By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
LAS VEGAS — While reporting the story on Kellen Moore that ran in today’s paper — read it here – I tried to determine Moore’s chances of becoming the first FBS College Football Hall of Famer from Boise State.
Reading the criteria and researching how the decisions are made, it looks like Moore could face an uphill battle to get in.
Talking to some key national media members about him, they consider his induction a no-brainer.
“If Kellen Moore doesn’t qualify, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t belong. It means they need new criteria,” SI.com’s Andy Staples wrote to me on Twitter.
“They shouldn’t have a College Football Hall of Fame if Kellen Moore is not in it,” said Joe Tessitore, an ESPN play-by-play announcer who has called many Broncos games.
“Absolutely, he’s a college football Hall of Famer,” ESPN’s Chris Fowler said.
“If he doesn’t eventually get in, there is even more wrong with the induction process of that hall than I’d thought,” Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com said.
The catch for Moore is that the hall of fame is based more on single-season success than career success. The first requirement to be eligible for induction is to earn first-team All-America status from one of the five NCAA-recognized teams. Out of 20 opportunities, Moore was honored just once — on the 2010 Football Writers Association of America team, when the organization was concerned that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton would be ruled ineligible.
As Tessitore said, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III was better this year and Newton was better last year, but neither had a career like Moore’s.
“He’s probably the most consistent college football player in terms of success over his four-year period,” Tessitore said.
After the All-America requirement, here are the other key criteria for the hall of fame:
"1. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the (National Football Foundation's) Honors Court ten years after his last year of intercollegiate football played.
"2. While each nominee's football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
As I noted in today’s paper, Moore is one of 12 players to finish in the top 10 of Heisman Trophy voting for three straight years."
Of the other 11 players, six are in the hall of fame and three are not yet eligible because they’re playing in the NFL. Former Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter is not eligible because he didn’t make the right All-America teams.
That leaves BYU quarterback Ty Detmer, who has been out of college football for 20 years. He won the Heisman and finished third and would seem like a lock — yet he didn’t even make the 75-man ballot for the hall this year.
The trump card for Moore is the FBS wins record, which might still be standing when he becomes eligible for the hall.
Here are some extra quotes about Moore that didn’t make my story:
— Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson: “He has such a tremendous feel for the field. He steps up and knows where everybody’s at. He’ll go here, here, here and all of a sudden it’s seven points. It’s just something that you’re blessed with and he’s blessed with it. He’s got the intangible that’s special.”
— Center Cory Yriarte: “No matter what happens, he’s calm under pressure. He’s just our leader out there, and I wouldn’t want anyone else.”
— Feldman: “He'll go down as one of the best quarterbacks in the history of college football. People can say he doesn't have prototype size, but he produced with a staggering level of efficiency. The guy was deadly accurate and smart, and clutch. He won a lot of big games too. It is quite a legacy he's leaving behind.”
— Wide receiver Tyler Shoemaker: “He may not be the biggest, strongest or fastest but he’s definitely the smartest out there and he knows how to get it done.”
— Wyoming coach Dave Christensen: “I’ve said before he may be one of the best quarterbacks to ever play college football. He was a magician with the ball. He’s as good as any quarterback I’ve ever seen in college football or coached against.”
— Fowler: “The country has grown to appreciate him. He’s not some cute little undersized gritty guy. He’s got major skills. I think he’s got a burning desire to show he can do it at the next level.”
— More Fowler: “He’s easier to appreciate when you see him in person. I try to tell people you can watch tape, you can see games on TV, but you can really appreciate his skill, his touch, his timing, his movement in the pocket, when you see him in person. That’s why I’ll always remember the chances I’ve had to watch him from field level and really see what he’s about.”
— Backup quarterback Joe Southwick: “It doesn’t just happen on Saturdays. It’s the other six days of the week. He’s definitely left that quality with the quarterbacks. Now it’s our turn to go out there and prepare and do the same thing.”
ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay said on ESPN on Thursday that Moore likely will fall to the late rounds of the draft, or possibly even get signed as a free agent.
They expressed concern about his size and durability.
Kiper said he’d be a first-round pick if he were 6-foot-2 instead of (maybe) 6-foot.