Originally Posted by Dan B.
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.
Florida State had one of the most successful runs ever in college football and I still see USC as a better job and program. Texas and Alabama are too. FSU is in the club, but it's just not on their level. I don't think A&M is really even close to that club right now. Just being in a conference isn't good enough. You have to win multiple conference championships and probably a few national championships before you can think about joining that group.