1. Carson Palmer, USC, QB
Carson Palmer’s omittance from the College Football Hall of Fame is a little confusing. He played for a big program in USC, he won the Heisman Trophy and led the Trojans to its first 11-win season in decades. Palmer was dominant, accounting for 11,818 passing yards over his career.
Palmer had an interesting start to his career. He had all the gifts to become one of the greats to hit the gridiron, but a collarbone injury in his original sophomore season knocked him off the rails after an impressive freshman campaign. He missed the rest of the season, redshirted to give him an extra year of eligibility, spent the next two seasons playing well, but nothing special. His junior year after Pete Carroll took over was much better, but he still needed to work on some things.
Then, in his final season he put up some of the best numbers college football has seen in a while. He threw for just under 4,000 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Those are impressive numbers in the NFL. He owns a myriad of records, including most passing yards against Notre Dame (one that Trojan fans hold close to their hearts). He finished his career with an Orange Bowl MVP taking out the then-undefeated Hawkeyes 38-17.
Palmer is the best college football player not in the College Football Hall of Fame. That is likely going to be fixed this year. If not, then the committee needs to re-evaluate its selection process.