College football: 30 best college quarterbacks of all-time

Case Keenum, Houston football (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Case Keenum, Houston football (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images) /
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John Elway
John Elway (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images) /

Cardinal . John Elway. 30. player. 871. . QB

30 best college football quarterbacks of all-time: 30. John Elway, Stanford football

Career stats:

  • 9,349 passing yards
  • 77 TDs
  • 62.1 completion percentage

Just like his NFL career indicated that he’s one of the greatest of all-time, the work John Elway put in as a college QB allows him to hold that same moniker in the unpaid ranks.

Elway’s career started off extremely tenuous at Stanford. He was basically a non-factor in his rookie year at Stanford, throwing for only 544 yards. Those paltry numbers wouldn’t continue however as he began slicing and dicing defenses for the remainder of his three years there.

With two impressive seasons under his belt, Elway saved his best for last. In his senior year, he threw for over 3,200 yards, connected on 24 touchdowns against 12 picks and had a passer rating of 145.6. He also finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting that year.

For his career, he fell just a few yards shy of 10,000 passing yards with 9,349. While that doesn’t seem incredibly impressive, Elway played in a time where you could really hit the QB and play physical defense without swimming in a sea of yellow flags.

He checks in low on this list because he was never able to lead his team to any bowl games. Despite that stain on his college football resume, Elway had a long and distinguished career. He simply doesn’t compare to the names above him on this list.