The Big 12 is the youngest of the Power Five conferences, but it’s old enough to have some of its top quarterbacks nominated for the College Football Hall of Fame.
Three who were Heisman Trophy finalists — Kansas State’s Michael Bishop, Nebraska’s Eric Crouch and Texas’ Vince Young — are among the 76 players from major colleges on the 2019 ballot.
Crouch won the Heisman in 2001 in the league’s sixth year. Bishop (1998) and Young (2005) finished second in the voting.
The ballot also includes six coaches who spent most of their careers in the Football Bowl Subdivision and 100 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks.
To qualify for the ballot, a player must have been a member of an All-America first team recognized by the NCAA and be 10 years removed from the end of his college career. Players can remain on the ballot for several years. This is Bishop's fourth year on the ballot.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be put on the ballot when you think that more than 5.26 million people have played college football and only 997 players have been inducted,” said Steve Hatchell, president and CEO of the National Football Foundation.
Among others nominated: California tight end Tony Gonzalez, a longtime member of the Kansas City Chiefs, who will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor in December.
Nominated from the divisional ranks are Emporia State end Bruce Cerone, Truman State quarterback Chris Hegg and Northwest Missouri State wide receiver Tony Miles.
The Class of 2019 will be announced on Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif., the site of the College Football Playoff national championship game.
The 2018 Hall of Fame Class, which includes former Northwest Missouri State coach Mel Tjeerdsma, will be enshrined on Dec. 4 in New York.