College Football Hall of Fame breakdown: Schools and positions
Between former players, coaches, broadcasters, athletic directors and other historically significant figures in college football, there are more than 1,100 inductees in the College Football Hall of Fame.
With all those inductees belonging to the same club, sometimes they can all be difficult to keep track of. With this in mind, we took a look at the long list of inductees and found the 10 schools with the most players inducted into the Hall of Fame all-time.
To clarify, these are players, not coaches, broadcasters or anyone else affiliated with the game. And only players who played their entire career at one school (a vast majority of the inductees) were considered in our tally.
Before peaking below at which schools cracked the top 10, it could be fun to close your eyes and try and guess a few.
Did you guess Alabama and Tennessee? If so, you’re a pretty savvy SEC fan, as those are the SEC schools included in the top 10 (and both programs barely made the list). Outside the conference, did you predict Notre Dame? Once again you’ve proven your intelligence if you did, as Notre Dame crushes the rest of the field in terms of total players inducted into the Hall.
But how many of you predicted Yale and Princeton would crack the top 10? Heck, how many of you would’ve guessed the Ivy League would have as many teams in this top 10 as the SEC? Or that Yale would claim more Hall of Famers than the likes of Oklahoma and Alabama?
Obviously those schools dominated the college landscape during a different era of the game, as neither school has had an inductee play the college ranks since 1964 (Princeton fullback Cosmo Iacavacci).
Take a look at the full top 10 below:
|Rank||School||Hall of Famers|
We also went ahead and tallied the total number of inductees by position to determine if certain positions are given an edge in Hall of Fame balloting.
And what we found is that there is a definitive trend favoring the former college playing style as opposed to the more recent passing-intensive philosophies used in today’s college football.
What do we mean? Well running the ball used to be the focal point of nearly every offense, be it out of an I-formation, on a sweep, in an option offense, what have you. Ultimately a team’s biggest star was often its top rusher, not its quarterback like in today’s college football.
As a result, there are more running backs inducted into the Hall of Fame than any other single position, and the only position group with more inductees is the club of offensive linemen, the men who paved the way for many of these Hall of Fame backs.
Quarterback does rank third as far as inductees by position, but that is a much more recent trend with many of those signal callers earning induction in the last 25 years.
We also noticed that no defensive position group ranked in the top 5 on this list, even when we generalized the rankings and allowed all the defensive linemen to be counted together (same with inside/outside linebackers as well as cornerbacks and safeties). Still, there have only been 55 defensive linemen inducted in the history of the Hall, regardless of where they played along the line. That’s not just less than certain offensive positions, that’s less than just fullbacks counted alone.
This, of course, goes hand-in-hand with the lack of defensive players who have won the Heisman Trophy in its history, and now we have further proof that bias toward the offense spans far beyond Heisman balloting.
And for those special teams nuts out there, there was one placekicker inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he just happens to hail from an SEC school: Georgia’s Kevin Butler, who exited the Georgia program in 1984 and was inducted in 2001. There’s also one punter in the Hall — former Southern Miss legend Ray Guy, the namesake of the annual Punter of the Year award in college football.
Take a look at the full positional breakdown below:
|Rank||Position||Hall of Famers|