Peyton Manning, Steve Spurrier on College Football HOF ballot

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Throughout his college career, Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning couldn't beat the Steve Spurrier-coached Florida Gators. Now, Manning can just join him.

Manning and the "Head Ball Coach" are among the 17 first-time candidates up for election to the College Football Hall of Fame.

The National Football Foundation on Wednesday released the ballot for the class that will be announced in Tampa on Jan. 6, 2017. Former Heisman Trophy winners Eric Crouch, Matt Leinart and Rashaan Salaam are among the 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision on the ballot.

San Diego State running back Marshall Faulk, who led the NCAA in rushing twice during his three seasons, is joined by Cal tight end Tony Gonzalez, Arkansas DT Dan Hampton and USC safety Troy Polamalu as some of the other candidates making their first appearance on the ballot.

WIth the Volunteers, Manning became just the fourth quarterback in NCAA history to pass for more than 11,000 yards and surpassed the 300-yard mark in 18 games. As a starter, he went 39-5 from 1994 to 1997. However, he was winless in four games -- three starts -- against Spurrier's Gators and was the 1997 Heisman Trophy runner-up to Charles Woodson of Michigan

Spurrier, who stepped down last season as coach at South Carolina after a 26-year career, is the winningest coach in the history of the Gators and Gamecocks and ranks second all-time to Paul "Bear" Bryant among SEC coaches. He won six SEC titles and led the Gators to the 1996 national championship.

Other coaches up for election include Danny Ford, who led Clemson to five ACC titles and also coached at Arkansas, and Darryl Rogers, who led programs at Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State and Arizona State.

The ballot also has 95 players and 29 coaches who competed outside of the highest division of college football, including former Mount Union coach Larry Kehres, who won 11 Division III national titles with the Purple Raiders.

To be eligible for the ballot, a player must have been a first-team All-American by one of the five organizations used by the NCAA to determine the consensus All-America team: The Associated Press; the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers of America Association; the Sporting News; and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games and won at least 60 percent of their games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.