8. John Elway, QB, Stanford (1979-82)
It’s not often you’ll find a player this high on a list like this that didn’t lead his team to a bowl game, but that doesn’t define John Elway. Yes, he thought he was going to pull it off in his senior season, but then The Play cost him and the Cardinal a winning record. Despite the glaring hole in his college résumé, Elway still accumulated some impressive statistics in four seasons. He completed 774 passes for 9,349 yards and 77 touchdowns despite Stanford’s 20-23 record with him as a starter. He was a consensus All-American and finished second in the Heisman balloting in 1982. Fun Fact: Elway was also a standout baseball player at Stanford and was drafted by the Yankees six spots BEFORE future Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.