It has always been this way.USWNR has three tiers: called T1, T3 and T4.Because of the obviously missing T2 and the nice even number of schools in the top tier, law students, profs and anyone else who give a crap about this stuff add an imaginary T2 to the mix.So, while TECHNICALLY the University of Louisville (Brandeis) is a tier 1 school, no one (except maybe U of L students themselves) would consider them that.
So what's your point? Are the top 100 Tier 1 or what?
According to US News, the top 100 is Tier 1. It says it right there in their rankings system.