For four years, Danny Ford and Jim Carlen battled one another on opposite sidelines in the Palmetto State’s biggest college football rivalry. Now they’ll mix it up once again, as candidates for enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Ford, who coached at Clemson from 1978-89, and Carlen, who oversaw South Carolina from 1975-81, were among the five coaches from Football Bowl Subdivision programs chosen as candidates by the National Football Foundation. The 2016 class will be announced January 8, 2016, in Scottsdale, Ariz., as part of the weekend preceding the College Football Playoff national championship game.
Ford won five ACC championships and the 1981 national title during his tenure at Clemson, which included 11 full seasons. He compiled a 96-29-4 mark with the Tigers, and set a program record with 41 consecutive weeks in the AP poll. Later in a five-year stint at Arkansas, he led the Razorbacks to their first SEC West championship.
Carlen coached Heisman Trophy-winning tailback George Rogers during his stint at South Carolina, taking the Gamecocks to bowl games three times in his seven seasons at USC. In 16 years as a head coach, including four seasons each at West Virginia and Texas Tech, he recorded 13 winning campaigns and went to eight bowl games.
The ballot also includes 76 FBS players, and 92 players and 27 coaches from smaller schools. Notable FBS players up for enshrinement include Florida State linebacker Derrick Brooks, Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch, SMU running back Eric Dickerson, North Carolina State receiver Torry Holt, LSU quarterback Bert Jones, Miami linebacker Ray Lewis, Georgia tackle Matt Stinchcomb, and Cal linebacker (and current Carolina Panthers head coach) Ron Rivera.