Hall passes for Alvarez, Howard, Herrmann

The 2010 College Football Hall of Fame inductees class includes a Heisman Trophy winner at Michigan, a record-setting quarterback at Purdue and the man who made Wisconsin football relevant again.

Not a bad showing for the Big Ten at all.

Michigan wide receiver Desmond Howard, Purdue quarterback Mark Herrmann and former Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez all earned their Hall passes Thursday in New York City. They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Dec. 7.

There shouldn't be many gripes about these choices, as all three men are very deserving of admission to the Hall.

In case you forgot what they accomplished, here's a refresher:

BARRY ALVAREZ, head coach, Wisconsin, 1990-2005

  • Went 118-73-4 (.615) in 16 seasons at Wisconsin

  • Led the Badgers to three Big Ten championships (1993, 1998, 1999) and three Rose Bowl victories

  • Only Big Ten coach to win back-to-back Rose Bowls (1999, 2000); one of six coaches to win three or more Rose Bowls

  • National Coach of the Year in 1993; Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1998

  • Went 8-3 in bowl games

  • Led Wisconsin to back-to-back Big Ten titles for the first time since 1896-97

DESMOND HOWARD, wide receiver, Michigan, 1989-91

  • Won Heisman Trophy in 1991 after leading the nation in both scoring (11.5 ppg) and kickoff returns (27.5 ypr)

  • Became the first wide receiver to the lead the Big Ten in scoring

  • Earned 640 first-place votes (85 percent) in the Heisman race and won by the second-largest margin in the award's history

  • Also won the Walter Camp Award and the Maxwell Award in 1991

  • Set or tied five NCAA records and 12 Michigan records. Still holds Michigan marks for single-season points (138) and single-season touchdowns (23)

  • Helped Michigan to three Big Ten championships and two Rose Bowl appearances

MARK HERRMANN, quarterback, Purdue, 1977-80

  • Unanimous first-team All-American and Big Ten MVP in 1980; finished fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting

  • Set nine NCAA records in his career, including marks for passing yards (9,188) and completions (707)

  • Started 45 of 47 games for Purdue and completed 772 passes for 9,946 yards and 71 touchdowns (including bowl games, which the NCAA didn't count for its statistics back then)

  • Earned MVP honors in three consecutive bowl games (1978 Peach, 1979 Bluebonnet and 1980 Liberty)

  • Still ranks fifth on the Big Ten's career passing chart

Needless to say, three very deserving choices.

Alvarez got the word last week during Big Ten spring meetings. Officials from the National Football Foundation came to Chicago to tell him in person, and did so in a gathering of all the league's coaches and athletic directors. Several folks told me it was a pretty emotional moment for Alvarez, who left the hotel carrying a College Football Hall of Fame football under his arm.

Colleague Ivan Maisel has more on Alvarez's Hall of Fame moment, and here's a breakdown of all the new members of college football's elite club.