), Arkansas (1993-97). Led Clemson to its only national title in 1981, and also won five ACC titles and two ACC coach of the year honors. Set Clemson record with 41 straight weeks in the AP Top 20. Presided over Arkansas' first SEC West title in 1995.

- Billy Jack Murphy: Memphis (1958-71). Registered 11 winning seasons, leaving the program as the 15th-winningest coach in school history. Still stands as the Tigers' all-time winningest coach.

Darryl Rogers: Cal State East Bay (1965), Fresno State (1966-72), San Jose State (1973-75), Michigan State (1976-79), Arizona State (1980-84). Led Fresno State to two bowl games, helped San Jose State make its first appearance in the AP Top 25, earned Big Ten coach of the year honors in 1977 and led Michigan State to the 1978 Big Ten title.

You are forgiven if those names don't roll off the tongue, and all of you who knew Cawthon's credentials (or were aware of his existence) shall receive bonus points.

As the only coach in the group with a national championship, Ford feels like a lock, which leaves one spot among the four remaining candidates to be announced to the 2016 class during January's College Football Playoff festivities.

Mack Brown and Steve Spurrier will reach Hall of Fame eligibility soon enough. Until then, the hall may have to make do with some lean years.