Shortly after a friend of mine got her MBA, she landed a plum job with a great company and a large salary. I asked her if it was the MBA that did it, and she said "The MBA got me in the door, but I got the job."
I think that sentiment applies to college pedigrees as well. Elite colleges open more doors, I'm sure, but they don't always get you in, and if they do, they don't help you stay.
IMO, it's all about the person and what they do with what they have. And, for some who are born with special talents/attributes, (e.g. sales people, artists, business owners, etc.) a degree isn't needed at all. These types are not the majority, but there are MANY.