Looking at history, I’d say Alabama, Oklahoma, and USC stand above the rest, with tOSU arguably part of that group also. All have enjoyed success for many decades under multiple coaches; it’s reasonable to assume those jobs have structural advantages (esp. recruiting) that others don’t.Barring something unexpected, USC and LSU will almost certainly be the top two jobs available at the end of the year, and likely an upgrade for anyone not named Saban, Day, and a few others. What are the true "top-tier" college coaching gigs? Put another way, what schools would a successful coach never leave in order to take another college job (leaving for the NFL is different).
Bama, UGA, LSU, tOSU, Texas, USC, ND? Anywhere else? Is Clemson at that level yet?
Georgia and Texas seem like they should be part of that group, but the modern (post-integration) results aren’t there. Notre Dame hasn’t won a title in 30+ years and doesn’t have the recruiting cachet it once did. Clemson won a title under Danny Ford but wasn’t part of any serious discussion of CFB powers before Dabo; they’ll be elite as long as he’s there, but they’ll need success post-Dabo to demonstrate they have the structural programs these other programs enjoy.
You could certainly argue that three titles this century, with three different coaches, puts LSU in that top tier. I’m not sold, and the recent coaching turnover there would have me preferring a program like Texas A&M, which imo is similarly advantaged and has more reasonable expectations. (I think Florida is the most obvious comp to LSU, but UF’s natural advantages are easier to see.)