Yeah. Perception is a big key. Most, if not all, universities offer good undergraduate education.
It also depends on the student and what they want. Engineering? Business? Most larger public universities have great programs in these areas while the smaller liberal arts excel in the traditional studies as well as the basic sciences (physics, chemistry etc.)
I have been a Professor for 15 years now, and I can tell you that everyone in the admissions office focus on those damn standardized scores and HS GPAs. For graduate school, we focus on GREs. Not much else.
Sometimes I think the process of admission for undergrad and grad is a bit short sided, and do not allow for other factors. This is mostly due to time, and a bit of laziness.
I have told anyone who would listen that we would be better off if we recruited general students like athletes. Look at all the work that goes into throwing out an offer to join our buckeyes. That kind of attention to detail is what is needed. Get to know the student, family, former teachers etc. I could on forever...lol.