For the record, Cleveland State is T3 and climbing.
I'll echo the sentiment of the earlier comments, schools can place in the third or fourth tier nationally but still place very well regionally.
I go to Cleveland state, for example. Though nationally it is a third tier school, within the City of cleveland, it is very well respected, has over a 90% bar passage rate, and places graduate with all the cleveland Biglaw firms, including Jones Day, Squires Sanders Dempsey. Most of the judges in this area also came from CSU, and csu grads serve on district courts, as well as the Ohio Supreme Court. That's not to say that its impossible to leave the area out of CSU, but it is certainly more difficult, in large part to the school's regional reputation.
National rankings are better at capturing the strengths and weaknesses of national programs, but they don't do a good job of describing the merits of regional programs.