The Stanford Football All-Chapter Team

We round off our countdown with a list not of the most talented players, or the players with the brightest NFL futures ahead of them. Instead, we look at the 22 (and specialists) who meant the most to Stanford football over the past five years.

Top-40 recap and All-Chapter Team

No matter how you slice it, Stanford football has arrived. Though we've since assumed all the trappings of a football powerhouse – the three straight runner-up finishes in Heisman voting, the two straight BCS bowl berths and top-10 finishes, the top-ten 2012 recruiting class, or the eminent graduation of top pro prospects of the last decade – it wasn't that long ago that Stanford football was an afterthought.

On December 19, 2006, new athletic director Bob Bowlsby hired Jim Harbaugh, a former star quarterback, but an unproven coach who had never worked at the FBS level. The rest, as they say, was history.

Today, we are pleased to conclude the list of Stanford football's 40 most memorable moments, trends, games and personalities from the magical five-plus years that followed that December 2006 announcement.

We round off our countdown with a list not of the most talented players, or the players with the brightest NFL futures ahead of them. (On pure talent, later editions of the Cardinal would be overrepresented, thanks in no small part to the guys ahead of them making Stanford that much more attractive of a destination for top recruits.) Instead, we look at the 22 (and specialists) who meant the most to Stanford football over the past five years. That we had to squeeze to fit in Doug Baldwin and Chase Thomas, a guy who's breaking out in the NFL and a projected All-American respectively, says all you need to know about how incredible this list is.

All-chapter team

Offense

QB Andrew Luck
RB Toby Gerhart
FB Owen Marecic
OL Chase Beeler
OL David DeCastro
OL Alex Fletcher
OL Jonathan Martin
OL Chris Marinelli
TE Coby Fleener
WR Mark Bradford
WR Ryan Whalen

*We play creative here with our receivers, getting Bradford and Whalen in here and Owusu and Baldwin in on special teams, as all four deserve recognition.

Defense
DL Sione Fua
DL Matt Masafilo
DL Ekom Udofia
LB Chase Thomas
LB Shayne Skov
LB Clinton Snyder
DB Delano Howell
DB Bo McNally
DB Nick Sanchez
DB Richard Sherman
DB Michael Thomas

*In a nod to the times and personnel, we go with a nickel package. Thomas Keiser just misses the cut, so he's our first guy off the bench.

Specialists
K Nate Whitaker
P David Green
KR Chris Owusu
PR Doug Baldwin

Coach
Jim Harbaugh

We conclude with our complete list of the top 40 moments of the last five years. We hope these have brought back plenty of pleasant memories for you, and trust that our list for the next five years will be just as strong!

The Complete Countdown
50-41. More memorable moments - Loukas, Luck, and a phantom clipping call
40. Fake out - Luck stuns UW with a naked bootleg in 2010
39. Polls and bowls - Stanford climbs into college football's beauty contests
38. Steamrolled - Card run for 446 yards in 2011 beatdown of UW
37. Opening act - 2009 win over Ducks launches a November to remember
36. Going bowling - Loss to Sooners doesn't ruin first bowl game since 2001
35. "Shut up and play football" - Cal jaws pregame, falls behind 45-0 in 2010
34. Look ma, no legs - Luck throws a 52- yard dart while in free fall
33. Sit down - Burfict's head leads to go-ahead TD, Wilkerson's ices W at ASU
32. Injury bug - Despite multiple injuries, 2011 Card manage to rally
31. Whale watching - Stanford starts recruiting at an elite level
30. Suck for Luck - The media machine anoints the next football savior
29. Outta my way - Luck bounces off Cattouse for a 50-yard run
28. 0 for 3 - Card post three shutouts in 2010 campaign
27. Laying the wood - Luck lays out Wright
26. Concussed - Owusu is knocked out of four games
25. Jumping ahead - A 21-3 lead vanishes in Autzen in 2010
24. So close, yet so far - Luck's worst game costs Card 2009 Big Game
23. Run, Toby, run - Gerhart takes over against the Irish
22. Xs and Os… and Ys and Zs - Stanford toys with defensive coordinators
21. "The perfect football player" - Marecic makes purists weep
20. Rumor Mill - Report: Harbaugh to take every NFL job
19. "What's Your Deal?" - Stanford hands 'SC worst home beatdown ever
18. Continuity Unknown to Mankind - Shaw named Harbaugh's successor
17. Whitaker Beats USC - Cardinal hand the Trojans another soul-crusher
16. We've Got the Axe - Stanford wins first Big Game in six years
15. Return of the Red Zone - Cardinal students populate the stadium in force
14. Blown Away - Stanford takes VT to the woodshed in Orange Bowl
13. Streaking - Stanford wins 10 straight games by 25+ points
12. Dance With Girl Who Brung Ya - Card settle for FG attempt, loses Fiesta Bowl
11. College Gameday to The Farm - Campus welcomes ESPN
10. Thanks, John - Card build new stadium, enter arms race
9. The Stanford-USC rivalry - Stanford takes four of five in thrilling fashion
8. Andrew Luck returns - QB shocks nation with decision
7. Enthusiasm unknown to mankind - Harbaugh reignites program's fire
6. Dreams deferred - Oregon 53, Stanford 30
5. Dream on - Stanford 56, USC 48 (3OT)
4. The class of 2008 - Harbaugh's first stockpile becomes legendary
3. Heisman hopefuls - Gerhart, Luck up for college football's most prestigious award
2. Character and Cruelty - Harbaugh's brings new mentality of dominance
1. Biggest Upset Ever - Daniel Novinson's take on Stanford 24, USC 23 (2007)
1. Hollywood Heartbreak - David Lombardi's take on Stanford 24, USC 23 (2007)


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