A graduate of Harvard, Princeton, or Yale has instant credibility in the workplace over most others. The reputation of those institutions adds significantly to the opinions voiced by the graduate. Further the connections made are of vast value as well. Look at those in high elected office and then look at those put in cabinet positions and you will see the dominance of Ivy League types with the other elite colleges put in. This is not without merit given the caliber of the applicants the output is bound to be excellent.
Matt Zemek has put his finger how this relates to college football in his preview piece on the West Virginia v. Louisville game of November 2, 2006 when he referred to the teams as “nouveau riche.” The pedigree programs in college football are the usual suspects from the established BCS conferences: Bigger 10, SEC, PAC 10, Big 12 and to a lesser extent ACC. Just like when a Yale grad falls onto hard times the assumptions is that they are from a good family and will recover soon. Consider how the Nebraska Cornhuskers (#19 preseason ranking) are treated even though they have not been a factor in the Big 12 for going on ten years they are given instant respect on early season wins but at 3-2 in an average Big 12 are forgotten.
Notice the manner Florida State and Miami are being treated by the press as compared to a rolling of the eyes by John Saunders of Disney Sports at the prospects of an undefeated Rutgers form the Big East being considered for a trip to Glendale. Rutgers has neither the conference connections nor the reputation to be considered for such lofty places much the same as the brilliant kid that has a degree from the “wrong” school.
There is a point to this skeptical view of the nouveau riche as their money may disappear like those of Silicon Valley in 2000. The likes of Google, Cisco, Oracle, and Amazon have overtime proven themselves and changed the face of business. Perhaps the same can happen in college football.