Ford, who was Clemson’s head coach from 1978 to 1989, led the Tigers to an undefeated season and the national championship in 1981. Clemson also won five ACC championships under Ford, who also was head coach at Arkansas.
Carlen, who was head coach at USC from 1975 to 1981, coached running back George Rogers, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1980. Carlen compiled a record of 45-36-1 at USC and also served as athletics director.
Carlen also coached at West Virginia and Texas Tech.
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The other coaching candidates include Pete Cawthon (Texas and Texas Tech), Billy Jack Murphy (Memphis) and Darryl Rogers (Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State and Arizona State).
The ballot also includes 76 FBS players. Notable FBS players include FSU linebacker Derrick Brooks, Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch, SMU running back Eric Dickerson, North Carolina State receiver Torry Holt, LSU quarterback Bert Jones, Miami linebacker Ray Lewis, Georgia tackle Matt Stinchcomb, and Cal linebacker (and current Carolina Panthers head coach) Ron Rivera.
The new hall of fame class will be announced on Jan. 8.