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USC great Pete Carroll isn't eligible for the CFB Hall of Fame

Alicia de Artola
Jan 11, 2021, 12:07 PM PST
Former USC football head coach Pete Carroll
Former USC football head coach Pete Carroll | Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
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How can you tell the College Football Hall of Fame's criteria is flawed? Two-time national-title winning USC football head coach Pete Carroll is not eligible for induction.

On Monday, Oklahoma title-winner Bob Stoops was voted into the Hall of Fame class of 2020, along with Trojan Heisman-winner Carson Palmer.

Stoops absolutely deserves his place in Atlanta, but his induction is reason enough to bring up the travesty of Carroll's Hall of Fame candidacy.

Again, as it stands, Pete Carroll cannot be inducted into the CFB Hall of Fame

The CFB Hall of Fame's current rules would leave USC's Pete Carroll out

No, it's not because of anything to do with Reggie Bush (which had nothing to do with recruiting, in case anyone is still selling that lie). It's because of a technicality.

First, Carroll would have to retire to trigger the Hall of Fame nomination process, but that's not the big issue. He doesn't meet the minimum requirement for tenure length.

Here's the exact wording "[The coach] must have been a head football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage."

Carroll coached at USC for nine years, one shy of the minimum. The man won 97 games (83, if you insist on acknowledging the arbitrary vacation of games from the 2005 season) across those seasons with two national titles and six BCS bowl wins. He produced two Heisman Trophy winners and 34 All-Americans.

Letting numbers alone determine whether or not someone is eligible for the Hall of Fame is ridiculous. If Carroll retired next year, he could not be acknowledged as a Hall of Famer. If he came back to the college ranks and coached a winless season at any program, he'd magically be free to waltz into the hall.

Having a structure to Hall of Fame nominations makes sense, but any structure that locks out an all-timer like Pete Carroll isn't doing the proper job of representing the history of college football.

Carroll isn't the only one either. Howard Schnellenberger, who won a national title with Miami, is not eligible because of his sub-.600 career record.

Players face their own problems. The Hall of Fame only considers players who were voted to an All-American first team by one of the five official selectors.

Case Keenum, the all-time NCAA leader in passing yards by more than 2,000 yards, was never voted an All-American, so he will not be eligible.

Even Trevor Lawrence flirted with the possibility of being ineligible despite his stellar college career. If the FWAA had gone along with the rest of the selectors and voted Alabama's Mac Jones to the top of their team, it would have happened. That one first-team All-American nod saved Lawrence's future candidacy.

That's not a knife's edge college football should be standing on with it's all-time greats.

Ranking Each USC Coach In History. dark. Next

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