Re: IS USC Better Than TAMU?
It's not that the list of elite schools never changes. It's just that it takes more than one year to join the club. Oregon is a perfect example. They weren't an elite school just because they went to the Rose Bowl once in 95. It took years of sustained success, along with a significant investment in their program, for them to be considered a top level job. Even today some would say that USC or UCLA are bigger jobs than Oregon*.
Some Arkansas fans claimed elite status because they had an 11-2 season where they finished fifth in the country (third in the SEC West) and won the Cotton two years ago. Oops. Things change kind of quickly in college football.
*: I disagree for the record. I think Oregon is one of the best gigs a coach can get. You don't have anywhere near the level of demands you'd have at another school. You have a virtually unlimited budget and you only have to make one guy happy -- Phil Knight. No spoiled fans expecting another natty. No group of multimillionaire alums expecting to get front row seats to every team dinner.