Former Razorback linebacker Cliff Powell and head coach Danny Ford have been named to the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame ballot, the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced Tuesday.
Powell is one of 76 players and Ford one of five coaches on the FBS ballot. Votes will be cast by more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers. The votes will then be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which deliberate and select the class. The announcement of the 2016 Class will be made Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona.
A three-year lettermen from 1967-69, Powell was a first team All-American in 1969 and led the Razorbacks to consecutive Sugar Bowls in 1969 and 1970. The two-time All-Southwest Conference (SWC) first team selection held the school’s all-time record for career tackles (367) from 1969 through the end of the 2002 season. In 1968 he started for the Razorbacks, helping Arkansas win 10 games and a share of the SWC title. He was elected team captain as a senior and set the school’s single-season tackles (134) record.
Ford was Arkansas’ head coach from 1993-97 and led the Razorbacks to its first SEC Western Division title and appearance in the SEC championship game in 1995. Arkansas went 6-2 in the SEC that season and was ranked as high as No. 14 nationally, highlighted by wins at No. 13 Alabama and against No. 11 Auburn. In just his first season as head coach, Ford finished second in the SEC West, including a 42-24 victory at LSU in the season finale.
As the head coach at Clemson, Ford led the Tigers to a perfect 12-0 season in 1981 and its only national championship.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a First Team All-American by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football. Coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach; won at least 60 percent of their games; and be retired from coaching for at least three years. If a coach is retired and over the age of 70, there is no waiting period. If he is over the age of 75, he is eligible as an active coach. In both cases, the candidate’s post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.